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Obstacle Racers

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In recent years, numerous obstacle races have sprouted throughout the U.S. and have become increasingly popular among Gen Yers. People craving to move away from the ordinary find spontaneous and exciting outlets through Army-inspired activities like Tough Mudder, Spartan Race, and Warrior Dash. Unlike marathons, obstacle races are more convivial and bring a sense of camaraderie. New York Adventure Racing Association (NYARA) defines adventure racing as “…one of the few sports where completing a race is considered a victory. Adventure racing not only challenges the body, but the mind as well. Competitors must always travel together as a team, putting emphasis on teamwork rather than individual achievement.” Weekend obstacle races provide many young professionals the opportunity to unwind from the week’s worth of office stress and to fulfill their “live more” attitude.

However, participating in obstacle racing events can be costly. Costs come from registration fees for the event, performance gear, and course training. The brands that deliver performance, function and style resonate and succeed most with obstacle racers. GoLite is an example of a brand that has been successful in the obstacle racing area. It pioneered the “fast and light” revolution in apparel and equipment by offering products that are fueled for performance while maintaining minimal impact on the environment. Many participants don’t see cost as a barrier. Rather, they see obstacle race as an investment to their self-identity and an addition to their growing collection of experience badges.

Last November, I joined the band of adventurers and participated in Tough Mudder’s Tri-State event. It truly lived up to its claim of “probably the toughest event on the planet.” With the help of my friends and fellow Mudders, I was able to reach the top of a quarter pipe, jump into a dumpster filled with water and ice, and survive a field of live electric wires. 12 miles and many hours later, I’m fortunate to have completed this event with no injuries and to have bonded with my friends. From this, I learned that obstacle races are all about upping the ante on experiences and adding a zing to the weekend.

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Written by Alayne Luistro
Alayne Luistro

July 25th, 2012 at 5:15 pm