I was socializing after a recovery meeting in 2015 when some friends told me about the obstacle course race they had recently completed as a couple. As they spoke of climbing over walls and crawling in the mud, all I could think was, “Why haven’t I done this?” Flash forward a year and some months later and I’m not only an OCR fan, I’ve become a die-hard fanatic. While I know it’s not for everyone, OCR and I seem like a natural fit for a few reasons.
First and foremost, it’s an athletic event in which you don’t necessarily have to be an athlete. Don’t get me wrong; the sport’s top performers are unquestionably elite athletes, and watching them race or reading about their course times can be quite intimidating. Fortunately, there’s also room on race day for people like me. I’ve always been active but never extremely athletic. So, like many others, I’m less focused on competing and pretty much satisfied with completing. I know some people laugh at my finisher metals as if they’re nothing more than a participation ribbon. Still, as Spartan has rightfully positioned it for years, “You’ll know at the finish line (whether you earned it).” I can confidently say I have.
The second reason obstacle racing just seems right for me is because I’m kinda a big kid. I never grew out of the climbing, hanging, crawling, and getting muddy phase. Unfortunately, adulthood has presented less and less opportunities to act like a neanderthal. So, OCR seems like an excusable platform to fill that void.
The third and probably most significant reason I love the races I’ve run (Spartan, Savage, and BattleFrog) as well as those I still plan to (Tough Mudder, Warrior Dash, CTG, etc.), is because they embody my family motto. You see, as I hinted to in the opening line of this post and in the site’s about section, I’ve gone through some serious…mud. Dump big buckets of temptation and stupidity into a giant pit of weakness and there you’ll find the filthiest pool of mud and muck into which any person has ever been dumb enough to do a cannonball. Not only was I in that pit, I also drug my family through it. Many assumed we wouldn’t survive it…not together, but we did. Now, if you ask me, Brooke (my wife of 15+ years) Gavin (age 10), or even Blake (age 8) what our family motto is, we’ll all tell you without blinking: “Coleys never quit!”
Not only am I not ready to quit running, climbing, or crawling any time soon, I’m really ramping it up this year. Check back from time-to-time to read my muddy and sometimes bloody adventures. You may just find out that OCR is perfect for you too!