I wish for some organised chaos!

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Happy after finishing 6K of mud, obstacles and other people!

I don’t care what anyone says, no one looks glamorous covered in mud, jumping over fire pits while trying to keep those heavy weights called feet from hitting the flames. Surely all those pictures used to sell those obstacle races are all stock pics! I certainly didn’t feel that glamorous when I got to the end. I was just happy to finish, in one piece.

So now I’m back into running (and would certainly give it a much better go than I did previously), I looked to what obstacle races are around. It certainly has grown into it’s own niche where you can run in mud, away from zombies, or even have colour thrown at you and while some take it incredibly serious, for me it’s just another way I can enjoy running.

In a heavily featured calendar, there is a fantastic race that I had my heart set on down here in Australia – True Grit – which is a military inspired obstacle challenge supporting Australian Soldiers by raising money for Legacy and the Commando Welfare Trust. This is definitely the obstacle race to run if you were only going to run one a year. 30+ obstacles over 10-12K. Challenge accepted!

Unfortunately this is the weekend before I fly out to participate in the Disneyland Half Marathon, and I just can’t risk getting injured. So while disappointed, it certainly is one to put on the calendar for 2015. I’ve also signed up to volunteer (not too many are chosen – so fingers crossed!).

While it may be smart of me to avoid obstacles this year, I do recommend it as a great way to get into racing or keep your enjoyment level if you find running kms on the road incredibly boring. There are some tips I found helpful for a comfortable obstacle experience:

  • Old shoes are the best: Thinking of throwing out those trainers? Keep them to the side, they make good use at events like this and if they survive the run – you can leave them behind and they will generally be donated to charity.
  • Be careful of those around you: It’s more for your own safety. For some reason there are people who think that they are invincible at these races and generally come crashing down fast & hard. Just make sure that they aren’t around you when they fall (from the net, tightrope or over the hurdles).
  • Take the long way around: It’s awesome that the “quickest” way through the course is straight through that mud pit, but really you need to think about what works for you. Do you want to keep your shoes and not worry about spending the next 10 mins trying to climb out of the mud? Taking the long way around may not seem so bad after all.
  • Tighter is better: Everyone looks like a statue of art when covered in mud, so thick or thin the only way to go at these events that have mud, water and dirt is with tight clothing. Otherwise your clothes will be working against you.
  • Enjoy! My feet were wet, shrivelling and blistering up yet I still laughed and made it to the end – including jumping over the fire pits. There’s something about accomplishing the small wins and if that means making it to the end with blisters the size of potatoes then so be it!

QOD: What obstacle race have you ran in, or which one are you planning to run? 

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