I completed my 3rd obstacle race this year back in November! The Maori Race. A 7km, 30 obstacle race in a more urban setting. I ran my first Maori Race back in June. It wasn’t my intention to join a team. I met 2 other girls on the course and we teamed up for the remainder. None of us knew our names until afterwards! It was great working as team. Less burpees and help with the more tricky obstacles. On reflection, I’m not sure if I want to run as a team again. I’m happy to help others along the course and appreciate the help back (especially with those walls!), I just like the challenge it gives me individually.
As with every race you take away what you need to work on. My last one was the walls. I’ve been working on muscles ups all year. I still can’t clear the bar higher than me but I’m a lot smoother clearing what I can. Queuing I felt like the skinny vegan with no strength. Everybody around me looked 4 times as strong and built like a Crossfitter. I felt meek! But those muscles ups paid off. I felt confident on the lower walls and pulling myself up with a lift on the higher ones. I was nearly jumping over some! Okay, still gotta work at that. I still can’t leap over them. They had some fun obstacles, running across a swimming pool on pallets (though urban about 1/3 of the course was trail) and abseiling a mini cliff. The monkey bars that I needed help on last Maori course I remembered to go sideways across just clinging on as one hand ended up touching a part covered in mud. I didn’t go straight down the middle on purpose, more to the side to avoid the mud covered parts.
The takeaway this time was upper body strength again, but upside down monkey bar strength. With this is mind, I’m working more inverted rows on the suspension trainer and bar. The rope climb I still just go straight for the burpees. It’s the one obstacle I can’t train for at the moment due to equipment. I was also surprised by my crawling under barbed wire. Either the wire was higher or I’ve got better without training for it. I wore a long sleeved top with thumbholes which I think helped. Push sleeves up running, roll down to protect arms when needed. One of the girls I ran with did the same with her running arm sleeves, which is a great idea for warmer temps OCR’s. P jokes I take care of my skin so it bruises easily. I got some impressive almost black bruises on my legs, but that’s standard. My arms this time thanks the sleeves didn’t get so banged up.
The race itself was just as unorganised as the last Maori race. You had the option of picking up your race pack the day before in the next town up (if you didn’t know it wasn’t in Barcelona you wouldn’t know) or on the day. I opted on the day. It was too far to cycle saving energy for race day. I got there about 50 minutes before the start which should have given me enough time to collect my number, drop off my bag off and go to the bathroom. I was told that they were running late so don’t worry, but 5 minutes before my wave I’d just got my number, I was queuing for that long and most people collected on the day. And arrived early. I always opt for the 1st or 2nd wave after the elites to avoid road blocks running. As everybody was asking when’s your wave most were 30 minutes after mine. What surprised me is by the time I got to the desk they still hadn’t figured out a number system of where the chips were. I ended up finding my chip and then to top it off they only had 4 porta potties for about maybe 600 plus people. Showers afterwards were at a local sports club with plenty of hot water! Perfect as it was the first cold day this autumn/fall/winter.
I’ve no idea it’s official race name, this obstacle is like a down dog elevated sideways crawl. Easily visible are the metal rods without some sort of protective cover.
I had to politely queue jump which didn’t go down well. I ended up having to explain why after looks and voice tones of why didn’t you get here earlier. I’ve stopped giving explanations of why can’t I do this or that or why it’s like that. Sometimes it’s noise or just an excuse. I don’t have to justify myself all the time. If I can’t I can’t. This time I had to justify. I missed the warm up (cycling there was enough) and just made my wave. The race was fun and I’m glad I met the 2 girls. Our strengths and weaknesses matched. Again however, just like with the last Maori race and the last few ocr races I was annoyed with the burpees. Generally it’s 30 for each obstacle you don’t complete. 30 Cross Fit style burpees. People were doing 5 regular ones under the volunteers watch. If the rules are no rules, fair enough. The last Maori race you could split them 50 50 with a partner (which I didn’t. I only found out about this rule on the course. There was nothing about it on the race rules. Just the standard 30 burpees). But the rules were 30. I did my 30 to be told of course you would, you’re British. So what?! The next I only did 15 as the girls were come on! I’m thinking if all these runners really want to get serious about running OCRs (Spain has it’s own league) then you have to do the burpees. I know it’s my Toltec agreement of how I see things, but you’re only cheating yourself by not doing them. Plus it’s not fair to those who work on those burpees and actually do them. Even in Spartans here people do 5 normal ones under the supervisors and run off. It really p*sses me off. Will I run a Maori Race again? Maybe for Spartan training but I won’t rush. My takeaway from them is they’re a social media Instagram friendly race not a push yourself race. You can still have fun pushing yourself without wanting it to be a photo op.
Other takeaways, I’d wish they’d cover the rusty iron/metal pegs that line some of the obstacle outlines. The sandbag course was up and down a steep grassy slope with broken bottles and uncovered course markers. Same issue with markers on the last Maori Race. I get it can’t be safety all the time, but some damage can be done if you fall on one. 2nd takeaway I need to learn how to plait my hair in either 2 side French braids or 1 classic French braid. A bun gets caught up in nets and braids keep the flyaway away for those photo ops. See I’m running for photo ops! Ha ha! Braids are better way of keeping hair off your face and out of nets running. And I did have a fun time running!
What was your takeaway from your last race? What’s your favourite OCR obstacle? Mine aren’t javelins or ropes! I don’t mind sandbag, tyre/tire or bucket carries. They can weigh a ton (Spartan Beast chain) but are easier than upside down monkey bars 🙂