I recently came across a great article published on About.com titled “Watch Out Amelia: Female Obstacle Racers Paving the Way for the Next Generation”. As I became engrossed in the article, written by the mother of a 7 year old girl who, after meeting her idol, elite-OCR and Reebok Spartan Race icon Amelia Boone, has become obsessed with training to be a great athlete just like Amelia when she grows up. The author, describing her daughter as a self created “mini-monster”, quips about witnessing her aspiring-elite doing push-ups in the yard and running sprints up the driveway. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the article, thinking fondly of my own son and his recent request to be able to do a race for his 6th birthday. Kids tend to admire their parent’s passions, and it seems as though OCR-fever has been trickling down to the next generation of future athletes.
Upon finishing the article I began to reflect on my own journey with Obstacle Racing, and suddenly it hit me, Obstacle Racing might actually (finally!) have become a socially acceptable, mainstream lifestyle! Not long ago, the majority of articles published depicted the races and those who ran them in a manner which made anyone who had taken an interest in dashing through mud and scrambling over obstacles seem nearly barbaric. From reporting which voiced concerns that all participants were choosing to participate in an event which might place their lives in grave danger, to articles which described Obstacle Racing as though it were the outlandish ritual of an extremist cult, those of us who discovered a passion for OCR in its early days can likely remember a day, not that long ago, when our favorite past time was looked upon with confusion, fear, and a great deal of misunderstanding.