Athletics: O-Rock ready to roll with challenging obstacle course

O-Rock will take place at Sir Barry Curtis Park in Botany Downs next weekend. Photo / Supplied
O-Rock will take place at Sir Barry Curtis Park in Botany Downs next weekend. Photo / Supplied

It's a new event on the New Zealand sporting calendar that has been met with instant approval.

The Mazda O-Rock is a 6km run where athletes will be asked to run, jump, climb and crawl through a range of obstacles at Sir Barry Curtis Park, in Botany Downs, East Auckland next weekend.

It has drawn comparisons with the popular annual Tough Guy and Gal Challenge, and also the recent Warrior Run, but this is a unique event in its own right, says event organiser De-arna Gardiner. "We wanted the event to capture people's sense of adventure and give them a great morning out," said the 34-year-old.

The course will feature at least 10 obstacles constructed by an experienced crew where athletes of all abilities will climb over fences, crawl under nets and barbed wire, jump over walls and face many other challenges all while running over a combination of dirt paths, grass fields and footpaths.

While the Tough Guy prides itself on its mud, and loads of it, the O-Rock is clear to state "that there is no mud at our event".

"The course is not too demanding but be prepared for the various terrains to test your fitness and obviously the obstacles will get the heart rate up. It is a course that can be run, jogged or walked at your own pace, anyone with a sense of adventure will love it." Waves of runners will leave every 15 minutes, starting at 9am and ending around 10.30am.

Athletes choose their start time when they enter and competitive runners are encouraged to sign up for the 9am wave.

Two media personalities, Mark Richardson (Crowd Goes Wild) and Dominic Harvey (The Edge radio station), will race in the first wave.

Numbers are limited to 300 to prevent back-ups at obstacles and the most popular waves (9am to 9.45am) are expected to sell out quickly.

There are athletes of all abilities up for the challenge where competing for some is not as important as just participating.

Gardiner said the best way to prepare for the O-Rock run was to combine some cardio and strength training such as the exercise found in boot camps and cross-fit training.

Maia Molioo, a 40-year-old mother of two, has been completing cross-fit training with six of her girlfriends to be ready for the 10 obstacles in the O-Rock.

"For me and my friends it is all about giving it a go," said Molioo who is dressing up with her friends in army outfits for the race.

"This is a new event and there is nothing like this in New Zealand. It should be really fun and interesting taking on all the obstacles. I am sure it's going to be tough. The cross-fit training with the girls has been really good fun getting ready for this and it's good to get into fitness that is a bit different."

Molioo said her goal was to complete every obstacle and come home with a smile on her face.

"I guess I am a good example to people out there that you don't have to be super fit to take part in events like this. You just have to give it a go. There is no pressure on me or my performance. It will be an achievement just to finish."

Molioo's good friend, Marlene Tarawhiti, also cannot wait to put her cross-fit training to the test.

"I love the challenge of completing each obstacle competently," she said.

"The cross-fit training has been a huge benefit for fitness and preparing the body for this. I expect the obstacles to be a challenge but still achievable."

O-Rock 6km obstacle run

When: Sunday, May 12.

Where: Sir Barry Curtis Park, Botany Downs, Auckland.

What: 6km obstacle run.

For more information visit: www.orock.co.nz

- NZ Herald

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