So you wanna run an obstacle race? Here's a few tips.
1. Get an awesome team.
Find a Team who not only competes at your level but also, makes you laugh throughout the course.
2. Wear something 'fun'.
Be it a themed outfit (we've kinda gone for headbands and neon last couple years), a costume, matching headbands... idk, whatever it may be! But something kinda fun, kitschy and cohesive amongst your team makes the entire experience a bit more enthusiastic.
3) Bring a bag holder/photographer/cheering squad.
Praise be to Jay for coming to my second annual Rugged Maniac race and not only holding a lot of our bags but following us and taking these awesome photos to boot - while shouting praise the entire time (thanks to Chandler for the support too!).
4) Bring clothes (and especially shoes) that you expect to be destroyed with mud.
I've been able to wash most of the muddy evidence out of my attire but a little bit of it lingers in this light-brown sheath of a stain. If you are upset by that, then you certainly didn't do your homework.
5) Be proud of YOUR body.
|^I felt strong that day after months of weights & runs.|
Oldest message in the book but gosh, it's easy to play the body compare game no matter where you go. But in this race especially, I feel that it's important to appreciate YOUR body. It's getting you over those hurdles, it's army crawling you in a river of mud under barbed wire, it's leaping over flames. That's you, baby. Appreciate that. Some things are more important than thigh gap and a lot of things taste/feel better than skinny feels. Like body strength for one.
6) Lend a helping hand. Take a helping hand.
Throughout the course your teammates (or your competition) may need an extra yank to scale a fence or to make it through the rope course. Make sure you are one of the ones extending it out. As well as one of the ones taking one offered to you. It takes a village.
7) Cheer people on.
Your team. Other teams. People looking like they're struggling. Hoot, holler & cheer because you're nice like that.
8) Sign-Up First. Then get in shape.
If you're hesitant to do it, nothing will motivate you like paying the race fee and having a few months to get ready for it. Make that your dangling carrot!
9) Test yourself.
At one point during the race we had to scale some bleachers with sand bags over our backs. They had 25-lb ones for the 'girls' and 50-lb ones for the 'boys'. I had been lifting like a maniac last summer and so I didn't even hesitate to grab the 50-lb bag. That obstacle was hard but I powered right on through it and as I was done, I basically envisioned that I was a cool guy walking away from an explosion.
10) Make it a family affair.
^I love the pic of my dad and me jumping the fire. I'm pretty sure our body language and expressions are identical. haha.
This last year (my 2nd Rugged Maniac), my cousins & Dad also decided to participate. They weren't in my wave but I got to see them start and hang out with them after. It was so funny to have some family time at such a weird event. And that ice cold beer we had after, covered in mud was quite tasty.
11) Recognize your milestones.
^Completing this properly was the highlight of my race.
When I first did the race in 2013, I was okay but certainly not overwhelmed with my performance. In much better shape in 2014, I took a lot of pride in my own efforts in becoming stronger. The monkey bar rings over water were so, so easy to me and I felt so strong. I couldn't have done half the stuff I did in 2014 in 2013. And that took work. And it felt great.
12) Don't wear your wedding ring.
Don't worry, no one will be hitting on you during that mud-filled race. But if you really need to show everyone you're married 24/7, rock a decoy ring! Don't risk that pretty little thing in all that mud. Seriously. So many people were crying over lost jewelery.
13) Go for it.
You're there to have fun, get dirty, test yourself and celebrate your strength. Swoop over every obstacle you can, take note at ones you are struggling with and move on fast from a fall or a minor setback. Just go for it.
14) Come pretty. Leave ugly.
I'm one of those girls who has more fun if I'm 'done-up' in a way that I like. Even for a race, I feel a bit better if I try, in someway, to touch myself up for the day. So I like to come to the race showered, done-up a bit (nothing crazy) and with my hair in place. And then, after all that effort, it's fun to watch it all go to pot as you complete the course.
15) Enjoy your reward.
Mingle with pals after, sip that ice cold beer, take group photos. Nothing feels or tastes better than a treat after exercise.
Have you ever done an obstacle course? Any other tips to add?