Obstacle course racing for everyone

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Boneyard OCR host its second X Warrior’s Wilderness Sprint

It just isn’t for extreme athletes.

That is how Boneyard OCR owner Robert Day characterized X Warrior’s Wilderness Sprint.

The Leader spoke to Day before close to 1,000 athletes descended Aug. 25 on the 160-acre facility near Peanut Lake to test their abilities on a 5.5 kilometre obstacle course race (OCR). Boneyard OCR hosted a similar event last summer.

“Due to the popularity of TV shows such as American Ninja Warrior people have this misconception that these type of races can only be done by elite athletes,” he said, noting the majority are ordinary people who are looking for a new challenge. “We have people of all ages from children, to middle-aged to seniors, as well as people who are missing limbs, using crutches, or some other physical challenge.”

However, for those athletes who want an added challenge they can enter the Titan category where the goal is to complete the course as many times as possible in a set amount of time.

Twenty obstacles, natural and man-made, vary in difficulty depending on a person’s skill set and are designed to test physical and mental abilities.

“Some are as simple as going across a balance beam, or a set of monkey bars. In another you might have to climb on top of a structure and jump into a large stunt bag, or to be able to move a heavy object over a certain distance,” he said.

For those who cannot, or choose not to complete an obstacle, there’s the choice of doing a ‘penalty option’, which is an extra loop that they have to finish.

Competitors can also enlist the aid of their fellow racers without penalty.

“It’s not a solitary event, you are working with people helping people get over walls, flip tires, or whatever the case might be to help each other get to the finish line,” he said. “In fact, I would say that is what I enjoy most about the sport.”

Day said one of the most satisfying experiences he has had in obstacle course racing is one he had as a competitor.

“I started running for myself but along the way, I met a woman who had abdominal cancer and had been diagnosed with having about six months to live. I spent two hours helping her with a group of her friends make it to the finish line,” he said.

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