Obstacle Racing Goals
Obstacle course racing (OCR) is such as great activity in my opinion because it caters for people with vastly different motivations for coming to the events: from casual walkers, to thrill seekers, to teams, to casual runners, and even competitive runners.
I’m probably one of the 1% or less minority of the audience of obstacle races in NZ who wants to take performance in them seriously, but there’s a growing number of people I’m finding out about in NZ who do love the events so much that they’re training for them, and some amazing racers from NZ have even qualified and competed at world class races such as the Obstacle Course Race World Championships, Spartan Race World Championships, and World’s Toughest Mudder. Because I do love OCR, I sat down to think about my NZ racing performance goals for 2017…
2017 OCR Performance Goals
- Top 3 in Wairua Warrior Elite Wave
- Top 3 in Obstacle Run Elite Wave
- Top 3 in Loaded Tough Guy & Gal Challenge (and qualify for the Moa New Zealand Tough Guy & Gal Championship)
- Compete in Moa New Zealand Tough Guy & Gal Challenge Championship
- 1st place in McDonald’s Mud Muster
I want to race in the three obstacle races in NZ with elite waves: Wairua Warrior, Obstacle Run, and Tough Guy & Gal. I’d also like to race at my local obstacle race: the Mud Muster.
Although Tough Guy & Gal I’m a bit hesitant to call an elite race as…
- The course isn’t clear of casual runners as it is at Wairua Warrior and Obstacle Run’s elite waves
- Obstacle completion isn’t enforced as it is at Wairua Warrior and Obstacle Run’s elite waves. I believe that people at the top end of the Tough Guy & Gals ARE skipping obstacles and I’ve had a conversation with a runner behind me about the podium placing runner ahead of us being seen skipping obstacles (this isn’t a major issue for a fun mud run, but when there’s a Championship race attached there really needs to be an obstacle completion rule or penalty enforced)
Now, there may be a difference between the regular series races of Tough Guy & Gal and the Championship. The Championship may have a clear course for Championship runners only, and it may enforce obstacle completion… I’ve never run in the Championship yet.
- There aren’t any obstacles challenging upperbody strength such as monkey bars, wall climbs, rope climbs, weight carries, or etc (at least at the two venues I’ve participated at – Palmerston North and Wellington).
Being allowed to skip obstacles and still place plus a lack of obstacles challenging upperbody strength means Tough Guy & Gal is more of a runner’s race – which doesn’t play to my strengths, as I put a portion of my training time into training obstacles over training running every session.
But I don’t mean to get this post sidetracked ranting about Tough Guy & Gal, as these points aside it’s a superb event series and is the one I’ve recommended to a few friends to do as their first obstacle race, so back on topic:
2016 Race Results
The races I’d like to place in during 2017 I also raced in during 2016 and achieved:
- 2nd place in Wairua Warrior
- 1st place in Obstacle Run
- Top 10 in Loaded Tough Guy & Gal Challenge
- 2nd place in McDonald’s Mud Muster
I’d like to be able to build my fitness so I can repeat placings at Wairua Warrior, Obstacle Run and Mud Muster, and be able to perform better at Tough Guy & Gal.
2015 Race Results
- 3rd place in McDonald’s Mud Muster
- 3rd place in Loaded Tough Guy & Gal Challenge
Comparing 2016 to 2015, I improved in Mud Muster, but actually did worse in Tough Guy & Gal.
Here’s to doing better in all of them in 2017!
- Compete in a Spartan Race overseas.
I would love to be able to compete in a Spartan Race and attempt to qualify for the OCR World Championships, but financial constraints of raising a family mean I won’t be able to. Although if the opportunity does arise I’d still like to run in a Spartan Race as a stretch goal for 2017.
To achieve these goals the main fitness area I know I need to improve is my cardio capacity. From race experience so far, my lungs are the area that gives out first, before my muscles fatigue or my technical skills at obstacles fail. I’ll be focusing on improving this for 2017.
So there we go. My goals are now public, which is something I’ve chosen to do because putting them out there now I have more pressure to stick to achieving them. I’m looking forward to showing up at the next starting line fitter than I’ve ever been.
What’re your OCR goals?