<P>Call of the Wild: Endurance Obstacle Racing in the United States By Heidi Resetarits, USA She emerges from under the barbed wire cov- ered in mud from head to toe. Stumbling on slick grass, she turns around to pull her friend out of the pit. Then, together they turn to face an obsta- cle course made of car tires that are set on fire. Their task, to jump over them without getting burnt. The mud on their faces crack to reveal gleaming white smiles, they are ready for the challenge. Welcome to the American advent of the endur- anceobstacle race. Created for people who want to challenge their bodies and minds in a playful and challenging environment, these types of races add a new aspect to the competitive North American sports culture. These events usually start with a running race, mix in a variety of obstacles and end with a race to the finish. The overall courses ranges from 3-15 miles on diverse terrain—from water to mountains to forests to deserts. Some of the obstacles in the races can include: t$MJNCJOHBSPQFPWFSBCBSSJDBEF t$SPTTJOHBSJDLFUZCSJEHFPWFSNVEEZXBUFS t$BSSZJOHCBHTPGTBOEVQBOEPWFSIJMMT t3PQFDMJNCJOHPWFSBOPCTUBDMFJOUPBMBLF BOE swimming t3VOOJOHBOEKVNQJOHPWFSöSF FMFDUSJDXBWFT and water The races, branded by a variety of organizations, are all different,but the Tough Mudder, Warrior Dash and Spartan are the best-known. Ranging from easy events for beginners to races thatre- quire legitimate training, these events have created a sub-culture of athletics and competi- tion in the United States. Americans love a story of extremes, explained DonaldZuehlke. As an Iron Man competitor who has made his way into endurance obstacle racing as well, he knows what it takes to train for extreme competition. Courage, determination, conquering adversity and personal achieve- ment….we as North Americans love to take things to the limit and often beyond that. Although the endurance obstaclerace and Iron Man are competitions of completely calibers, they still pose the same question: Do you have what it takes to make it to the end? Finishing any kind of race gives a feeling of accomplishment that only comes from hard work and dedication. The endurance obstacle race adds elements or danger to make the race more interesting and more exciting. The challenges in theseraces vary, as do the reasons that people compete. For some, its a personal achievement, for others, its a throw- back to their childhood days of fun in the out- doors. So why in the world would somebody want to do such a race? It seems so primal, messy and really hard. Christy Pickens, an active and fit Coloradoan, has done several of these races, and says ultimately, its all about having a good time. The Tough Mudder is awesome…like an adult playground, she says beaming, it also emphasizes teamwork and completing not for time, but together. Its really fun. Steve Allen, a race participant and fitness coach, agrees that its also part of our American culture to put ourselves up against all odds. Many Americans love to test themselves and to reap the benefits of the hard work of training, and the special effects (fire and barbed wire) add to this feeling of true success, he said. Beyond promising a good time for the partici- pants, the organizations try to make it as safe as possible for those who want to race. To partici- pant, competitors must sign a waiver, pay up to $100 and be ready to complete all obstacles. The challenges test the racers, who have all knowing- ly put themselves in the race to push their bodies and mind to the extreme…in a fun and dirty kind of way. As North Americans in the sports and fitness culture, many people hunger to break free of the monotony of daily life. They want to be inspired to reach for something greater; even if its just jumping into a mud pit or climbing over a barri- cade. Everyone has their own specific reason to race, said Allen, but it all boils down to a very specific need; to see if we can. </p> <UL><LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/1/1/">Front-Cover</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/2/2/">Inside-Front-Cover</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/3/3/">Page-3</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/4/4/">Page-4</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/5/5/">Page-5</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/6/6/">Page-6</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/7/7/">Page-7</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/8/8/">Page-8</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/9/9/">Page-9</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/10/10/">Page-10</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/11/11/">Page-11</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/12/12/">Page-12</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/13/13/">Page-13</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/14/14/">Page-14</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/15/15/">Page-15</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/16/16/">Page-16</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/17/17/">Page-17</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/18/18/">Page-18</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/19/19/">Page-19</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/20/20/">Page-20</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/21/21/">Page-21</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/22/22/">Page-22</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/23/23/">Page-23</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/24/24/">Page-24</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/25/25/">Page-25</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/26/26/">Page-26</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/27/27/">Page-27</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/28/28/">Page-28</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/29/29/">Page-29</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/30/30/">Page-30</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/31/31/">Page-31</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/32/32/">Page-32</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/33/33/">Page-33</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/34/34/">Page-34</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/35/35/">Page-35</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/36/36/">Page-36</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/37/37/">Page-37</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/38/38/">Page-38</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/39/39/">Page-39</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/760/dwufszmbx/40/40/">Back-Cover</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publications/760/x/sitemap.xml" target="_blank">site map</a></LI> </UL>

 

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