Perth Spartans to tackle obstacle course world champs

 Deon Wilde , Shannon Dally, Travis Richardson, Dan Pettersson and Cameron Bostock. Picture: Martin Kennealey www.communitypix.com.au d493091
Deon Wilde , Shannon Dally, Travis Richardson, Dan Pettersson and Cameron Bostock. Picture: Martin Kennealey www.communitypix.com.au d493091

A GROUP of Perth men will travel to Sydney next month for a 24-hour obstacle course competition.

Seville Grove resident Shannon Dally (35) will compete as an elite individual in the 2019 OCR (Obstacle Course Racing) Enduro World Championships in Sydney on June 8 to 9.

Landsdale resident Cameron Bostock (23), Bertram’s Travis Richardson (34), Scarborough’s Dan Pettersson (36) and Joondalup’s Deon Wilde (36) have qualified as the Perth Spartans team for the event.

Deon Wilde.

Wilde said to qualify, they had to make top five in an elite wave recognised event in the world such as Tough Mudder, Spartan and True Grit.

He said the championship race would be on an 11km course with 30 obstacles, including water hazards.

“The competitors have 24 hours to complete as many laps as possible,” he said.

“Most people will not stop all night. Some people won’t make it through the night and pull out.

“A lot of people get injured as this is an endurance race against the best in the world.”

More than 40 countries will compete, and Wilde said past events had included ice on the water hazards, while gear recommendations included frog suits, powerful head lights and wetsuits.

Pettersson and Wilde formed the Perth Spartans last July when they did the Spartan Ultra Beast race in Victoria, which had more than 2100m elevations and 60 obstacles over 50km.

Dan Pettersson.

To prepare for the upcoming championships, Petersson has been running on trails and tracks, as well as doing swimming, calisthenics and the obstacle course at Ninja Academy in Osborne Park.

“I’ve always enjoyed physical activities and it’s a great way to challenge yourself on all aspects like strength, endurance, agility and balance.

“I find long distance running the most challenging both physically and mentally.”

Wilde said his training involved about 50km of running a week as well as five weekly strength and conditioning sessions at Result Based Training in Balcatta and occasional obstacle sessions at Ninja Academy with the team and runs with Perth Trail Series.

He said the best aspects of the sport were the people, friends and culture.

“There is nothing like it where everyone shares training programs, helps out fellow competitors until race day when it’s on,” he said.

“Mud, blood, sweat and tears… and there’s the occasional burpee penalties.

“The obstacles are great fun and push you to your limits to achieve a better result every time.

“The most challenging thing for me about OCR so far has been obstacle failure which results in burpees.

“It’s not fun after running marathon distances and climbing mountains multiple times.”

Cameron Bostock.

Bostock said he was “hooked” after doing his first OCR event late last year so connected with the sport’s community in Perth through social media.

To prepare for the championships, he has been doing as much running as he can as well as grip work and training in challenging conditions they might face there.

“I love the fact that you have to use so much of your body to do well – it’s not just running or just lifting but it involves strength, grip, endurance and speed all in one sport,” he said.

“The most challenging aspect for me is the running which I am relatively new to but still enjoy the challenge.”

Travis Richardson.

Richardson has been racing in the elite division since 2013 and Wilde approached him to become the fourth member of the Spartans in January.

To train, he has been running on trails and bush tracks, going for long bike rides, building his grip strength and body weight.

“The obstacles have always come naturally to me with my childhood on a rural property, but running over long distances has been my biggest challenge,” he said.

“I love the community of OCR and trail running everyone’s racing hard but always will to stop and help some if they need it.”

Shannon Dally.

Dally, who crossed paths with Perth Spartans about a year ago, said the sport’s community was helpful and vibrant.

“I’m currently in the peak of my training which involves somewhere between 80km and 100km of running and four training sessions at Armadale F45,” he said.

“Also a lot of that training is designed around being cold and uncomfortable.

“I enjoy pushing my body and mind beyond what is seen as achievable and then relating that back into every day life.

“The most challenging aspect is the location of races with only True Grit being in Perth now.”

Wilde said the team was grateful for support and sponsorship received from several businesses in Perth.

Visit ocrworldchampionships.com for more information.