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“Tribal Running” and other obstacle racing news

28 Jun 2012

It’s no surprise that most news stories keep reflecting on the popularity of obstacle races. But recent news also highlight Spartan Death Race results, new local races, and a thoughtful reflection on the Tough Mudder.

Are you a long-time runner thinking about taking on your first obstacle race? Are you a newbie trying to pick your first obstacle race?

If you answered yes to either, then you may want to read Tim Licciardello’s piece on “tribal running” — covering the color run to Death Race and examples in between. This is probably my personal favorite news headline this week, with Michael Schratter’s essay on the Tough Mudder a close second.

 

National

Motivation Monday: Mud Run Craze
Remember when you were a kid and you had boundless energy, running around outside and getting muddy and you didn’t care? At the end of the day, you’d fall asleep fast from sheer exhaustion. How can you bring back those carefree days of being a kid? Try a mud run! Mud runs are growing in popularity because they bring back the kid in you. They are like adult playgrounds where you can get dirty with your friends, do a tough workout-and feel like a warrior when you finish.

51 (out of 344) finish Spartan Death Race
The 344 participants competed in a 50-mile obstacle course in the hills of Vermont. Challenges included a 25-mile hike; carrying a kayak, water-filled plumbing pipes and a tractor tire above their heads; carrying a 50-pound bag of cement up a hill and a log chop. Mental challenges such as a 250-question exam with brain twisters made the race more than physically taxing. After carrying a log stump up a mountain, competitors received a clue, then had to make an origami swan…The event ended with a two-mile log roll in a pasture with high weeds that included pine trees and stumps sprinkled throughout the area.

Tough Mudder forces us to peer past the predictable (essay)
It’s two days after the weekend and I still can’t walk like a normal person. My knees buckle on stairs and when I sit in a chair my thighs burn viciously. Crippled but alive, I survived Tough Mudder. The motivation for taking part in such a grueling test of endurance may speak to an emptiness in our comfortable urban existence. There is something primal missing in our lives.

Tough Mudder offers a glimpse of the intense focus and vitality we have lost as we hunch over our computers, tapping out status updates on Facebook. When was the last time you were covered in mud and sweat, and ready to collapse if it were not for your friends encouraging you to continue? Tough Mudder is all people finding their edge and peering past the predictable.

Warrior Dash not a typical 5k
Warrior Dashes have quickly become the recreational choice for adventure-seeking athletes of all abilities looking for alternatives to the classic 5K race. Nearly 500,000 people participated in the extreme races last year, making Warrior Dashes one of the world’s fastest-growing running series. This year, Red Frog Events expects 750,000 people to try one of the 49 races the company will put on in Australia, Canada and the United States…”The Warrior Dash was created to give people an experience they will never forget,” said Kendra Alley, of Red Frog Events. “It’s a day where participants get to challenge themselves, be active and get muddy tackling the course, then celebrate their accomplishments drinking beer with friends and enjoying live music.”

Local

First Dakota Mud Run promises ‘family fun in the mud and sun’
The Dakota Mud Run features a two-mile course, with many of the more interesting events in Butler Park, including a kids course, human-powered go-karts, tac ball arena, jousting pit, bungee run, king of the hill, an obstacle course as well as a 50×100 ft. mud pit…According to event creator and organizer Kim Moir of Hot Springs, “This is not a race; this is a day of fun in the mud and sun for the whole family.”

OC Moms takle Irvine Lake Mud Run with style
Over 8,000 people registered to run the 3rd annual Summer of Mud (which is actually the ninth mud run held at Irvine Lake, since they have them during spring break as well)…This year’s course was a little more than a 5k – 3.8 miles to be exact – and challenged runners with obstacles besides the mud pits, including walls to climb and nets to crawl under…In an effort to establish a little courage, we decided to don amusing costumes to the race. We wore hot pink shorts, bright-striped tanks and pink-striped knee-high socks – topped off with a hula skirt and fairy wings.

Mud just part of the fun of the Extreme Run at Three Sisters Park
The Extreme Run at Three Sisters Park on Saturday was the first of its kind in central Illinois, said organizer Wayne Lamb. A 3-mile trek through obstacles ranging from a 100-foot long slip and slide to a 200-foot mud crawl had participants tired and dirty but definitely satisfied by the time they reached the finish line…Through community support and a lot of planning, Lamb and Jon Bergen transformed Three Sisters Park into a 3-mile obstacle course. They installed rope walls, created a mud pit and a pool at the end of the race for runners to splash and wade through before finally reaching the finish line.

Training/Prep

Try tribal running this summer in many forms
Great article that provides an overview and progression of races…By the thousands, athletes gather to take the challenge of a new breed of races that range from novelty fun runs to hardcore Navy Seal worthy events. From The Color Run to the Spartan Death Race, there is something for everyone. Want to try it? Here’s a primer based upon my experience starting with the easier to the, well, craziest.

Hitting the Warrior Dash? Be Prepared
It’s not going up walls and jumping over fire that gets you. It’s those hills. Normally reserved for skiers, the hills are where the pack thins from those who trained hard leading up to the event and those more interested in the beer afterward…find the biggest hill and run up it. More than once. Take it or leave it, but I wish I’d done more hills before last year’s race…Another tip: Bring extra shoes. Last year people were able to donate their mud-filled kicks, and I’m not sure I would have wanted to keep mine anyway.

 

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