Glenda Gray (Pieper), formerly of Coronation, Ab. and now living in Athabasca with her husband and family tackled obstacles including rope climbs, vertical walls, barbed wire crawls, monkey bars, multi-rigs and sand bag carries among many other unique challenging obstacles at the Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) World Championships in Blue Mountain, Ontario Oct. 13 – 15. ECA Review/Submitted
Glenda Gray (Pieper) formerly of Coronation, Ab. and now living with her family in Athabasca, Ab., travelled to Blue Mountains, Ontario to participate in the Obstacle Course Racing World Championships (OCRWC) Oct. 13-15, 2017.
Over 3000 athletes from 67 different countries participated.
Athletes could participate as a Pro, Age Group or Journeyman athlete with Gray participating in the age group athlete category.
In order to be a part of this group, Gray had to qualify at an obstacle course race earlier in the season in May at a race in Calgary called the X Warrior Challenge where she finished second in her age group out of 76 women.
She needed to be in the top 10.
She raced in the 3 km short course race Friday where there was 13 obstacles.
“I ran a great race and made it successfully through all but one obstacle,” said Gray.
Saturday she raced in the 15 km long course event with 43 obstacles.
She had to climbed over 3000 feet of elevation and after raining all night, she said, it was a huge challenge to scale up the muddy slopes and make it back down safely.
“I conquered the majority of the obstacles and felt very accomplished to complete such a challenging course”, said Gray.
Both days the obstacles were things like a rope climb, vertical walls, barbed wire crawls, monkey bars, multi-rigs and sand bag carries among many other unique challenging obstacles.
Sunday, she raced with two other ladies in the team event.
The race breaks into sections for specialists in three areas: speed, strength and tactical.
“I ran the speed portion which was about 5 km of the same muddy hills with crawls, walls and monkey bars before handing off to my partners for their legs”, said Gray.
“At the end we came together and had to use teamwork to get over a 12 foot angled wall.”
Gray encourages anyone to give the sport of obstacle course racing a try.
“I have never met such a welcoming and positive community of people,” said Gray.
“There were so many inspirational athletes out on the course who have overcome great obstacles off the course in order to be there. Anyone can try it!
“I have always loved sports and competition. I love challenging myself and setting goals.
“As an adult, I started enjoying endurance sports and enjoyed participating in half marathons and triathlons” said Gray.
Since having children Gray has found it difficult to make time for long runs and bikes.
She teaches fitness classes where she can strength train with clients and improve her own fitness in ways that carried over well to Obstacle Course Racing.
“I tried a couple OCR’s in 2015 and 2016 then decided to commit to more focused training for 2017 and fit in as many races I could into my family’s schedule.”
She plans to race a number of Spartan and other OCR races in 2018 when the season starts in May.
“My biggest goal is to get a top five finish at a Spartan Race next season,” said Gray.