This year I have decided to challenge myself for The Crown of Runmageddon (a Polish obstacle race competition), which is a running in four different sides of Poland (North, South, West, East).
An obstacle course racing, based on Wikipedia definition, is a sport in which a competitor, traveling on foot, must overcome various physical challenges that are in the form of obstacles. Mud and trail runs are combined and the races are designed to result in mental and physical collapse. Obstacles include (but are not limited to): climbing over walls, carrying heavy objects, traversing bodies of water, crawling under barbed wire, and jumping through fire.
For those ones who are interested in the Polish version of such a "Runmageddon" race, you can choose few distances:
Intro: 2.5 km
Rekrut: 6 km /30 obstacles
Classic: 12km/50 obstacles
Hardcore: 21km/70 obstacles
This year I have accomplished and survived 3 runs. I can sincerely say that this kind of challenge gives you a lot of fun, but also teaches you about yourself. My very first time (6 km) in April I have started running with the group of 4 and we ended up at the finish line with different time results seperately.
Everyone had some expectation at the beginning, but the race verified directly the difference in performance and strength of each of us. During the race we have met awesome OCR well-experienced runner who helped us to pass obstacles and complete our run. I am not sure if we would have ended it without his help.
Even though the race was exhausting and not so easy: many ups and down through the hill and marching into the Baltic Sea in April - after finishing the run I actually doubted if I would sign up for another one. But I bravely did.
The second race took place in Warsaw. This time I have challenged myself for a bigger distance (12 km). Why have I chosen a double distance? I was willing to find out how strong I am mentally and physically. I also felt more confident thanks to my friend on whom I could rely during the whole race. But honestly, 4 hours-run facing my weaknesses was a huge struggle. After passing the last obstacle when I finally got my medal, my tears fell down and I was so happy.
Maybe you think now: "what a crazy girl - she cried at the end and still enjoyed the thing". Yes, because the more obstacles you realise you are able to overcome, the biggest inner satisfaction you get. You are getting stronger and it becomes your life changer. You learn how not to worry about trivial things which should be less important in real life.
The third run in Posen was a pure test of my mental strength. I have realised that I would run alone and it was only me, obstacles, and other participants. Luckily, my parents supported me waiting at the finish line which cheered me up a lot. If you are considering running alone, make sure that someone is waiting for you at the end - it definitely increases the amount of your motivation and helps you to focus on finishing the race.
It was one of the most difficult races I have ever done. For the first time in my life I went to the swamps where the water was so dark that I wasn't able to see on what I am stepping on. The mud was sucking my shoes off at almost each obstacle, however I have improved my time from 4 hours to 3 hours at the same distance - I am really proud of myself.
At the end of the season I am planning to participate in the longest distance which is called "Hardcore" and it is also a part of the Runmageddon.
Few weeks earlier I will also try my luck in the Spartan race on 30.09, so cross your fingers! After this experience, I will compare for you all kind of races together: Runmageddon, Tough Mudder and Spartan race and maybe it would inspire you to try a one?:)