Few days ago I challenged myself for real. I took part in The Strong Race 2015. The Strong Race is the only annual extreme mass endurance race in the Baltic States and the point of this race is to overcome yourself and test your strength and physical fitness by overpassing a dozen of obstacles and running through mud.
Also it is a different way to express the patriotic feelings, because every year The Strong Race is held in a very important day for Latvian people – Restoration of Independence Day. Bet now let’s get down to the business!
What to expect?
Since I have participated in this race for three times, I have gathered some experience and have some insights about the event and some suggestions for new participants. First of all, the title says everything – this race is for those who are physically and mentally strong.
If you have nothing against natural clay mask and refreshing swim in the fresh air in early May – this event is created for you! Only it is not as nice as it sounds…:D. Here’s what to really expect:
- Cold weather. Sometimes it is not so bad, but the average air temperature usually is around 12 -14 °C.
- Even colder water. If you prefer to swim in warm water – forget about this race.
- More cold water. Yes, there are many obstacles that include water. Some puddles are knee high, some are waist high and some you just have to swim over.
- Puddle of Mudd. No, it is not the band, but this race is definitely blurry. The mud is everywhere! Protect your eyes.
- Length of obstacle course. Average length is 8 – 10 km.
- Friendly people. When you have no strength left to climb on the obstacle, there definitely will be someone who will lift your booty from behind or give a helping hand.
- Good vibes in the air. Despite the cold weather and water, there are so many smiley faces that you just can’t help it but smile along. Not to mention the good feeling afterwards.
How to prepare?
As you can imagine, you can’t run totally unprepared in this kind of race. The must thing is a pretty good physical shape and that doesn’t mean that you have to be an athlete. You just have to be aware of your own limits. What to do and not to do before The Strong Race:
- Running. Run at least one month before the event so you will become stronger, more confident and prepared.
- Clothing. After the race your clothing will be unusable. Either use your old leopard print leggings and some holey t-shirt or go to the nearest thrift shop and buy something as stylish to throw away after the race. If you are afraid that you might freeze, I suggest to run in thermo top and leggings.
- Shoes. Be sure that the shoe laces are really tight and there is no gap between shoe and leg. Otherwise you may lose your shoes in the mud.
- Warm up! Don’t forget to warm up before the start.
- Alcohol. I don’t know why, but there are always some smart asses who think that drinking will ease their way to… I don’t know – victory? No comments here and I definitely don’t recommend this method. Also try not to use anything the day before the race.
- Injuries. I don’t want to scare you, but there are always a possibility to get an injury (but given the number of participants the number of injured is small). Just in case be prepared for the worst scenario.
- Your age. You must be 18 or older to participate. But from this year on there will be an obstacle course that is created for families and little ones.
That’s it for now. You can see my this year’s Strong Race adventures below. In the meantime, we all have plenty of time to prepare for the next race. See ya!