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Why Obstacle Racing Matters

13 Jul 2011

If you were one of those kids that loved playing outside and getting dirty, then you may be one of the near three million Facebook fans thinking about taking on an obstacle race.

What’s the reason behind obstacle racing’s growth in popularity? Why are sporting events like the Spartan Race growing in popularity?

There’s some research on fitness and sports participation that can shed light on this. According to the Physical Activity Council (PAC), American consumers are planning to “get back out there and get off the sidelines.” More than 30% of consumers plan to travel to take part in sports/recreation activities and an overlapping 25% plan to increase spending in “pay to play” fees. Drawing from contestants on a nationwide basis, the obstacle races may represent an activity consumers plan travel for and devote “pay to play” fees to.

Based on a first quarter consumer study conducted by Leisure Trends, sports participation has seen a peak on Saturday & Sunday. Although many outdoor sports including camping, hiking, and backpacking are typically enjoyed on weekends, obstacle racing events are usually held on Saturday & Sunday. The Spartan Race and other obstacle courses are some of the several sports in which aspiring athletes have increased their participation during weekends. An estimated one million contestants can take on an obstacle race in a single year.

Also from the same Leisure Trends report, “Americans who participate in individual outdoor sports are very social. Their sports may be focused on self, but when done they want to share their experiences. Think of the fisherman telling you about the big one that got away.” Or the fellow obstacle athlete sliding down a steep hill.

Departing from what market research may have to say, if you’ve completed an obstacle race or even thought about it, you have your own distinct reasons.

Why do you decide to train hard only to endure the challenges of an obstacle race?

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