Lead Trainer & Co-owner of Battle Axe CrossFit
MOM OF 3: Colton-15, Caleb-12, Aiden-10
CERTIFIED: Spartan SGX Trainer, CrossFit Level 1, CrossFit Mobility, CrossFit Gymnastics
BRAGGING RIGHTS: 1st place (in age group) Nashvegas Olympic Triathlon
Obstacle Course Racing
You’ve seen the pictures of them—covered in mud, wearing goofy headbands, and looking ridiculously happy. Obstacle course racing (OCR) is bringing together athletes of all levels and backgrounds and making them work together to cross the finish line.
Competitors, often in teams, run a distance from 3 miles upwards of a full marathon, broken up by obstacles. Crawling through mud under barbed wire, dragging tires, or plunging into ice-cold water may not be your idea of a fun weekend, but for millions of people it’s a positive way to challenge your mental and physical strength.
Within the realm of OCR, there are over a dozen brands whose races cater to beginners, families, serious athletes, costume-lovers, and even those who fantasize of being chased by zombies. Whichever race you choose, there’s almost always free beer and a fun party at the end.
How did you get into obstacle course racing? I’ve competed in triathlons and running races over the years, but they were never as fulfilling as CrossFit and Obstacle Course Racing (OCR), which brings endurance and fitness together.
What was your first obstacle race and how did it go? It was the Nashville Spartan Sprint Race, which I did with a large co-ed team. We weren’t in it to be competitive, so we worked together, got filthy, and had a blast!
How do you train for a race? Depending on the race length, I ramp up my running during the months prior to a race. I work on the obstacles when I am fatigued and spend time practicing technique so I can be fast on the course.
Best advice for people who want to try an obstacle race? The most important thing for anyone who wants to complete an obstacle race is to get a friend or friends to sign up with you. Training with others creates accountability and racing with others creates lasting memories.
What sets OCR training from a typical workout session? OCR training at Battle Axe is unique because we recreate many of the obstacles that people will encounter on race day. Nowhere else in Memphis offers wood walls to climb, tires to flip and drag, logs to carry, ropes to traverse, spears to throw, and many other real obstacles competitors will encounter in any mud run or OCR event. We teach valuable techniques that prepare clients and build their confidence to do things like climb an 8-foot wall. Even better, we train people to conquer these obstacles when fatigued during our Spartan SGX workouts that mimic race day conditions.
Favorite piece of training equipment? I love the feeling of accomplishment after climbing over a tall wall or reaching the bell at the top of a rope climb. You feel like you can do anything after that!!
What nutritional advice do you offer your clients? Eat real food! Nothing processed. Shop the perimeter of the grocery store and eat a variety of veggies, meat, fruit, nuts, and healthy fats. Plan ahead and do a run through of your race day food plan a couple of weeks before the race. This will make sure you have enough in your tank to race and that the food will settle before you climb over all the obstacles!
To workout with Allison: 901.286.5590 or battleaxecrossfit.com
Upcoming Obstacle Races
BattleFrog Obstacle Race Series April 9 in Nashville, TN
Commander Run Series April 9, 2016 in Lebanon, TN
Deerslayer Obstacle Course Race April 16, 2016 in Johnson City, TN
The Original Mud Run May 7, 2016 in Nashville, TN
Camp LePrat Mud Run May 14, 2016 in Greenbrier, TN
Mid-South Mud Run 5K May 14, 2016 in Millington, TN
Tough Mudder June 11, 2016 in Sparta, KY
GORUCK Challenge June 17, 2016 in Jonesboro, AK
GORUCK Tough Challenge August 6, 2016 in Nashville, TN
Spartan Sprint Aug. 20, 2016 in Fort Campbell, TN
Rugged Maniac Obstacle Race Sept. 3, 2016 in Southern Indiana
by Laurenne Hom. Photos by Philip Murphy.