FITNESS: Dirty sport serious fun

Media Scrapbook   |   Nov 25, 2013

mud

ELECTROCUTION, being submerged in ice water and crawling on your hands and knees through tar-like substances.

Think this sounds more like a form of torture than recreation? Then you’re probably not alone.

I participated in my first obstacle course event this month, and the first question most people asked when I them told about it was, ‘Why?’

And, to be honest, until I entered my friend and myself to celebrate her birthday, I thought the same.

But there I was, thigh-deep in mud, carrying tyres and hurdling (actually it was a lot less athletic and graceful than that) over huge obstacles throughout Glenworth Valley the weekend before last.

And, to tell you the truth, I had a great time.

It was different to anything I had ever done before. I enjoyed the camaraderie of doing it with my friend and we envied the larger groups who were doing it together – particularly when we were struggling to boost each other over some giant obstacle.

I think the obstacle course race appeals to a lot of people.

Obviously, you have to have a certain level of fitness but you don’t necessarily have to be super-fit to take part.

There were varying distances you could do and there was no onus on running the course. Many walked it, and you could opt out of any obstacle you weren’t comfortable with.

The only part I didn’t like was the electric shock tunnel – where you had to run (and run I did!) through what seemed like thousands of dangling electric-shock-giving strands. The only way I could describe it would be to compare it to that scene in Nemo where Nemo’s dad and Dory are trying to get through the jellyfish.

Mostly it was fun, particularly the giant hill-side slide into a dam where I felt like I aquaplaned for about 10metres.

Overall it took us nearly two hours and was a pretty good way to spend a rainy Sunday morning.

Obstacle course racing seems to be a huge trend at the moment.

It started out with just an event here and an event there but now there seems to be one on every weekend all over the country.

You can check out obstacleracers.com.au for more information.

Newcastle joined the obstacle course trend this year with the inaugural Surf N Turf event run by Newcastle Surf Club along the beach and through King Edward Park.

I didn’t get the chance to do it as it conflicted with other sporting commitments but I’ll be definitely putting it on the sporting challenges calendar for 2014.

It’s in May and you can already pre-register for the event.

I hear there are two great things about this event too – hot showers and no electrocution-style torture.

There are some other community events looming large.

Belmont is getting its own park run with the first one on December 7. You can find out more atparkrun.com.au/belmont.

If you are more comfortable in the water, then the Nobbys 2 Newcastle Ocean Swim is on December 14.

But, whatever it is you are doing this festive season, don’t let obstacles get in your way of health goals.

- by Renee Valentine, a qualified personal trainer and mother of two
reposted from the Newcastle Herald, 24 NOV 13

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