In 2012 I did my first ever obstacle course race (OCR) which was a ‘long’ 9km.
That was all it took to become obsessed.
There are two things that I have loved since I was a kid: travelling, and being outdoors. I first flew on a plane when I was two years old and my mum took me on a holiday to Broome, a small town in the north west of Australia. The excitement of discovering some place new was enough to leave me in a perpetual state of wanderlust. Growing up next to a national park meant I was always outdoors, and happiest when climbing trees and playing in mud.
My obsession with OCR started in 2012. I was flicking through Facebook when I saw a post by my CrossFit coach about an event that he thought some of us may be interested in. The event was the Western Mudd Rush, a 8km obstacle course race in Perth. I was instantly intrigued. Sure, I’d never run more than a kilometre non-stop, but this wasn’t about running, this event was about obstacles, camaraderie and best of all – MUD! As an adult we don’t get many chances to embrace our inner child and I figured any excuse to be able to play in mud would be a good one, so I signed up.
I had an absolute blast at the event, and after the race I knew I was hooked. I loved the mud, I loved the challenging obstacles, and I loved the atmosphere. I wasn’t so keen on the running part, but it didn’t matter, I’d found my passion!
In 2013 I did a few local events, and then came my first ever ‘racecation’ – a trip to Melbourne with my two best friends to do Tough Mudder.
A ‘racecation’, as the name would suggest, is a holiday (or vacation) where the reason for travel is to do a race.
In 2014 I joined the Obstacle Course Racing League and started signing up to more obstacle races. My second ‘racecation’ was in Brisbane in late 2014 to take part in the Spartan Beast. That event led to more travels within Australia to do Tough Mudder events in Sydney and Adelaide. Soon 2015 rolled around and I started planning more and more ‘racecations’, including a trip to LA to do Spartan Races. I spent most weekends doing an OCR or a fun run, and loved being able to travel to do the races. Combining my two passions was just icing on the cake!
At that first OCR in 2012 I never would have pictured that only three years later I’d be running 400+km of OCRs (and 70km of fun runs) across three countries and continents in one year. The highlight of my year was running at the Obstacle Racing World Championships in Ohio in October 2015, as part of OCR Team Australia.
In 2016 I decided to spend a year travelling the world to participate in obstacle course races and other running events.
It was a year of epic proportions and took me to new places, provided me with new experiences and challenged me mentally and physically. It was a year that won’t be forgotten in a hurry and I am waiting for the day that I can do it all again.
Distance covered in OCRs:
2016 saw me complete a total of 735km of races – 425km of OCRs, 95km of Fun Runs, and 215km of Endurance Races. That’s one epic year!