Aug 06, 2019

by Team Snapbac

Humans have always had a love affair with pushing their body to its limits and seeing just what it is capable of. We started at the beginning of time and as civilizations grew, we made these physical tests into sports with the ancient Greek Olympic games, gladiator challenges, the Mayan’s pitz and numerous other often death defying tasks. Today we may have set out a few more rules to avoid death and moderate injury, however we still love a risky sporting endeavor. American football, rugby, hockey and lacrosse pit man against man in a display of strength and skill that we just can’t get enough of, however our true adrenaline seeking modern day athletic warriors have taken to a greater challenge. We have decided the truest test of our prowess is man against elements, man made or natural. Watch Hawaiian sled surfers go flying across a sea of gravel down the side of a volcano at times reaching more than 50 mph. Or hold your breath as a teeny tiny surfer glides across a 25 foot wall of water.

Lately, our favorite man versus sport is the obstacle course race. Why do we like this so much? Because it leaves you constantly guessing, and it’s downright fun. For the runners out there who want to really put their endurance and speed to the test, the obstacle course race, OCR, has become the hottest thing around. While not necessarily being a new concept, the World OCR has set parameters for mud and obstacle racing and given it a place among the modern challenges of today’s athlete. Many claim official obstacle racing started with the U.K.’s Tough Guy race, which they claimed to be the ‘toughest race in the world.’ Beginning in 1987, it continues today and every January they challenge athletes to overcome a whole set of common phobias such as fire, electricity, water, heights and claustrophobia.

Today, you don’t have to travel to Britain to challenge yourself. OCRs are all over the world and continue to rise in popularity and number. Look into the Spartan race or the Tough Mudder for international races or find ones closer to home like the Savage Race, Rugged Maniac, BoneFrog Challenge or the Warrior Dash for beginners. They all guarantee to get you muddy, sweaty, beaten, bruised, exhausted and challenged to the point of breaking, and each one will leave you hugely satisfied when you complete it!

Get ready to hurdle your body over walls, trudge through swampy pits, swing from ropes and bars over pits of water, swim through choppy seas, jump through barriers of fire, carry or drag enormous objects, crawl under barbed wire and come up against numerous challenges that pull out your inner Navy Seal. Why do we love it? For the athlete, it’s a constant source of excitement, challenge and an excellent way to combine serious athletic skill with your inner Peter Pan. For the observer, we get to watch a modern day gauntlet run! Who doesn’t love that!