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Obstacle course racing has taken the world by storm. It has added a dynamic edge to the competitive world of fitness and running while still managing to appeal to all walks of life. From novice racers to the world’s most elite athletes, obstacle course racing has recently become one of the most popular global fitness trends with major events such as the Warrior, Tough Mudder and Spartan race being some of the most well-known.  But what exactly is obstacle course racing and why is it so popular?

Obstacle Course Racing is a competitive sport that demands each of it’s competitors to overcome various dynamic obstacles along it’s course. Typically, most competitors are required to run between 5km-21 km’s while using strength, agility, endurance and mental fitness to defeat the obstacles along the way. Some of the most popular obstacles include climbing over 2m walls; carrying 10kg sandbags for over 600 m; swinging across monkey bars; wading through thick mud pools and climbing through man-made structures that resemble something out of an Indiana Jones film.

While you may think these mud-filled, sand-bag carrying, wall-climbing races are a new phenomenon, they actually date back many years into history. The  origins of obstacle courses date back to as early as the 19th century when they were used as training devices to help build mental and physical fitness of soldiers, sailors and marines who were preparing for combat. Obstacle Course training then weaved its roots right through both world wars and straight into the 21st century.

Perhaps this is exactly what makes it so popular; not only does obstacle course racing challenge and thrill you, but it also takes you into a world where you get to be a marine or soldier for the day. Or perhaps it’s simply because it invites you to step out of a sometimes mundane exercise regime and into a spider web of physical challenges. Either way, we love Obstacle Course Racing, so much so that we have obstacle course training facilities at our gym. So if you’re raring to start training, here is a list of the upcoming obstacle course races in the Western Cape:

  • Daddy’s OCR: 10 September; Old Mac Daddy Luxury Trailer Park, Grabouw
  • IMPI Challenge: 19 & 20 November; Lievland Wine Estate, Stellenbosch
  • Fisherman’s Friend Strongman: 1 October; Faure Stadium, Paarl
  • Jeep Warrior Race : 22 October; Meerendal Wine Estate, Durbanville
  • The Grind: 03 December; Zone 7, Van Schoorsdrift Rd, Cape Town
  • Muddy Princess: 04 December; Slayley Wine Estate, Stellenbosch

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