Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Finally, my first OCR at IMPI Challenge tomorrow

I have never done an OCR (obstacle course race). I know! It seems like something I'd immediately migrate to because I love obstacle courses and the clambering involved.

I've been quite interested in OCRs but hearing that there are 2500-3500 people participating put me off.

IMPI Challenge has been around for years - started before the whole OCR craze took off. It is organised by Pieter du Plessis, an old-old-old adventure racing teammate. Pieter started these events in the Cape and after a few years brought them up to Gauteng. He has so much event experience as a former Camel Trophy competitor (I think around 1995/6 in Borneo), Camel Trophy support driver and activity setter-upper (for other years), adventure racer and many years of event organising and obstacle creating.

His focus is on natural and some man-made obstacles with a good chunk of running in his events. IMPI isn't as hyped as the Warrior races and there are not quite as many participants (although still excellent participation and well supported - certainly over 1500 participants expected tomorrow).

Coincidentally, I've often been out of town when his events have been up here.

Nikki, who works with Pieter, dropped me a note a few weeks ago inviting me to come and give their next event a try. I figure that there's no time like now to jump in and, of course, to jump into the deep end with the IMPI Elite course - the longest one.

I'm attracted to the Elite course because of the distance (18-20km) and also because I'll get to do all of the obstacles. I'd hate to do a shorter course and miss out on something! FOMO indeed!

AND, the field is much smaller than in the Mini and Challenge categories at around 150 participants. The Elite group is separated into two batches: men (around 120 participants) and women (around 30 participants).

Nikki invited me to bring along a friend and I specifically wanted another woman to join me because it seems that so few women enter the long courses. It could be for worry that upper body strength is not sufficient? Personally, after watching the video of the Cape Town event I was only concerned that even with a jump I wouldn't be able to reach some elements. I'm not the tallest lass around and I figured that having a friend along to give and receive a leg-up was a good plan.

Cindy will be joining me and I think we're in for a super morning at IMPI Challenge.

My thanks to Nikki and Pieter for their kind invitation. It was the nudge I needed to actually think about giving this event a really good shot. I'm really excited and looking forward to doing my first OCR tomorrow.

IMPI Challenge is also on Facebook and you can watch a video from the Cape Town event on their website (scroll down the landing page and you'll see it).

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