I am (relatively) old. I am slow. I have a surgically repaired broken ankle and a torn meniscus. I am also an OCR Athlete. And it’s the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. I tell people all the time, “Just try Obstacle Course Racing, it can change your life - It changed mine.”
For the first time ever, the OCR World Championships organized groups of “Ruckers” in cities all over the country to participate in a “Rucksgiving” where people would carry food, warm clothes, and care packages in back packs and bags on the Saturday after Thanksgiving and give back to their communities by donating these items to shelters and homeless people on the streets.
It’s rather hard to believe that BattleFrog’s first race ever was staged in Atlanta less than six months ago. This was only their sixth Event, yet they already have a level of professionalism that rivals other race series that have been doing this for years.
The MIAMI Mudders started as a lunch time running group to stay in shape for the Navy’s Physical Fitness Test. All of the members were part of the crew of the USS MIAMI and after a while, the group decided to test ourselves by signing up for a Tough Mudder. The nine guys that competed that challenge were the “original” MIAMI Mudders and a couple of us “caught the OCR bug”. Read about how Bone Frog Challenge really brought the team together.
The final stop on the Spartan Race Triple Crown took place outside of Dallas Texas. This year's race came earlier than last year’s “Winter Wonderland” which was considered by many to be the coldest Spartan of 2013. Spartan split the races up by staging the 13.2 mile Beast on Saturday and the 4.8 mile Sprint on Sunday. Many came out to try to claim a piece of the Triple Crown prizes.
We ran slow. We took a lot of time. We were afraid that we’d miss the cutoff and be removed from the course, but the folks from Tough Mudder assured us that they were there with us until the triumphant end. As we worked our way toward Electroshock Therapy we were dumbfounded to see a vast array of Staff people, volunteers, and fellow racers who hung around and waited on us so that they could cheer us on and encourage us as we crossed that Finish Line. It was a beautiful and moving experience.
The Bi-annual running of Savage Race Georgia is rapidly becoming a tradition for OCR athletes who want to run in a truly fun and challenging race that seems to test all facets of a person’s athletic abilities and mental toughness. This past race did not disappoint anyone who was lucky enough to be there.
The use of Trekking Poles has been increasing in the hiking world over the past few years, and is recently becoming more prevalent in Extreme Fitness Racing (Death Races, Catamount Games, etc,), Rucking, and now Obstacle Course Racing. Of course, a “normal” OCR doesn't give much opportunity for Trekking Poles to be of much assistance when you’re mostly running. But in this past weekend’s Virginia Spartan Super held at the Wintergreen Ski Resort, it was recommended that I use a pair to assist in my stability and exertion that would be required with the incredibly steep uphill and downhill grades I’d be facing, and I could expect very little running to actually be possible. Other Obstacle Course Races with hellacious grades to negotiate (like Vermont) might be good opportunities to have Trekking Poles provide assistance.
Mud Ninja is a small, local race that offers just about everything that the “Big Boys” of OCRs have to offer without the exorbitant prices and huge crowds that can make running in national races a bit of a headache at times.
BattleFrog’s second event picked right up where the Atlanta event left off last month. There was no chance of them experiencing a Sophomore Slump in Carolina this Saturday. A 15k Obstacle Course Race that is designed by and operated by US Navy Seals, this is a world class OCR that offers Cash Payouts for the 15k Elite Heat Runners, a 5k event, and a 1k Fun Run OCR for children. With fitness competitions in the Festival Area, inflatable bouncy play zones, great music blaring from the PA’s, and Seal Team demonstrations throughout the day along with helicopter fly-overs, even when you weren't running you were having fun and staying fully entertained.