The boundaries, much like everything else in life are being pushed by other enthusiasts. For example, Spartan Death Race, 48 hours+ including eating a bag of raw onions. Zombie Evacuation, getting chased by volunteers in very convincing make up. Finally, Total Warrior which includes 30 obstacles such as fire, smoke and electric shocks.
The burning question is why are these events so popular?
- To train for something other than a typical marathon/half marathon, to keep motivation at its peak!
- Group participation, again more motivation to train and not let your team down on the day!
- To be able to tell a unique story
If these events were set up purely to allow bragging rights to mates that you ran across burning coals whilst ducking under barbed wire and avoiding being electrocuted by suspended cattle prods, then fair play to the participants.
However these events have underlying value masked by the craziness of the whole concept. A major reason why participation has been so strong is because the organisers make a clear point that is it NOT a race, the goal is to finish! This takes pressure off and encourages more people to sign up. By introducing a fun, slightly obscure event, which is not a race, which you can do as a team and have a great story to tell at the end encourages mass participation.
They could actually aid the government in increasing mass participation to deliver health benefits across the UK...something the organisers may not have thought of when implementing their wacky concept! Perhaps in the coming days we’ll hear political parties announce funding to “Endurance Obstacle Courses” to gain support from their popular following.
Roll on the @BarrettClarkcom team taking part in @ToughMudder later this year. Perhaps next year a Cheese Rolling event?