Friday, 7 August, 2020

Electric shock obstacles – is there a place for them?

Home Forums General Discussion Electric shock obstacles – is there a place for them?

This topic contains 17 replies, has 16 voices, and was last updated by  Nick Austin 4 years, 5 months ago.

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    Kicking things off with Ella Conor’s Blog Roll Roulette entry:

    Mains electricity is marvelous. I’m totally cool with it doing the lighting and heating thing. I just don’t want it coursing through my nervous system. Crazy, huh? It’s not because I’m scared of tough obstacles; it’s because I run obstacle races to achieve things. I train for faster, longer, higher, better. Training works – distances get easier, monkey bars become conquerable, mud hills lose their calf-shredding power. But I could train eight hours a day and electric shocks would still hurt me just as much as they would a dedicated couch potato. I may as well pay someone to punch me or just stick my fingers in the plug socket. Sure, it’s impressive that I am still alive afterwards, but I can’t claim any credit for it. It’s pointless masochism. Post Fifty Shades, there are plenty of places you can go for that. OCR shouldn’t be one of them.

    What do you think?


    Andy Parry

    totally agree. I really hate electric shock obstacles, and generally run round them and do pressups until the person who was next to me gets through also!


    Liz Clarkson

    Brilliantly put. I totally agree, if I can’t train and improve then it’s not the type of challenge I want. Oh but I am scared of it. It’s not the sort of fear I’m interesting in trying to conquer!


    Steven Thorpe

    That comment has really reinforced my own personal feelings of them

    There is no way to improve/train for them….first time is an interesting gimmick, 2nd, 3rd 4th etc isnt a fun or interesting challenge


    Darren Hogwood

    True that. (Word count = 2)


    Adam Pollock

    Yeah completely agree. They don’t require any skill to get past and you can’t train for them. They can be pretty scary, so I can appreciate that some people might get a kick from overcoming that fear, but similar to Ella that’s not what I’m looking for in OCR.

    I would take Andy’s approach of missing them out and doing push ups instead, if it wasn’t for my stupid pride of not missing an obstacle.

    I actually wrote a similar blog post about this a couple weeks back: (Sorry, not sure if links are allowed in comments. Feel free to remove if not).


    Lee Mortimer

    See, I’m 50/50 on this, where as I hate the whole electric shock obstacles, and I really mean HATE, I still see it as an obstacle to overcome, I don’t see it as a manly tough thing that if I don’t do it I’m thought any less of, I just see it as something which I need to overcome.

    I’m more than happy to skip them, as I did on my last Tough Mudder, as I have done a number before, I can do them, but I chose not to do it on that occasion.

    It’s a bit of fun and a massive talking point for newbie to tell their friends that they did it, and it is a massive obstacle to overcome, I still dread it and always will, but I will choose on the day, even the minute before the obstacle whether I will do it or not.


    Delyth Piper

    I have epilepsy so I’d burn them all to the ground if I could. There’s nothing more depressing than having to walk around an obstacle that takes no skill whatsoever, whilst being cajoled, frowned at and occasionally laughed at (Total Warrior for that one).

    I may not be able to complete every obstacle I come across but I always have a damn good go at them. They are the only obstacles I can’t even attempt and it basically leaves me feeling like I haven’t completed the course.



    Totally agree with Steven. The novelty value wears thin very quickly.


    Dave Walton

    I’ve made my stance clear many times. They’re a gimmick – and often placed where spectators can gawp I believe? Won’t do them on principle, and unfortunately that rules out a number of events for me because I don’t want to enter an event and deliberately walk round an obstacle. I believe OCR UK are looking to rid our sport of them so that we can be taken more seriously?


    Steve Platt

    Agree with everything said above. +1 for removing them from the sport.


    conrad howell

    I hate them, I didn’t do tough guy for that reason,and I avoid events with similar obstacles….so I miss out on certain races which is a shame.i could do them and bypass the obstacle but I’m worried that I could get half way through another in the race to discover wires hanging and no way out….


    Alan Viveash

    I could do without them, but I can see the idea of them – to cause fear. The idea isn’t to train for it, it’s to get past a mental barrier.

    I managed Tough Guy this year dodging every wire. No shocks. Granted the last obstacle was well and truly switched off. Avoidable shocks are far better than the TM style run and hope.

    Note: generally I agree though – I wouldn’t mourn the departure of shock obstacles.



    I don’t like them but I think that if a race insists on having them that they should be ‘avoidable’ by either skilfully darting between them or belly crawling beneath them. That way you have the choice of going fast and getting stung or going slow and avoiding them.

    I’ve done Tough Guy twice and successfully crawled/ducked/weaved under all 5 batches of stingers both times – it is possible!


    Nick Austin

    I’m not into them at all. Silly. There’s no way they can be properly risk assessed for every eventuality, and it’s only a matter of time before someone else is seriously hurt, burned or worst.
    Physically challenges – great , mental challenges – great , Challenging Darwinism is a whole other board game ….

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