Having a little fun here, and getting in the holiday spirit. This may bear a striking resemblance to my Christmas wish list. Just in case anyone was wondering what to get me. Let's all sing along with the song from childhood reimagined for the obstacle racing family.
Time and again, I have heard racers say that OCR has helped them to overcome immense real-life challenges including depression, addiction, domestic violence, rape, PTSD, and even cancer. I have heard this often enough to believe there is something to it, and that obstacle course racing can be a powerful tool in recovery from a variety of serious conditions. How and why? The scientist in me was curious.
How do you define the Epic Series? Sometimes, you can define something by what it isn't; in the British comedy Blackadder, sidekick Baldrick once wrote a definition of "Dog: not a cat". The Epic Series is not a mud run, it is not a strongman competition, and it is not the Crossfit Games - but it has elements of all of the above. The brain child of Aaron Ward and Tim Fitzpatrick, The Epic Series originally derived from Crossfit, and has undergone numerous changes as it has evolved through seven events since its inaugural run in April of 2013. It is a "functional fitness challenge". The Epic Race is divided into two parts; the basic race that everyone does, and a bonus Elite competition that was itself split into Strength and Endurance divisions.
What about the rest of us, slogging through the course, often taking hours longer out there, struggling with obstacles they complete with ease, or pumping out what feels like a never ending stream of burpees? Where's our glory?
Founded by Dan “Nitro” Clark (of American Gladiators fame), the Gladiator Rock ‘n Run was voted by mudrunguide.com readers as “Best Small OCR Series” in 2014 and noted as a “Regional Powerhouse” by Mudrunguide founder Brett Stewart in his Best OCR Events Period article.
The words that could best sum up the 2015 Spartan World Championship Beast held the weekend of Oct 3-4th are "spectacularly brutal". Spartan Race moved the venue for its World Championship race from Killington, Vermont to Squaw Valley near Lake Tahoe in California, the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics.
September 12, 2015, marked a very special day in the running, OCR and endurance communities. No singular event occurred that day. There were no purported “world championships” happening, and although plenty of races and events took place, it wasn’t about who made the podium.
A few years ago, I had cause to look up "torn calf muscle" on Google, and was more than a little irked to read it described as "a common injury among middle-aged weekend warriors". Well, f*ck you too, Google. Talk about literally adding insult to injury...
There is a new way to exercise and condition your body in the great outdoors which has been gaining popularity over the last couple of years. You may be a veteran of it, or completely unfamiliar with the term, depending on the circles in which you play. It's called rucking, a term that derives from the military slang for a rucksack (aka backpack). To ruck is also a verb meaning to move with a rucksack (usually with a significant amount of gear), and implies action, energy, and purpose.
This weekend, I went to the Irvine Lake Mud Run, a semi-annual local event in Southern California. This event makes no claim to having the best, newest, or nastiest obstacles. It doesn't have a huge amount of elevation gain, and there are no penalties for skipped or failed obstacles. There are few shirtless studs or their female counterparts in tight compression shorts and sports bras showing off their spectacular abs to onlookers. In fact, other than a single heat in the early morning, there were no timing chips at all. And boy, was it fun!