On August 30th, 1997 I was honorable discharged from the United States Marine Corps (USMC) having conducted myself with the appropriate behavior to earn the Devil Dog moniker. Looking up at the boots hanging from Camp Pendleton phone lines, I thought to myself, i’ll keep my boots but from this day forth I will jog no more forever! I have kept that promise to myself. I don’t jog or run, I play sports, lift weights, and adventure. However, a few years ago the allure of the obstacle course run called The Warrior Dash caught my eye and a buddy and I ran the course. I justified this to myself by splitting hairs between jogging and adventure racing. I also reasoned that any activity followed by beer, turkey legs, and live music doesn’t qualify as exercise. I was right, these races are more of an experience than exercise.
The greatest part about these races are that they are competing against each other to provide a unique experience. I love when service providers compete! It drives down cost and encourages innovation, creating many flavors of racing: Lets look at few:
Obstacle Course Races: – Run a little bit, conquer and obstacle, party until you can’t anymore. My kind of play. Warrior Dash – 5k, 12 obstacles, St.Jude Spartan Races – Different challenges starting at 3 miles and 15 obstacles Tough Mudder – 10-12 miles, 24+ obstacles, Wounded Warrior Project
Iron Man Races: – 1.2 mile swim / 56 mile bike / 13.1 mile run – Yeah, not enough play for me, but better than jogging. Iron Man – World wide Savage Man Tri – U.S.
Stage Course Races: – These fall into the “I’m a freak category” – but still better than jogging. The Grand to Grand Ultra – Is a 160 miles, 6 stage, 7 days, Self-Support Foot Race Quest Stage Race – 75+ miles, cross country, Self Support Hood To Coast – Popular here in Oregon, 199 mile relay
Adventure Races – Combination of mountaineering, hiking, running, swimming, rappelling, rafting, you name it. I’m going to try one of these. Although a little long for my tastes, they incorporate bad ass adventure like 250 foot rappels. AXS Moab – Will report this to you next year!
Obstacle races are a blast! Fun, fast, and challenging. Definitely try one. Iron Man and Stage Course racing are too close to running for exercise (and fanatical) to pull me in, but I know a few people who do them and they love them. As for Adventure Racing, i’m putting my team together now for next years races. Take action and sign up for a couple of “races”. They will round out your adventure filled life, give you something to train and look forward to, and hell they’re a good time. If you think you can’t afford them, then ask for them as a Christmas, holiday, anniversary, or birthday gift. I damn sure would rather have banked adventure on my calendar than the latest iPhone.