How about OCR's (Obstacle Course Races)? Have you ever done one?
I have wanted to do an OCR for a long time, but have been slightly afraid of what might happen to me. I am, after all, a very well-decorated (and documented) klutz. I wasn't afraid of the obstacles, but was fearful of getting injured.
All fears aside, when the opportunity to participate in the No-Man's Land Trench Run, I was intrigued. My husband is a retired Lieutenant Colonel from the US Air Force. A few years ago, he did an 18-month stint at Camp Dodge (Johnston, IA), and he received a "heads-up" a few months ago about the Trench Run and an invitation to participate.
We arrived on the scene around 6:30AM, got our packets, and had plenty of free time before the 7:30AM start time.
|Myself and the husband...awaiting the start|
|The start line had a big American flag that we ran under|
There were no mile markers, but I had my GPS watch to help me gauge my whereabouts. The atmosphere was pretty battleground-like.....there was an intermittent helicopter overhead (rustling the leaves of the trees) and periodic speakers were blasting (simulated) machine gun fire. There also were several smoke grenades throughout the course, so it really felt like a combat zone.
|A map of the course|
Not too far down the road was the next challenge...sand bags! I think the bags were about 20 pounds. Although not heavy, it was very awkward to sling over my shoulder and run with it in tow. I wound up speed-walking most of the loop before handing over my bag to the next person waiting in line.
|I couldn't quite find a comfortable way to hoist the bag|
|Lots of smoke grenades everywhere|
|Just after the culvert and the creek crossing|
The final 1.5 mile seemed to take forever, though. All of the obstacles were done, and the terrain was pretty level, but it was a long straight stretch to get to the finish line. And, by this time, there were more walkers than runners. I honestly do not know what I prefer: seeing the finish line (even if it's way off in the distance) or having a lot of curves so the finish line is out of sight until right before you reach it. I just know that I always seem to wish for which ever option I'm not currently experiencing.
|photo credit - Linda Burger|
|Not too muddy for the wear|
Overall, I thought this was a great event! Actually, it was a great way to showcase what kind of conditioning the soldiers and guardsmen/women have to undergo in training. I didn't think the obstacles were difficult (probably because I do a lot of cross-training), but I can see where they would be a challenge for the people who were not in condition for them. I really thought all the smoke grenades and sound effects were great enhancements to the atmosphere. I kind of felt like I was on the set of "Forrest Gump."
|After the race|
|Swag included t-shirts and water bottles|
|Hello compression sleeves and my comfy Oofoos!|
Have you done an OCR event? Did you obediently do all the obstacles, or were you allowed to skip them? Did you do any specific training, or just wing it?
I'm linking up with Deb (from Deb Runs) for the Wednesday Word...which, ironically, is Physical! How appropriate and timely! Head over and see what's being talked about!