"When the night...has come...and the land is dark..."
This weekend saw the return of Nas Night Challenge. The event was back for a third year and everyone would agree, this was the best one yet. If you have never run a 5k obstacle course through the desert at midnight, you really have to try it!
A small group of the team were lucky enough to try out the course as part of a test night a few days before the race. OCR Nation is so grateful it could be part of that event and you can see some photos below of the team as they took on the obstacles for the first time!
As your car approached the Nad Al Sheba Sports Complex, you could see spotlights filling the sky, like a bat signal, calling OCR Nation to yet another race, and much like the Avengers, assembling for one of the final battles of the year, the team showed up ready for war. Yeah, I mixed up my DC and Marvel references. #DealWithIt
OCR Nation once again made history, by bringing the biggest team to an event that Nas has ever seen and were even given our own dedicated heat to start the race together. This team event involved competing as one unit, tackling the obstacles together and finishing together. Teams were meant to be groups of 4 people, but OCR Nation formed one team of 80 members and set off together into the darkness, ready for whatever the course could throw at us.
The course featured some unique obstacles which have not been seen in other races. There was a slackline across a pool of water, which required some nifty footwork and a little help from a friend to make it across. There were three floors of cargo nets which were not for the feint hearted or those of us who are petrified of heights (we're looking at you Paddy). There was a convex curved wall, which required the team to help each other to get up and over, using team members as a human ladder and making sure you apologise for stepping all over your team mates shoulders!
The was a multi-rig which can only be described as brutal...which involved a rope climb, rings, ropes, poles, a cargo net and more rings. Only those with the best grip strength made it across this one! The absolute favourite obstacle of the race, and by favourite, I mean a harrowing experience that each person will take to their grave, was the icy dunk wall. The water was so cold it can only be described by the words of Leonardo DiCaprio in James Cameron's blockbuster movie, Titanic. "I'm telling ya, water that cold, like right down there, it hits you like a thousand knives stabbing you all over your body. You can't breathe. You can't think. At least not about anything but the pain.", Thanks Leo, I couldn't have said it better myself!
The event also featured a pro category, where the elite OCR runners could show their stuff and compete for cash prizes. OCR Nation put up, what could reasonably be described as, the Invincibles, containing OCR Nation founders, Barbara and Ivana, paired with Jess and Angie. If you think these women are familiar, its because you have seen them standing on the elite podiums in OCR events around the world. The team led from the start and came home comfortably in first place, doing OCR Nation proud and providing inspiration to all members of the team. Hard work pays off guys, these women are living proof.
One moment that bears mentioning comes from good friends of OCR Nation Member Erick. His friends were running the race and found they were struggling with one particular obstacle. Seeing this, a member of OCR Nation, stopped and helped them out, making sure they got through the obstacle and could continue on with their race. This is OCR Nation in a nutshell. If someone needs our help, we will give it. Making sure everyone on the course can enjoy the race is worth more than any finishing time and while we don't know exactly which member of the team it was that offered the help, it is safe to say any member of the team would do the same. Long may this continue!
The team loved every moment of this race, (except that damn icy dunk wall) and look forward to next week, when we get to run the race again, but in the individual race. Unsurprisingly, OCR Nation plans to run again as one team and crush the course together. We look forward to seeing you all there!
Remember guys, we are #StrongerTogether