If you are an OCR (obstacle course race) enthusiast, there’s a good chance you know of the Beasts Obstacle Course Racers. This group organizes Beast Challenges throughout the year that you can do on your own or you can join others in your area and complete the challenge with them. The challenge that I recently took on was the Beasts OCR 5K+. I did this last year with a small group in Portland, but with organized events being a thing of the past, this year I did it at a local track/football field and convinced a couple of my friends to join me.
This is not your standard 5K. You will get in the total distance of a 5K, but not all of it will be running. The event starts on a football field, or wherever you can mark off up to 100 yds. It’s kind of like running lines (or suicides) but worse. It started out with running 10 yds and Gator Rolling back 10 yds. Oh my gosh, so dizzy after that first one! Then running 20 yds and Crab Walking back 20 yds. Then 30, and 40, and eventually up to 100 yds running and returning with a different exercise. It isn’t speedy and at times it is brutal! The two most challenging things for me were the 40 yds of Inchworms – which I felt for several days afterwards, and the 100 yds of Burpee Broad Jumps – what demented mind came up with that one? Even though this is a rough round, it’s a love-hate thing for me. I love the challenge, but there are some moments of “What the heck?” One of the friends I convinced to join me had no idea what he was getting into – even though, in my defense, I sent him the link with the details. I’m pretty sure he had more than just a moment of “What the heck?”
Once that round is completed, you head to the track and run 400 yds, then grab a sandbag – or something heavy to carry – and run 200 yds. Repeatedly. Honestly, this round is kind of a relief. Your upper body gets a break – sort of, but your legs might be a little jello-like to start. I can’t say I was running fast, but I just kept moving. Run a lap, throw that sandbag over my shoulders and run 200 yds. Chuck the sandbag and repeat. After doing this 7x, I completed the 5K distance and the Beasts OCR 5K+. Whew!
I have to say, I love the variety of this event. It challenges me much differently than going for a run and it gives me a little taste of the OCR challenge that I miss so much right now. And, the exercises are right up my alley with how I train when I’m not running. Not that I ever do 100 yds of Burpees – yikes! I’ll save that for events like this only!
While the window for this challenge has closed, there are regularly challenges like this one available through Beasts Obstacle Course Racers. Things like the Bucket Mile, which is carrying a bucket of rocks for a mile. I’ll admit, I haven’t done that one yet. There are also different Rucking challenges and even challenges that encourage supporting your local races – when we get to do that again. This group also (under normal circumstances) organizes group workouts in different locations throughout the year.
OCR enthusiasts, I’d encourage you to check out this group if you haven’t already. And, be sure to tackle a challenge or two when you can. It will be a challenge, but you might just kind of love it! 🙂