When it was announced that social media’s biggest obstacle course racing community group ‘OCR.UK’ was to hold a virtual obstacle course race it didn’t take the Parklands Tough Running members long to get signed up in large numbers.
The idea of the race is that participants can complete their run at any time in a 2 month time period anywhere they wish then send in their results in exchange for a medal. All the money raised by the entry fee would go the the ‘Always with a smile’ charity.
The rules of the race were that you must cover a 5 mile distance (1 mile for children) measured of a GPS watch and your route must involve a water crossing and a climb.
As a group we decided to put a course together for all our member who had signed up to run at the same time and make it as close to a proper obstacle course race as we could with using the limited facilities we had to offer.
We found a rare date in the calendar (Sunday 12th July) during the set time period when none of us were racing elsewhere and set up a 1 mile lapped course in a local park in Northampton that we used for some of our training sessions. Like all of our training we tried to make it achievable for all our members whatever their ability level yet still very challenging.
Each lap involved two crossings of the thigh deep water of a boating lake, several hills, a cargo net crawl, two tyre carries, a sandbag carry up and down a hill slalom, two five foot fence jumps, a climb over a succession of huge fallen tree trunks, two stream wades, a section of extremely boggy mud and a step climb.
28 runners took on the course in total and many more were there to support, marshal and take photos.
Everyone found the course demanding in places but all enjoyed it. There was a great atmosphere with many running together, helping each other and a nice family affair with several children also going round. Our group mascot Tarquin the tyre also made it round the entire 5 miles with people taking it in turns to do a lap each carrying him.
A great morning all round. Thanks to everyone involved.