I expect I am not the only person who has gone to a race, seen an obstacle and wondered how safe it really is. Was it something that looked like it had been assembled hastily, or was it something sturdy that is cleverly designed to look like it is less stable than it really is? The whole point of the sport is to get people outside of their comfort zones, but no one wants a race to end with a trip to the emergency room – not the racers, not the race directors, and certainly not the organizations that are trying to build the sport up.
I’m an engineer, and there has been more than a few occasions where I’ve wondered what level of safety went into the design of some courses – or if any design was involved at all. You hope that the whole thing is not slapped together but sometimes you have to wonder when you see a wall that moves by more than a foot at the top as people climb over it.
I have always assumed that there was some basic standards in place at these courses. I’ve always considered them kind of like traveling circuses – you know there not as safe as a destination amusement park but there is some basic precautions that have taken place. I guess I was wrong.
Nevertheless, it is in the best interest of everyone involved to keep the risks of OCR in check, and to make sure that the sport challenges us, and even sometimes scares us, but that it doesn’t hurt us (at least not too much). This is why races are coming together around the idea of implementing safety standards.
This is a very good thing – and long overdue. Glad that industry is taking it upon themselves rather than having it foisted upon them.
Source: Obstacle Racing Media