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Digital Subscriptions > Women’s Running > Women's Running - July 2019 - Race In The Sun > RUN AN OBSTACLE RACE


Preparing for a summer obstacle race brings several new training ideas, which will make you stronger overall and benefit your running, too
Some obstacle races include the option of a quick facial

Obstacle racing, or OCR to those in the know, will challenge your body and mind in ways that a standard 5K won’t. You’ll still be running, but you’ll need to navigate a series of obstacles throughout the race. These vary from race to race, but can involve climbing over walls, crawling under cargo nets, wading through mud and carrying heavy objects. In order to make it to the finish, you’ll need to be strong enough to conquer the obstacles and fit enough to keep running in between them.

Race distances vary, but are generally somewhere from 5K to half marathon. But as you’ll be stopping and starting your run to take on the obstacles, some runners see them as a good way to break up a longer distance.

While it involves a fair amount of running, obstacle racing is a sport in its own right, with a governing body, World OCR, and a world championships. So if you find that obstacle racing is your thing, there’s no limit to how far you can take it.

1 Choose your race

As the popularity of obstacle racing has grown, so has the number of races, which means you won’t be short of choice. The price of events can vary widely, so look around for one that fits your budget, and make sure you’re getting value for money. Ask around to see which races OCR runners recommend.

The nature of the events mean that many obstacle races are held out in the countryside and away from towns, so check out how you’re going to get there and whether you’ll have to pay extra to park. For your first race it’s a good idea to run with a friend or two so you can help each other out, and generally have more fun. Don’t worry if you can’t get a friend to join you though as you’re sure to make some during the race.

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About Women’s Running

Sometimes a new bit of shiny kit is the one thing that motivates us to head outdoors and do that mid-week run. Sometimes, however, that new bit of shiny kit stays firmly in the drawer. It was cheap, it doesn’t fit that well, it was an impulse buy – our excuses are endless. But there is no excuse. The climate emergency is well and truly upon us, and it is up to us to start making a real difference, and one big way we can do that is by holding off on buying more kit that we don’t need, or buying kit that makes a positive difference. This issue, we reflect on the impact our sport has on the environment and how we can all make a difference. Elsewhere, we’re talking trails: our resident trail runner Damian Hall explains just what’s so great about leaving the tarmac behind – and how it can prevent that niggling injury from ever returning. We also explore how Reiki can transform your running, how to feed the runners in your family as well as the ankle-biters, and we interview Marina – who cheerfully "beat a bunch of blokes” in the Wadi Rum Ultra, when she coasted in third overall.