The popularity of Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) has overtaken that of Marathons and Triathlons across the U.K and Europe, and the trend is firmly on the rise here in Ireland.
The Irish Obstacle Course Racing Association (OCRA) estimate that there are over 10,000 recreational participants taking part in OCR events across Ireland, each year! With 100 people on the Irish circuit who competitively take part in the much larger European racing scene.
But just why would anybody want to put themselves through the grulling challenge of running between 3KM to 21KM and overcoming physical obstacles such as steep inclines, rivers and climbing frame traverses? Along with all this, trails are typically set in muddy and challenging landscapes to ensure a physically and mentally challenging sport.
Here are some of the top five reasons why you should consider taking part in an Obstacle Course Endurance Challenge:
- Adventure Addict: With OCR events popping up all over the country, such as ‘Reign of Terror’ in the medieval Kilkenny village of Kells, there is ample opportunity to not only travel the country but also the world participating. The sport is huge in Nordic countries such as Norway and Scandinavia along with mainland Europe.
- Spice up your life: There are far more runners and joggers to be seen than walkers every evening. If you’re someone who has gone from the couch to 5KM, and are now left feeling bored and in a rut, then OCR is the perfect way to spice up your fitness life.
- Lifestyle Lifter: The day to day hum-drum can become monotonous, stress can overwhelm and we all have days just want to stay under the duvet. OCR is a fun way to face-lift your lifestyle, meet new friends, get fit and feel invigorated.
- Practice Perseverance: OCR means you will not only test yourself physically but also mentally. Those who participate need plenty of perseverance to keep themselves from giving up, particularly when your mind is ready to quit but your body is still able to further
- Play Dirty: Getting down and dirty is always fun, so here’s a scientifically proven fact which supports what we already knew…playing in mud is fun! Recent research shows dirt contains friendly soil bacteria (Mycobacterium Vaccae) which stimulates the immune system and increases the levels of serotonin in our brains, an endorphin that soothes, calms and helps us to relax. In short, playing in mud makes you happier!
This October, Saturday 21st, thousands of fitness fanatics will descend upon the medieval village of Kells in County Kilkenny for ‘Reign of Terror’, Ireland’s first ever endurance obstacle course race. For more, see www.reignofterror.ie