A couple of years ago I ran my first obstacle course race (OCR), I'm not the best runner but the obstacles looked like a lot of fun; like an adult version of a kids’ soft play centre. I didn’t think anything looked impossible, mostly thanks to my bouldering experience. Plus I rationalised that you only need to run half a mile or less at a time to get to the next obstacle!
I did ok at the running (which was mostly slow jogging or walking). But I nailed the obstacles.
It felt a lot like climbing; the event didn’t feel competitive and it attracted a similarly great crowd. Everyone was really positive and supportive which made for a fantastic atmosphere.
And, just like climbing, the moment I was finished I was thinking about what I could do better next time (obviously the running!).
What makes Rat Race special?
Once you're in to OCR's you become aware that there are way more brands and way more events than you realised. These things are happening all over the country, it's a really fast growing, young sport.
I wanted to do better and there was so much to try. Bigger events, bigger obstacles, bigger challenges, awesome people... Yeah, I was hooked, just like climbing.
Last year I volunteered for Rat Race’s biggest obstacle course race, their 'Dirty weekend'. This is a 20 mile course with 200 obstacles, some of which are ridiculously huge. Think a pyramid of shipping containers stacked on top of each other five high or a massive treehouse type affair called Ewok Village.
I didn’t think I was ready to take part, so I volunteered my services to help run the event (Rat Race relies on volunteers who are usually rewarded with discounted tickets or merchandise). I had loads of fun and the day was full of positivity, smiles, high fives and hugs. But I didn’t get to play on any of the obstacles.
So I went home and booked a ticket for this year’s event straight away. I had to go back and conquer the course. I had a year to train. And what can’t you do in a year?
Thanks to climbing the obstacles hold no fear for me, but I definitely need to work on the running!