IOI Obstacle Run 2016 – The Review
New Event: IOI Obstacle Run 2016
Date: 4th December 2016
Venue: IOI Galleria, Bandar Puteri Puchong
Run Format: 5km + 10 Obstacles
Categories: Men/Women Open, Men/Women Veteran, Couple Run, and Family Fun Run
Total Participants: 600
Organiser: D’Rozza Enterprise
Obstacle Racing is lots of fun and at the same time, it gives participants a chance to test their fitness level, agility and body strength. So, I was excited to join this new obstacle run with my wife Maryati, especially since the Organiser declared that their obstacles would not be difficult to handle because the event was designed to encourage all community members and families to get down and dirty by engaging in a healthy activity together.
The night before, Maryati and I had ran 10km at the Ice Watch Light Up The Night Run 2016 (read about IWLUTNR16) on the public roads of Shah Alam. The very next morning, we were facing a totally different physical challenge on a vacant land in Puchong which was owned by the Title Sponsors, IOI Properties.
Warm-Up & Dynamic Stretching
There was a well choreographed and vigorous aerobics session arranged for the participants to adequately warm-up and stretch their muscles. I noted that some of the more competitive obstacle racers had their own warming and stretching routines. After jumping around to the music and following the aerobics instructors movements on stage, all of our hearts were pumping faster which felt most invigorating, and more importantly, it helped to clear my sleepy head.
To avoid bottleneck situations during the race the runners were released in waves according to their different categories.
The Full Course
Thereafter, we had to navigate and complete 10 consecutive obstacles which were well spaced apart. As you can clearly see from my photos below, the obstacles involved some jumping across rows of tires, jumping into and wading through muddy waters, and rope climbing among others. Nothing too strenuous at all. I was more busy taking photos and videos of the contestants in action than thinking about my own performance.
My favourite obstacles were the Commando Crawl, where participants had to crawl under wires on their bellies across slick mud (Video Clip 10 & 11), and the Wet Drain, where we had to scurry along some dirt trenches (Video Clip 12 & 13) like a startled rat.
Other obstacles were the D’Rozza Lake (Video Clip 14), IOI Canal (Video Clip 15) and the hardest obstacle was Horse Jumping (Video Clip 16) where we had to clamber awkwardly over a series of four 1-metre high segments of huge concrete pipes.
After the last obstacle, it was a short run back to the Start/Finish Line where we were given our medal and a much needed snack pack (Video Clip 17).
I was surprised to see quite a few regular runners take on this course. Perhaps, they had lived near the venue. Or is the popularity of obstacle racing spreading among the running community? As usual, there was plenty of time afterwards to catch-up with familiar faces while snacking on bananas, buns and free iced coffee.
In the end, prizes were presented to the Top 5 fastest finishers in every category. Lucky draw winners received gifts from the sponsors, and one lucky girl pocketed the grand prize of rm500 cash!
The Rise of OCR in Malaysia
Eversince Viper Challenge staged their 1st 21km Obstacle Challenge at Sepang International Circuit in 2012, Obstacle Challenge Racing (OCR) is building into a popular activity under its own right.
Already, there are a couple of high-end OCR events such Spartan and Viper who each organise 3 series of events annually in Malaysia.
Then, there are a dozen other local event companies who are offering their own version of OCR.
Although, these various OCR events may differ in their obstacle designs, venues and registration costs, they all originate from the military commando training principles for hardening soldiers and keep them battle-readied.
In the civilian version, the contestants are forced to use their strength and wit to overcome all the obstacles. Often, contestants will help one another if necessary, and it is this show of mutual respect and camaraderie between the contestants which makes OCR unique and addictive to the legions of OCR Fans out there.
Taking Baby Steps
Normally, OCR organisers will highlight how tough their obstacles are, in order to attract more participants and excite challenge-seekers. Therefore, it was a great idea by Organiser D’Rozza and Sponsor IOI Properties to introduce an obstacle course for beginners, and yet still maintain the essence of obstacle racing. The end result was lots of fun for all participants from the fitness buff to beginners alike.
The obstacles were practical and effective, and there were no major bottle-necks and no long queues to slowdown the participants.
There were enough marshals and volunteers along the route looking after the safety of the participants, and they were helpful and friendly (Video Clip 18).
The water station was well stocked and managed.
Of course, there are some areas for technical improvements, but overall, I highly commend the Organiser and their amazing Crew for a splendid job and for delivering a fun-filled event at an affordable fee for those who cannot afford the premium fees of other branded OCR events.
Not forgetting to thank the Sponsors and Event Partners who added value to the proceedings with their generous contributions.
Last and not least, it was the sportsmanship of the fun-seeking participants who made this event most memorable…
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To the best of my knowledge, all of the information provided herein is accurate at the time of publishing and the views expressed are based on my own personal opinions and findings, and they don’t necessarily reflect the views of the Product Manufacturer, Event Organiser or any Third Party unless explicitly specified otherwise.
About The Author
Gus is the Founder of Running Toons and a HIIT Fitness Coach. As a freelance WRITER, he has contributed numerous insightful articles to The Star newspaper, Running Malaysia magazine, Cycling Malaysia magazine, Cycling Evolution magazine, Swim Bike Run magazine and more. LIKE Happy Runner for RUNNING UPDATES, Gus Rider for CYCLING NEWS, Gus Ghani for SPORTS INFOTAINMENT and FOLLOW gusghani @IG for LIFESTYLE.