People come together on weekends to commit to something “Different” or “Uncommon”. They commit to putting their bodies to the test by running miles, enduring scrapes and bruises, and crossing the finish line. The thing that I believe is so great about obstacle course racing is the community. People of different ages, sex, and race gather together on the weekends to suffer together for “fun”. The group of people is so diverse, that they’re your everyday kind of 9-5 job workers, students, teachers, security company workers, Yogi’s, etc. Either we all are a bunch of masochists or there is something more about obstacle course racing that brings us together. I believe that it is the personal connection one makes with all the diverse groups of people that run the course while pushing their bodies to the extreme.
Personally, I have met some of the most funny, interesting, and motivational people while obstacle course racing. It’s strange when we all line up at the starting line, in our minds we are all thinking something different. Whether it is “I plan on finishing” or “I plan on winning” it’s all basically the same because of the type of people we are. What astonishes me is when we step up to the starting line as competitors and friends and finish the same way. The racing industry is growing so quickly, and it’s intriguing to see how everyone goes about the racing, and connects as a result of it. Yet we are all working towards the same goal of just getting off the couch and crossing the finish line. At the same time there are racers who are just trying to finish a 5k and others who are trying to be among those finishers of the Death Race. Some are competing to be first, in reality the main goal is to cross the finish line in one piece, and we all somehow share that as a personal connection. The thing that I love the most about it all is if it weren’t for obstacle course racing, I wouldn’t have met such an amazing group of people. I literally have another family due to obstacle course racing. The support that comes from it all is one you would have trouble finding anywhere else.
Many of the people I have met have been so inspirational to others through just their racing and being overall great people. An example of that would be the Unbreakable Jones. They are a family hailing out of Houston, Texas. Their entire family runs the races together and Andrew, the father and Eston Jones do multiple laps. This shows how something so chaotic can bring a family together. On their last lap they help other racers who are struggling to get through it. Whether it is advice or a hand, they find a way. Another group I’ve met through racing is The Painted Warrior crew. Aeni Domme is the painter behind The Painted Warrior, and Stephen Sinek is the man himself. They are two of the most genuine people I’ve met as well as very creative. Even at home, I am an hour drive away from the greatest group of training “crazies” including Spartan Pro athlete Shawn Feiock and close friends Sue Luck and Kyle Lee. This group of people isn’t even limited to just the racers. Toni lee is a prime example of thousands of other spectators who will stand in the blistering cold or heat and aim their cameras at the racers for some epic photos. If it weren’t for Racing, I would not have met these amazing people and there are many more. If you haven’t met any inspirational, fun, genuine group of people while racing you are eventually bound to. My point is how a group of uncommon people can come together for a common (uncommon I suppose in this case) cause and have a fun and meaningful experience, regardless of where you come from.