Friday, 7 August, 2020

Different Challenges For Males & Females?

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Alan Viveash 4 years, 4 months ago.

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    This is Francesca’s response to the Blog Roll Roulette Question: “Should the challenges at competitive obstacle races differ for males and females?”

    It is generally noted that most women have roughly 60-70% strength of that of most men.

    In some races such as Spartan, weighted obstacles are less for women, however, we climb the same walls, traverse the same rigs, and run the same distances.

    I find in Spartan races that the women’s weight is too easy, it is often 50% of that of men’s, whilst it should be closer to 70%. The UK Championships suffered from a high female failure rate. I don’t think that is a positive for the sport. Do I want to make excuses for women? No. Can I accept that most women cannot compete directly with men? Yes. There is no other sport where men and women compete at the same level and are expected to perform. With OCR becoming more extreme; without taking gender into account, this will only push women out of the sport.

    What do you think?



    “There is no other sport where men and women compete against each other at the same level”. Just to be awkward men and women compete against each other even at the Olympics in dressage, show jumping and eventing. I know some people don’t see them as sports but I’d say the same about curling 😉

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 4 months ago by  Rosanna.


    As a weekend warrior, rather than anything more serious, I’m relatively easy going about the situation. I can, however, see that it is an issue for those who want to compete directly with the opposite gender.

    As a pocket-person (5’3″), I do look at the rangy men when it comes to walls and feel that a heel hook for them ain’t nothing compared to what I need to do. I don’t mind though; makes it more of an achievement when I get over. Nice to see that events are increasingly offering different heights, or optional holds/ropes.

    The carrying obstacles are okay for me, as I am strong. A tiny, tiny issue I have is when marshals presume to know which weight to offer at log and tyre carries. I prefer to choose my own. As I say, tiny niggle, as I know that they are only trying to be helpful.

    Finally, hips. Love mine, but occasionally pipes and trenches can be snug. Guess guys could say the same, but because of their broader shoulders.

    I guess there’s something for everybody, and, as long as people are happy to help and encourage, then gender is irrelevant.


    Alan Viveash

    I don’t think OCR is uniform enough to be a “sport” in the way OCRAUK etc want it. I’m happy about this. Put 2 weights, different sizes of tyre/log etc and let people choose their own regardless of gender.

    As shown in the main image here. Jon Albon is dragging a blue (read: 20kg) sandbag. I carried a 30kg bag and it was sodding heavy. Granted this is before the whole qualifying thing mucked it up, but still. Are all tyres the same weight? Of course not.

    Going slightly off topic anyway – let a person choose their challenge regardless of their chromosomes.

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