The first obstacle course race of 2016 is in the bag! I travelled back to Toronto with my boyfriend and co-owner of OCR Academy in Ottawa for XMan Toronto.
We wore matching outfits (OCR Academy singlets), apparently ran in matching form and had an amazing time on course together.
The race is in a brand new location for the race series. For the past several years they’ve held XMan races in Montreal, Sherbrooke & Quebec City. I’ve raced in all three locations over the past 2 years and was all in to support Jesse Bruce (owner and founder of Alpha Obstacle Training) in his debut as race director for this Toronto race.
He did an amazing job designing the course. A mix of obstacles, trail running, hill climbs and downhills and the weather blessed us in the morning with a high of 10 and beautiful sunshine. I had a great race. My body wasn’t completely cooperating but I had a perfect race partner to keep me positive. I lost vision in my right eye halfway through the course and my right hand had tremors on an off throughout the course. I cooled off post race and my symptoms went away as they normally do.
Here are a list of Obstacles in No Particular Order (with some pictures care of the XMan Facebook Page & Green Eyes Photography). I don’t use the “official names” for the obstacles as I can never remember them post race:
Tarzan Rope (pictured below)
Balance Beam Over Water
2 Cement Carries
Horizontal Bars (pictured below)
6 5 foot walls one after another
2 8 foot walls + 2 Balance Beams
Snow Crevice x 2 + Cargo Net Climb
Uphill Net Crawl (pictured below) + Rope Wall (top of the photo)
American Ninja Walls
2 Incline Walls (pictured below)
Rolling Tube (pictured below)
Over, Under & Through Walls followed by a Crawl to Balance Posts (pictured below)
Rope Slip Ramp
Sternum Checker & Irish Table Top (pictured below)
Trampoline Jump Over Wall
2 Tire Flips
Koala (pictured below)
The obstacles were just hard enough for a 7km OCR but not hard enough that anyone new to the sport would feel discouraged. If you couldn’t complete an obstacle a running penalty sent you on a short run off course and then you could continue. My favourite obstacles were the monkey bars (since I got them with ease this year and it was cause for celebration), the Sternum Checker (thankfully taller girls can get enough height over it) and the Tarzan Rope over water is always fun!
It was a great first race of the season. I know what to work on now. I need to get my stamina and cardio health back up to speed with what my mind wants to accomplish. After taking a lot of rest after my January half marathon and dealing with adrenal fatigue my running and breathing were not what it normally is. I’m excited to progressively get my training back in. I’m so thankful I had Mike by my side. Reminding me to stay positive when I got frustrated with MS symptoms, to breath when I held my breath running uphill (something I didn’t realize I do) and smiling, knowing he was beside me every step of the way!
I didn’t necessarily need him on course with me. But I know I wouldn’t have been as happy as I was finishing on my own in a little bubble of frustration so I’m so grateful for the amazing support he shows me without being asked. I’m really freaking lucky.