Obstacle course racing is a sport which continues to capture the hearts, minds and imaginations of an ever growing number of people. Considering this success, it was never going to be long before the fictional world got in on the act and showed us why they would be great OCR racers. Below lies our top 10 fictional characters who would be great at everything from monkey bars, rope climbs, atlas ball carries and running over tricky terrain, all the things that make obstacle course racing so much fun.
10. Forrest Gump (Forrest Gump)
“Run, Forrest, Run”
The longer you think about this one, the more impressive his physical attributes are. Firstly, Forrest was an “All American” American Football player during his college days, showing exceptional pace and quickness to outrun linebackers and cornerbacks who were intent on taking him down.
Not long after this, Forrest showed why he would crush any sandbag carrying obstacles by repeatedly running back into the jungle, saving the lives of 5 men during the Vietnam war. His heroics even earned him the Medal of Honour. Such grit and determination would undoubtedly earn him even more silverware in OCR events.
Lastly, you may not have heard, but this guy can run. One day, for no particular reason, he “just felt like running”. This journey took him right across the United States of America (twice!). He ended up running for 3 years, 2 months, 14 days and 16 hours, covering an estimated 19,000 miles. Just let that sink in. That’s equivalent to running 1583 Spartan Beasts! That means he ran 1.35 Spartan Beasts per day for over 3 years. Just imagine what his medal rack would look like….
Forrest, we thank you for your service!
9. Aladdin (Aladdin)
“Make way, for Prince Ali.”
Just moments after we meet this “riffraff, street rat, scoundrel” he is sliding down a rope, evading multiple guards as they attempt to take his off his head and generally keeping himself “one jump ahead of the slowpokes”. His athletic prowess is plain to see and his ability to traverse a marketplace like he is crushing the last few obstacles of a race shows exactly why he would be so suited to this sport.
Look at his eyes when he enters the cave of wonders, he is clearly enamoured with all the gold that lies around him, yet he still has the mental fortitude to keep his eyes on the prize and grab that lamp. That kind of determination would make him hard to beat, even in a race across a crowded A-frame.
Even more worrying than these points, would be the fact that Aladdin still has one more wish which is owed to him by the Genie. This depends on whether you believe that Aladdin made a wish while he was underwater and unconscious (hint: unconscious people can’t make wishes). I don’t know about you, but racing against someone who has a wish they can cash in sounds like heartbreak waiting to happen. As tempting as it would be to use that wish to top the podium, let’s hope he uses that spare wish on world peace and not on his next Spartan Race!
8. John McClane (Die Hard Movies)
“Yippy ki yay motherf*****r”
Despite not wearing shoes for his entire battle against Hans Gruber and his luxuriously hirsute henchmen, John McClane exhibits plenty of skills which suggest he would be well suited to obstacle course races. For starters, he shows incredible strength of will to run on feet which have been torn to pieces by shards of glass. I know racers who stop to empty stones out of their shoes!
His grip strength is shown in all its glory when the strap on his gun snaps, he falls about 15 feet and then manages to grab the edge of a lift shaft with his fingers, before pulling himself up into the ventilation shaft. Try this next time you are attempting to scale the 8 foot wall in a race and you will understand just how difficult this would be. Even more than this, his dry wit and iconic one liners would make even the Spartan Beast in Mleiha feel like it was flying by, so his value as a running partner should also not be underestimated.
You then have to consider just how much courage is needed to wrap a fire hose around your waist and throw yourself off a building. This moment alone proves that, even if you think McClane lacks experience, he lacks nothing in creativity (remember, this is a man who managed to hit a helicopter with a car because he, “ran out of bullets”). Something tells me McClane’s mental fortitude alone would make him a worthy adversary.
7. Lara Croft (Tomb Raider)
“A famous explorer once said, that the extraordinary is in what we do, not who we are.”
I’m not sure if you have ever raided a tomb, but its bloody hard work. The secret treasures that lie within these ancient tombs are not just given away to any old explorer with a compass and a dream. In her most recent adventure we saw Lara float down a river with her hands tied, almost fall off the edge of a waterfall and (spoiler alert) have the strength to grab the decaying wing of a plane to pull herself to safety. As the wing began to collapse she then had the quickness and agility to run along the wing and leap to safety. This caused the plane to fall down the waterfall (with Lara inside). Not to be deterred, she grabs a parachute and deploys the canopy, managing to float to safety. Spartan Race, are you watching? This is what you call an obstacle!
Her escapades were also filled with numerous problem solving tasks which make passing the Spartan Beast memory challenge a foregone conclusion. Whether she is running from Doberman dogs, fighting off countless baddies or running through an obstacle course made from boats in a Hong Kong dockyard, her suitability to the sport is undeniable. In fact, she’s so impressive, she might even give our elite racers Angie, Barbara and Ivana a run for their money….
6. Indiana Jones (The Indiana Jones Movies)
“Fortune and glory, kid. Fortune and Glory.”
While we are on the subject of raiding tombs, I would be remiss to leave out Dr. Henry Walton Jones Jr. (Indiana Jones to the rest of you). If you ever thought to yourself that the obstacles you were contending with were hard to overcome, imagine having to fight the Nazis. In Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indy has to battle a group of Nazi archaeologists, commissioned by Hitler himself and prevent them from recovering the Ark of the Covenant. Thankfully Indy avoids having his face melted and he lives on to fight another day!
