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The Elements OCR 2018

by Alexandra Parren

obstacle course running

Continuing on from last year when I decided to give running and Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) a go – I can definitely confirm I’m addicted!  Last year I did 9 OCRs and 2 running events.

This year so far I have taken part in 3 long distance runs, 6 OCRs, and one 5k relay race (and it's only June!)

My latest OCR was at the end of May. It was an event called The Elements. This consists of an 8k course and you enter how many laps you want to complete.  I entered 2 laps with my friend Lisa.  I’m the first to admit I’m not a fan of lapped courses, once I have done one lap of something I get that dreaded feeling of ‘I’ve got to do this all over again’.  But The Elements looked fun so I was looking forward to it.

Our wave time was 12pm, which was a bit later than what we normally enter.  It also felt like one of the hottest days of the year. 

Just before 12pm we gathered round by the starting pen for our race briefing and then off we went.  We started on a downhill which is never fun because you know what goes down must come up.

Before a race I always say to Lisa that I am going to make sure I attempt every obstacle.  As I have only been doing OCRs for a year I am still new to them and learning how to complete them.  The only obstacle I didn’t attempt was an inverted wall up into a ladder down.  I’m not a fan of heights and the gap between the wall and the ladder looked a bit too much for me.  Plus there was a queue of people waiting to get on it, so instead of waiting in the hot sun I ran round this one.

The obstacles I did complete were muddy trenches, 4 ft walls, 6 ½ foot walls,  7 ft walls, inverted walls, a maze, scramble nets, monkey bars, sternum checkers, Irish table, dragons back, slides, magic carpets, bucket carry, Frisbee throw, tyre drag, cargo net, sandbag carry, water drum carry, river wading, and traverse walls.

obstacle course racing

Coming to the end of the first lap was tough because we knew we had to do all of that again.  We agreed that we made a pact that no matter how we felt after the first lap we would be definitely completing a second lap.  So before we knew it we were over the 4 ft wall and heading to our second lap. 

We passed (and were overtaken) by a lot of runners who were completing 4 laps and more that day.  Hats off to them that must have been tough for them, but they still looked more comfortable than me. 

mud run fun racing

My training consists of a lot of strength work, I now realise I need to add more cardio into my weekly routine. 

We finished the course in 3 hours and I was very happy with what I had achieved.  I managed to complete those obstacles with no real trouble and despite the heat it was a comfortable run.

About the author: Emma Vincent is a personal trainer and Sundried ambassador.

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