If you live in a warm climate, you can pretty much race all year long. And some of my crazy friends here in New England bundle up and race right through the winter. I saw some photos of friends who ran in the New Year’s Day Hangover Classic 5K, which ended with an ocean plunge. Nope. I’m not doing that. For me race season doesn’t begin until April, and I’m done by November. I’ve begun to plan my race season, and I am so pleased that I have successfully recruited my sister, sister in law, niece and cousin to do a women’s only 5K obstacle race with me this summer. Except for my niece, we are all over 50. I am so proud of them and could not be more thrilled about bringing this awesome experience to other people, especially family.
If you’ve been thinking about trying adventure/obstacle racing, you don’t just have to trust my word about what it’s like. I am turning today’s blog post over to Kristin Horowitz. She is the CEO of All Out Events, based in southern California and has been doing this kind of racing since way before it was mainstream. Here is her guest blog about her first adventure race. Thank you Kristin!
I happen to be one of those all-rounder athletes. Maybe not elite, but I get by and can usually make it through whatever anyone throws at me.
But I hate competitions.
Maybe you’re like me.
Or, maybe you’re not really an all-rounder athlete, but you’d like to be.
Or, maybe you’re a damn good runner or biker or something, but the heart’s going out of those races . . .
That’s at the heart of why my company does what it does: we want you to love the outdoors, your sports, and the places we’ve been gifted with the ability to play in.
First off: you can do it. You can. If you can ride a bike, you can do it. If you can’t, well, learn! Don’t let that “can’t” get in the way of whatever it is you want to do in life.
Maybe you’ve never done a multi-sport, or maybe you’ve never done a real race. Certainly these things can be incredibly intimidating if you let them, but the fact is, it doesn’t have to be.
I did my first race/adventure race at the 2-4 Hour Adventure Sprint in May of 2010. I could mountain bike decently, I was suffering from plantar fasciitis and was worried about it being aggravating, and I am no stranger to a paddle . . . so I decided to give it a try, asking a friend of mine who was in great shape and would be a great teammate to go along with me.
That day shall live in infamy. We took our time because it was a record-hot day and still came in respectably enough that it touched off my competitive edge (I haven’t repeated it only because my role in the race has gotten more integral) and it did something else: gave me a whole new perspective on myself.
People seem to do sports generally for two reasons: because it just FEELS good and because it shows them that they can smash barriers. Whichever one is your drive, adventure racing does it nicely, as all events can. As I finished the race, having done a course I’d never pre-run (despite my usually doing so), I had faith in the director’s ability to take care of me if something went wrong, I had a partner who I knew could tolerate anything, and in the end, I did it all on my own, no complaints, and found out what I really had in me.
Not only could I do it, I could do it reasonably fast. After being off from surgeries, hanging around world class athletes, and being heavier than I’d like, it showed me something important: that my body was worthy. That I was an adventure athlete. That I shouldn’t define myself into a box by things I haven’t done or didn’t think I could do.
And I’d say that’s a damn good reason to race.