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Mud, Sweat and… Tear Gas
02September/2015

Mud, Sweat and… Tear Gas

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THE ADVENTURE RACE BOOM With ‘experience’ considered the new ‘luxury item’, Aussies are forever looking for new experiences in life and in fitness that challenge the norm and
provide a sense of accomplishment unlike anything else. In fact, globally, we’re one of the biggest early adopters of new fitness trends, from group personal training/ boot camps to yoga to mud obstacle events.

The Australian obstacle and adventure industry has exploded in the past three years. It is now more popular than ever, and considered quite the norm to spend your weekend belly-crawling through mud or getting zapped by 10,000-volt shocks. But just like 50 Shades of Grey, are these pain v pleasure events just another shortlived, media-hyped phenomenon?

What is it about these types of events that gets people engaged and keeps them going back for more?

When it comes down to it, us Aussies like to try something new and a bit different – the underlying pride of being the first of our mates to conquer the latest fitness trend. Adventure racing, however, taps into something deeper: a wider mindset that might suggest they have a future in this country. They provide a unique platform for people to come together, push each other and achieve something special as a team no matter their fitness level. There are five main reasons why people keep coming back to these events:

THE CHALLENGE: people are looking for new challenges that push themselves to their limits. Obstacle course events and adventure racing are unique challenges that encourage people to get out of their comfort zone.
THE INNER CHILD: we all have an inner child that yearns for mud, water slides and swimming through swamps – adventure racing and obstacle races provide all this and more.
THE FEAR FACTOR: facing your fear creates an adrenaline rush like no other - whether it’s height, long distance, confined space, swimming in ice-cold water, or running through electric shocks – adventure racing tests it all.
THE CAMARADERIE: these events inspire a true sense of teamwork – most of these events are set up so that it’s almost impossible to complete on your own, which forces people to call on their teammates or fellow participants in order to get to the finish line.
THE COMMUNITY: adventure races are probably some of the toughest events on the planet; however, these events are set up to challenge any individual no matter their strength or fitness levels. From boot camp teams to corporate bosses to new mums – Aussies from all communities are taking on these types of events. There’s nothing soft about completing
an obstacle course event, quite the contrary. There is nothing like conquering the mud, sweat and tears of an adventure race with your mates that a typical fun run event can’t quite
match.

STAYING AHEAD OF THE PACK
One of the events leading the charge in Australia is Tough Mudder, a 16km+ course littered with military style obstacles. Known as ‘probably the toughest event on the planet’, Tough
Mudder has just unveiled a suite of all new obstacles, brand new event sites and expanded age eligibility as the endurance series confirms its position as the world’s largest and most team oriented event of its kind.

During the off season, the mad-minded Tough Mudder course designers spent countless hours holed up in their Obstacle Innovation Lab with one mission: to create unique, exhilarating, never-before-seen obstacles which emphasise teamwork and adrenaline inducing fun. Everything has been turned up a notch; everyone’s favourite obstacles have been revamped and redefined into nothing like you have ever experienced before.

The obstacle innovations for 2015 encourage participants to work together more than ever before, while still providing the personal challenge people have come to expect from Tough Mudder. 2015 provides a fresh experience for returning “Mudders” and over a dozen new reasons for first-timers to finally take the plunge.

Ten exhilarating new obstacles will hit courses, including “King of the Swingers,” a pendulum swing off a 4m platform; “Dead Ringer,” a traverse across a series of inclined pegs using handheld rings; and “Cry Baby,” a tunnel crawl through tear gas. Reinvented favourites (ice water plunge “Arctic Enema” and slicked quarter pipe “Everest”) are among the signature Tough Mudder obstacles that have been redesigned. “2.0” versions will offer new twists on the classic challenges, pushing participants to work as a team.

Bringing Tough Mudder to all new locations means these never-before-seen and revamped favourites will have participants taking on a whole new diverse terrain in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.

PREPARING FOR THE CHALLENGE
One of the best things about obstacle course events and adventure racing events is that they are challenging yet achievable for the everyday Aussie who has the determination and right attitude. Training will go a long way to getting you over the line with your mates and enjoying the hard-earned beer awaiting you at the finish line. Depending on your fitness
level going in, it is recommended to give yourself a few months to prepare. If hills, mud, ropes, ice baths, tear gas and electric shocks are your thing, add a well-rounded circuit based
session to your weekly exercise routine so you’ll be ready to tackle the fitness challenge. At a minimum, it is recommended you should be able to run 5-8km, 2-3 times a week; do 10-15 pushups; and swim 25m non-stop.

Easy enough for MMH readers, right!?

Set your end goal and work hard towards achieving it. However, that doesn’t mean you should lose sight of the journey along the way. Set small milestones and make sure you
celebrate them as this will keep your morale high and motivation going. Don’t get us wrong, you’re in for a ride and it’ll be full of ups and downs, but guess what? If you work out and eat right, making it over the finish line is absolutely guaranteed.

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