Imagine waking up on a Saturday morning and starting your day with 40 obstacles to climb, run, and lift yourself through. Last Saturday the Epic Series obstacle course race at Dusty Rhodes Park was all about pushing yourself to the limit.
For the Obstacle Course Racing or OCR community, these events are about much more than just the physical challenge.
Dan Hark, Owner of NXPT Fitness in Kearny Mesa had over 70 members from his gym participating. “This is just an exploding sport so it’s just a good way for us noncompetitive athletes to stay active and fit” says Hark. “I still get the butterfly feeling before an event and go I crush it.”
For others, like Aaron Fields-Cypress, it’s a chance to accomplish something they never thought possible. This is his first obstacle course race and he's using this experience to reach a bigger goal. “I’ve been watching American Ninja Warrior since I was a kid” says Fields-Cypress. “That’s one of my goals and this is one of my steps.”
OCR’s are more than just a trend and the world is taking notice. So what is it about these races that have entire families coming out week after week? For some, it’s a way to stay motivated. Epic Series Volunteer Chris Cornwell says, “It’s a personal challenge. I know people my age that I went to school with that are broken and I’m like you know what I’m still young. I want to keep doing this.”
There’s even a place for younger racers. Tim Brown and his seven year old son Jonas live down the street from the race site and noticed the obstacles on their way out for the day. “I don’t know if he’ll be able to pick up half the stuff” says Brown, “but it’s going to be fun to watch.”
Brown had some reservations, but once Jonas took off running and completed every obstacle, he knew this was something they would do again as a family.
This summer the OCR world will take center stage on Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge which will air on NBC network after American Ninja Warrior. I'm one of four hosts of the show along with former NFL linebacker Dhani Jones, retired MLS player Kyle Martino and Team Ninja Warrior's Evan Dollard. Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge premieres on June 13th.