Blogging behind the scenes, work on ‘Project Obstacle Race’ has been involved in paper course racing at this point – ie a lot of writing things on paper to figure out the reality of actually doing it.
The next step is to get a course concept together. Recently it’s been coming up with obstacle ideas, but then needing to get them costed, to figure out how we would get the obstacle to the spot on the course (it’s very steep in parts so access is an issue. Yes the course is purposely going straight up the steep parts… look forward to lots of hill running, or rather hill-crawling-on all-fours because it’s too steep and muddy to stand!). After doing this, I see why many races around NZ have relatively easy obstacles (compared to what I see overseas), as it’s less cost, less planning, less testing etc than building giant frames or digging large holes of water into the ground. But the concept with this race is to offer an unique experience, such as having a shorter distance course but with more obstacles along the way. Some obstacles will also require teamwork, encouraging you to bond with your fellow runners to beat the course rather than beat each other. Sharing and successfully completing a challenging experience with friends or strangers is something memorable that an obstacle course event can create. (While the main race will emphasise running against the course and not against each other, there will also be an elite option for those wishing to run against the course and against each other for time – the elites will require not only running fitness but also strength and skill as they’ll have to overcome obstacles solo that’re designed for two or more normal people to do).
It’ll be a couple of months away to the event announcement hopefully, as then work can start on actual obstacle course racing rather than paper course racing. We’re looking at a 2017 event date, and it’s all very exciting to be a race that will give participants a tough and fun experience they won’t forget and something different than other races in NZ are doing.