First realize that people will most likely look at you like you are completely nuts at first. It’s ok. We thought this sport was crazy at first too, and then we did our first race. We were hooked! Even if you train on your own, it is really great to find like-minded people who share your passion for getting down and dirty. Here are a few suggestions of where you may find such people:
- Meet-Up.com groups
- Running Clubs
- Triathlon Clubs
- Hiking Clubs
- OCR Clubs
- If there aren’t any in your area, start one! Or get a local trainer involved… this would be a great source of potential clients as well.
Your Gym. If you belong to a gym, ask them if they could put the word out. It may even be a good opportunity for marketing their bootcamp or other related training programs.
- Facebook Groups such as Spartans of the Northeast, Spartans of the South, Spartans of the West, etc.
- Search hashtags on Twitter or Instagram. You will find tons of virtual friends under tags such as #OCR #SpartanRace #ToughMudder #WarriorDash #BoneFrogChallenge #ocrtraining #spartantraining and about a hundred more.
- Look specifically for a gym that specializes in OCR.
- Bootcamps and CrossFit gyms are filled with other “gritty” people and may already be training for upcoming races.
- The “coach-finder” feature on the race organization’s website. Spartan’s coach-finder is excellent for displaying which coaches are in your area.
- I grew up on a farm where daily life resembles obstacle course race training. If this is you, enlist your family and friends. You will have a competitive advantage. Believe me!
- Make friends on the course! We run into people we’ve met at other races and on social media all the time. It’s really great to stand around and have a beer together after a race.
- Wear your race shirt! If other people you see out and about also race, there is a really good chance you two will start talking about OCR. Fair warning: if you are wearing your Spartan Finisher shirt (the shirt you get for completing the race), you will hear people say “AROO” to you. The appropriate response is an “AROO” back;-).
This is a video of our first year of racing. As you can see, we enlisted many of our friends to join us. Thank you, John Pellecchia, for introducing us to this sport. Without you tricking Stephen into doing that first race with you, we wouldn’t be doing any of this!