You’ve probably seen the ads in your FaceBook feed for Spartan Race, Rugged Maniac and Mud Hero and thought to yourself “what kind of crazy person does that?”. Or maybe you thought “Hmmm…that looks like fun…but I could never do that”. And then maybe you have a friend or two that has ran one of those races and posted some pics and went on an on about how much fun they had and you started to think…maybe, just maybe I could do that too.
And the answer is YES! Yes you can do that too! And no, people that run those races are NOT crazy. We just like to challenge ourselves in new ways and have fun while we do it.
There’s something so fun and freeing about playing in the mud and climbing over walls and under barbed wire. When you watch kids play they are so active but have so much fun, exercise isn’t work to them. Somewhere along the line we forgot that it’s supposed to be fun and as adults we make it into something that is just another thing on our to do list. Obstacle course races put the fun back in fitness!
I remember my first race, standing at the start line I was petrified. I was surrounded by people of all shapes and sizes, some were nervous too, some had crazy huge smiles and were jumping up and down in their zone. As we started running it was a bit crazy but then we all spread out and something amazing happened…people were encouraging one another. If someone was struggling with an obstacle another person stopped to help or offer some tips. If someone was standing to the side trying to catch their breath people stopped to ask if they were ok and yelled out encouragement to them. When I finished that race I remember thinking “I’ve found my people and I want to do more of these”. That race pushed me outside of my comfort zone and left me wanting more.
I always tell people that the OCR community is full of the most caring and supportive people I have ever met. They will pick you up when you fall down and encourage you to push on. They will not let you quit and will challenge you to push you to try things that you thought you couldn’t do and then celebrate with you after you do them. They will give you tips and advice and share stories and offer you mustard packs or their last electrolyte tab if you’re cramping on the course. You’re never alone when you run an OCR, you are a part of a community of people who accept you for who you are and love you for your crazy.
No one ever believes me that complete strangers will help pull you out of mud and boost you over walls until they experience it for themselves. Last year I decided that I would run the Calgary Spartan Sprint with a group of women that had never ran one before but had always wanted to. We trained together and we ran together and it was amazing! And every single one of them wants to run another OCR. They discovered how strong they really are and how amazing the OCR community is.
“I loved running the race with a team and finishing together” – Tera
“Thank you for making the Spartan Race so enjoyable! I really had a lot of fun! I pushed myself out of my comfort zone, and really enjoyed seeing what I excelled at, and what I need to work on” – Claudette
“There was so much that I loved. So much that I had no idea I was capable of doing. I am so exited to give it a go again next year. I may even go for a Trifecta!” – Shana
If you’re thinking that maybe these races look like fun and you want to learn more or maybe you’re already racing and want to find some like minded people like you then join my FaceBook community here – Ladies who obstacle course race.
I created an online community of women who are running or want to run OCR’s so that we could support and encourage one another. We share tips and stories and I run monthly challenges to keep you motivated and training even in the off season.
Have you discovered the amazing community of OCR? Leave a comment and tell me about it!