It would come as no surprise to me if the majority of people would find it unlikely, and perhaps rather outlandish, to pair Obstacle Racing with romance. OCR brings with it the promise of overcoming adversity, intense challenges, even pain. This leads me to believe it’s fair to assume that love, tenderness, and affection are not at the forefront of a person’s thought process when signing up for a race. Now I have no doubt that there are single runners who dream of (no pun intended) running into their perfect partner at their next race; but when it comes to combining love and OCR as a regular occurrence? That might be a stretch.
If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you’ll know that about a year and a half ago my husband finally took the plunge and tried his very first OCR. He had been skeptical for a long while, content to let me head out and tackle the course on my own while he kept to the sidelines with our son, taking photos of the action instead of participating in it. When he finally embarked on that fateful first race, it seemed as though an exciting new chapter in our lives had begun writing itself, and our story as a couple shifted ever so slightly… for the better! Now he no longer opted to stand by as a spectator, but instead he began experiencing what I was experiencing. He began to understand what the challenges, the triumphs, and the heartbreaking disappointments of OCR can feel like, because he felt them too. And although our experiences are different based on our skill set and personal preferences, we are still able to relate to one another in a way that we were unable to before he finally crossed the starting line and embarked on his own OCR journey.
Just yesterday I was reminded yet again how much a strong passion for OCR combined with adoration for another person can coincide and aid in strengthening the bond that you share with the one you love.
This weekend BattleFrog Series Race came to Central Florida, and I must admit that I was very excited. A lot of buzz has surrounded this fairly new addition to the OCR world, and with recent announcements such as a partnership with ESPN, a one-of-a-kind College Championship, and innovative obstacles, I knew this was a race that I had to get my hands on.
However I also knew that this was a race that I didn’t want to take too seriously.
Don’t get me wrong, when I say that I wasn’t taking it seriously, that doesn’t mean the event wasn’t great. To be honest I thought it was awesome! The 15K was jam-packed full of well built (and well branded!) obstacles which were challenging and fun, with many which were also very unique innovations I’ve had yet to encounter at any other event to date. The course was well laid out, and everything from registration, to the festival area, to the friendly and helpful volunteers were on point. My only concern would be that of their up-front fees, as registration is very costly and I know of many people who had interest in attending but decided against it due to the high cost to participate.
But I digress. My hubby and I decided that instead of racing separately at BattleFrog, it was high time we joined forces and ran together. It had been a few months since we had run together, and we thought that slowing down the pace to enjoy the scenery, the obstacles, and each other would be the perfect way to spend the day. The goal of the day was to have fun and to keep things lighthearted. Essentially, this race day was our own unique way to go on a date!
Let me tell you, we had a blast! We laughed with each other, encouraged each other, took a bunch of ridiculous selfies, and bonded through each challenge we encountered. And we weren’t the only couple racing with the intent to bond and enjoy each other’s company, as we encountered many duos throughout the day, happily frolicking in the muck and taking on obstacles as a team. One couple even said their vows and were united in marriage Saturday morning, upon which they immediately embarked onto the course in tux and wedding gown, accompanied by their wedding party and officiant.
So you see, as difficult and challenging and gritty as OCR can be, it can also provide the perfect atmosphere to bond closer with the one you love. Placed in this setting where people are forced to be their true selves, to handle surprises and challenges as they are encountered, to deal with mud, grime, and even defeat, provides moments when you truly see each other in your most raw and authentic state of mind. For those who are committed to sticking together through thick and thin, the OCR experience can truly help grow an even more intense bond between you and your partner.
My husband and I had an absolute blast at BattleFrog, and I’m so thankful that I decided to slow the pace, take this race in stride, and simply enjoy the time spent out on the course with the man I married. BattleFrog proved to be a great race, and I was thrilled to share the experience it with my best friend. Hooyah!
Are you a couple who runs OCR together? I’d love to hear what you love about racing together!