A race becomes more fun and challenging if it has obstacles. And if the obstacles are Army style, it becomes even more daring! Fitness and sports enthusiasts got an opportunity to prove their toughness at a commando-style obstacle race held at Thyagaraj Stadium recently.
Organised and designed by Sport365, the four km race with 20 obstacles in the way such as rope and wall climbing, dodging, crawling, steep stairs and carrying sacks, saw participation of more than 1000 Delhiites who were judged on various parameters including balance, agility, endurance and strength. Besides, there were real commandos who took part in the race just for fun.
About 800 people who registered for ‘XWarrior Race’ before the day of the event had undergone training sessions called ‘Boot Camp’ by a trainer of Sport365 and Parkour India, a group that promotes training discipline, developed out of military obstacle course training.
The amateur runners of all groups took the race in batches and in their way to finish dodged the hurdles, climbed ropes and walls, shot at the targets and balanced their bodies, while stumbling and rolling to push their physical boundaries.
Aparna Apte Gupta, co-founder of Sport365, which organises a wide range of traditional and unusual sports on weekdays and weekends, informed Metrolife that the obstacles used for the race were generally seen in Army and Air Force.
“Special engineers designed the obstacles for this race, which is a more challenging way to workout and maintain fitness levels. Marathons are getting popular in India but the concept of obstacle race is still to come of age. Last year in New York, half-a-million people participated in an obstacle race. World over, most obstacle races take place outside the cities but we kept ours in Delhi’s heart so that maximum number of people can take part,” she said.
Climbing 15 meter stairs and then coming down several times was what challenged most participants. Ricky Ranjeet Singh, who is with Super Fight League (SFL) – India’s first professional mixed martial arts fighting league, said the toughest part was climbing the stairs.
“Rest of the obstacles were technical. The trick was not to give 100 per cent in the beginning. Mixed martial arts, however, is the future of ‘entertainment sports’ in India. Generally, climbing the stairs is considered tough but it was easy for me because that is how I workout every day,” said Ricky, who finished the race in 16 mins 20 secs.
The emphasis was on finishing the race – but not within a time frame. The participants had an option of skipping an obstacle by doing 10 push ups or 20 squats and move on to another obstacle.
Akhil, one of the runners who finished last from his batch said, “I have never participated in any race. If you see my belly, you can tell that I couldn’t have finished it. I threw up in between but made sure that I complete the four km stretch. The best part was the shooting obstacle.”
Experts were stationed throughout the field to monitor the participants and guide them as most of them were amateurs. “We tried to create an environment filled with challenges, similar to what a soldier faces during drill. The participants were advised not to overdo anything because most were first timers. It was just aimed at encouraging people to embrace fitness at a daily level,” said Aparna.