Grigory Vilkov
Professor of Finance
Grigory Vilkov is Professor in the Department of Finance at Frankfurt School. Grigory received his D...
FS Life

Challenge? Accepted!

September 25, 2017
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…you think it’s hard to study 14 hours a day during the Hell Week by Prof. Heidorn? It’s hard to work 3 days per week, write exams, and fight your team during the joint work on Greg Vilkov’s course projects? Try this: one of the toughest European Obstacle Races — takes place in December when water is cold, snow is hard, and weather has no mercy! 

Obstacle course racing (OCR) is a sport in which a competitor, traveling on foot, must overcome various physical challenges that are in the form of obstacles. Mud and trail runs are combined and the races are designed to result in mental and physical collapse. Obstacles include, but are not limited to, climbing over walls, carrying heavy objects, traversing bodies of water, crawling under barbed wire, and jumping through fire. Many obstacles are similar to those used in military training, while others are unique to obstacle racing and are employed throughout the course to test endurance, strength, speed and, dexterity. Races vary in both distance and challenge level, combining trail runningroad running, and cross country running. With race venues typically in large cities, organizers encourage athletes of all types to participate. 

All Obstacles were introduced into Cross Country Running at Tough Guy —the final (30th) Tough Guy took place in January 2017! Check out a nice TG Video  — Most signature obstacles were actually created by Mr Mouse — the creator of the Tough Guy! According to the Los Angeles Times in 2012, the number of events—typically all-day festivals—rose rapidly. In accordance with the sub-culture’s fast rate of growth, the Obstacle Race Magazine was launched.

From the stadion, the oldest event of the Olympic Games, to the contemporary era steeplechase, obstacles of some sort have been presented to athletes for thousands of years. The concept of using obstacles for an endurance event is a contemporary phenomenon. It is widely thought that Tough Guy is the oldest obstacle course race, with the first race in 1987. In 2011, approximately one million people registered to participate in obstacle racing events in the United States (US), 4.5 million in 2015 and by 2016 the number is estimated to be 5.6 million.

Since obstacle course racing’s inception in 1987 there have many variations of courses created draw in a wide variety of athletes. There are sprint courses ranging from one mile to five miles. Then endurance courses that require an athlete to race a course anywhere from 24 miles to 100 miles. There are also events that are based on hours. For example, the 36 hour Agoge or the 24 hour World’s Toughest Mudder. The idea is to test a person’s mental and physical ability.

Spartan Race (check this video) founder Joe Desena set a goal to take the sport to the Olympics and tapped adventure racer Ian Adamson for the task in 2014. In the summer of 2017 the application to add obstacle racing into the Olympics, under mixed team events in modern pentathlon, was rejected for the 2020 Olympics. In recent years, obstacle course racing has been emerging onto the college scene in the United States. Universities, like Texas A&M University, have launched organizations and club teams that feature obstacle course training.

A nice movie has been shot lat year — The Rise of the Sufferfests — check out the official trailer

So, you want to test your limits? 

There are lots of good races nearby, still taking place this Fall — get ready and join me (for some), or just run as an FS Team to enjoy physical activity, nature, fresh air, and friendship! 

OCR Frankfurt Heartbeat Hero Event — 14.10.2017 — Sprint/ Team Event! 

StrongViking — different waves, from competitive (OCR Series) to fun ones (all the rest), 28.10.2017 in Frankfurt (Waechtersbach)

Getting Tough The Race — hard one, cold one, the most extreme one, 2.12.2017 in Rudolstadt

All races in Germany in 2017

Questions? Ask me 🙂 

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