Jones has all the tomb raiding ability of Lara Croft, combined with the quick wit of John McClane. He can leap across pits, pull himself to safety and even outrun at atlas ball that could flatten a man. Not only this, but Indy has the ingenuity (and remarkable ability to survive something that should undoubtedly kill any man) to get inside a lead lined fridge and survive a nuclear blast. I am not sure it would be fair to allow him to take his whip with him onto a course, but I haven’t checked the rules closely enough to know whether this would be cheating, so for now, it seems like a huge advantage for him. Provided there are no snakes on the course, he would be chasing a podium in every race, even if it were just because he loves treasure.
5. Jason Bourne (The “Bourne” Movies)
“You’re on your own now. You are not helpless. You will find a way.”
It is the middle of the night. You awake as you are being pulled from the sea by an Italian fisherman. He removes two bullets from your back and a laser pointer from your hip. The laser pointer has the details for a safety deposit box at a bank. You travel to the bank and find that the safety deposit box contains a entry ticket the World Championship Spartan Race in Lake Tahoe. The race is tomorrow. Will you enter?
If your answer is yes, then you just might be a match for the forgetful but deadly international spy, Jason Bourne. Despite a very similar awakening, he proceeds to kick a considerable amount of ass as he travels across the world searching for answers. Perhaps he would find them atop the podium of the final race of the season. If you have any doubts about his ability to tackle obstacles, just take a look at the below. This kind of grip strength would make short work of a Z-Wall or any climbing obstacle.
He takes problem solving to a whole new level as he craftily evades capture, starts cars with screwdrivers and bugs phones. You might be faster than him, but you can count on him having a plan beyond anything you could contemplate. He probably has the blueprints of the course memorised, he just has to remember them first.
4. Detective Lee (Rush Hour Movies)
“I’m your brother and I’m fly.”
The credit for this entry has to go to Jackie Chan and its fearless desire to perform all of his own stunts. Just watch 5 minutes of any Rush Hour movie and you will see what I mean. Just watch a few of his stunts and tell me you think you could beat this man in a race. Go on, I dare you.
Forget about winning his age category (which he would) this man could fight for a podium place in every elite race he chose to run. He is the master of using his surroundings to his advantage. He famously performs scenes more than 100 times until he cracks the perfect stunt. Whether he is using a chair, a pool cue, chopsticks, a picture frame or any other random everyday object to best his foes, nothing stops him from achieving perfection and that is why he would be such a formidable opponent.
He often starts fights with a huge disadvantage, whether it be handcuffs, lack of a weapon or being completely outnumbered, but he earns his victory by being relentless. He has the speed, he has the agility and more than that, he has that smile. I am not sure I have ever seen him get annoyed and that mental fortitude is what sets him apart from the field. Doubt him at your peril.
3. Ethan Hunt (Mission Impossible)
“Your mission, should you choose to accept it…”
Watch the opening scene to Mission Impossible 2 and marvel at Ethan Hunt as he free solos an insanely huge rock face, for fun. This was not part of a mission, he was risking his life on the side of a mountain on his day off. I doubt he even knows what Netflix is. He takes the scene from Die Hard where McClane slips down a lift shaft and catches himself to a whole new level.
This guy has been infiltrating enemy bases and recovering intel since back when high-8 tapes and floppy disks were still a thing. Just imagine the core strength that would be needed to hold your arms and legs out like a dead starfish while suspended from a rope, knowing that dropping them will lead to certain capture. He probably has a team of people working as spies throughout the race, whispering information in his ear to give him an advantage and the race itself is probably only part of some bigger plan to overthrow a shadow organisation’s plans for world domination. Probably best just to keep out of his way!
2. Tarzan (Tarzan)
We can start by noting that this guy’s entire existence is one long obstacle course race. He lives in the jungle, wears nothing but a loin cloth and howls like he is on the start line of a Spartan Race. He doesn’t need the high tech gear like trail shoes, compression sleeves or protein gels. Tarzan lives and breathes this kind of life and laughs at the weekend warriors who think they could compete with him.
Just bring on the monkey bars, multi-rigs, rope climbs, Tyrolean traverse and generally climbing of any kind. He even manages to slides along trees or on vines holding Jane in his arms. Do you think you could make it across the monkey bars with a sandbag in your arms? Didn’t think so.
Raised by the Mangani great apes, he has years of unique training which sets him apart from anyone else in this list. Your crossfit sessions don’t begin to compare.
1. The T-1000 (Terminator 2)
“Hasta la vista, baby.”
This liquid metal monster would be an absolute nightmare to see standing across from you on the start line. Firstly, he has the ability to mould parts of his body into whatever shape he pleases, which would be a pretty handy ability to have as you work your way around an obstacle course. Imagine arms which could mould to the shape of a bucket, or sliding under that dreaded barbed wire as an amorphous pool of molten metal.
The T-1000’s best asset though, has to be its relentless speed. Not only can it run at the speed of a car, but it can do so while being shot with bullet after bullet. If it loses part of its arm, that part can just melt back into the rest of its body. This is not a machine, but thousands of nano machines working together at the molecular level and you, well you are just a lump of flesh and bones. Unless the obstacle course you plan to run is through a steel mill, with a giant vat of molten steel which you could knock the T-1000 into, it would be safer and smarter to sell everything you own, and put all the money on this elite killing machine standing atop the podium.
What do you think of our top 10? Did we get the order wrong or maybe miss someone out? Comment below and tell us who would make your top 10!