Nothing breaks the monotony of steady-pace running like wallowing in waist-deep mud pits and crawling under barbed wires. But adventure races are more than just that. “The community aspect of the race is what keeps you coming back,” says Ajay Gupta, organiser of the X-Warrior race in India. “It’s a group of like-minded people spending a day helping each other out,” he adds. Before you take the plunge into what seems to be one of the most challenging races in India, know what you’re getting yourself into.
Originally a foreign import, adventure racing is a little more than a year old in India. A typical race involves crawling in mud, jumping over fire, wallowing in waist-high mud pits, performing squats, pushups during the race, running up and down the stairs multiple times among others.
Event organisers such as Gameon India, Sports 365 and Happy Feet Entertainment organise their own versions of ‘mud’ and ‘urban’ obstacle races that mimic real-life military training. Devil’s Circuit, organised by Gameon India, is a 5-km muddy obstacle race whereas the X-Warrior, organised by Sports 365, is an urban obstacle race. The only difference between an urban and a muddy race is the terrain.
Urban races usually take place inside stadiums, while mud courses pan out on open fields. These races are designed to test your functional fitness and not just your running or weight-lifting skills. You will need a strong, resilient body to sprint, climb, crawl, carry and push your way through the race.
We took part in X-Warrior race and here’s what an obstacle race looks and feels like: