Obstacle Races are an adventure activity I share with my youngest son’s partner Jodi and we have been sharing these special activities for a couple of years. I did my first obstacle race “Warrior Dash” in May 2013 with a couple of girlfriends. Though we all thoroughly enjoyed the experience they have both declined to do any others. I am the precious one who doesn’t like getting her hair wet and doesn’t like being dirty however all of that goes out the window when enjoying an Obstacle Race.
As to why Jodi and I have been bitten by the bug and love Obstacle Races, you have to look beyond the competing as it is so much more. Obstacle Races attract competitors from all walks of life, all ages, men and women equally irrespective of size or fitness. Each race we have competed in to date we have been humbled by the generosity of other competitors. There is no winner just people out to have fun and get down and dirty and dirty you certainly get. Strangers have no hesitation is offering a hand, leg up, encouragement or just simply to push you over an obstacle you are struggling with. No angst and no aggravation just everyone having a go with lots of fun and laughter.
Obstacle races are basically a sport in which a competitor either individually or as part of a team walks or runs and must complete challenges in the form of obstacles along the trail. Mud is an integral part of the adventure and the races are designed to result in both mental and physical challenge to the competitor. Obstacles can include but are not limited to climbing over walls, carrying heavy objects often up steep terrain, traversing bodies of water, crawling under barbwire often through mud, jumping over fire, water slides, Monkey bars and climbing cargo nets. Some obstacles are similar to those used in military training whilst others are unique to obstacle racing. Most capital cities in Australia have several obstacle races each year. Such races vary in distance to traverse and the number and style of obstacles, but all are designed to test endurance, strength, dexterity and speed.
The minimum obstacle race we have competed in has been 5km with about ten obstacles to 12km with from memory 30 obstacles. I always baulk at the two sided cargo nets that are attached to a high narrow timber rail as you have to climb up, lie down and balance on the narrow timber support and manipulate your body over to begin the descend. I simply don’t like heights and haven’t since I was a small child. I always baulk but manage to complete this obstacle after lots of encouragement from Jodi. I like to think though that I am getting better at handling them though. I have learnt to enjoy the water slides, some of which have ended up in dirty dams. If the obstacle involves electric shocks I choose to walk around these ones as they normally follow an ice pit which is a deliberate ploy to heighten the sensation of the electric shock. My favourite obstacles are crawling through the mud pits especially under cargo nets or barbed wire. If at the end you aren’t covered in mud from the top of your head down, you haven’t completed all of the obstacles.
Miss Muddy was first held in Perth at Ascot Race Course last year but we both chose not to participate as thought an obstacle race designed for “Women Only” wouldn’t be tough or challenging another. This year however we decided to test the water as it was the first obstacle race we had the chance to do for 2016 and both very pleased we did.
First up the best feature was the location being within walking distance of my house, normally we have a long drive into the hills and several hundred kilometres. What was pleasing to see was the variety of women competing in respect to age and size and fitness levels. So many women out getting dirty and having fun. It contained all of the usual obstacles and a couple of extra fun ones. Snow ball fights with Jelly like small balls was fun, however perhaps that was just Jodi and I as I think the intention was simply to wade through the jelly pit. We loved the water cannon which shot coloured water at us. The mud wasn’t as muddy as normal so we needed to roll around to get dirty and totally covered. Nice short course of around 5kms and a couple of hours of immense fun. Will definitely do Miss Muddy again next year as it was fun.
I encourage everyone to have a go at an obstacle race as you may surprise yourself and find your inner child as you roll around in the mud. Obstacle races are for everyone irrespective of whether you are young or mature like me, fit or unfit as everyone is there to help you get through. Refer to the attached link for a calendar of upcoming Obstacle Races Australia wide. http://www.obstacleracers.com.au/race-calendar