In the craze of adventure racing, obstacle runs, mud runs and the like, teamwork is proving to be at the heart of the sport. Many of these runs are team events and that element makes up a majority of the fun and the attraction for most who keep coming back.
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“More than finishing, you get to share challenges and experiences that will have an impact on you and your relationship with the team,” says Hani Juha of California Adventure Racing Association. Trust, compassion and bonding are only some of the reasons Juha values racing as a team.
And although these events are still focused around fitness and endurance, the team aspect may take precedence. “Having the best athletes race together doesn’t guarantee that you’ll have a good team or a good race,” says Juha. Using the best teamwork, however, does, he argues. “Communication, roles and responsibilities, and shared goals are just some of the factors that make good teamwork.”
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In fact, Brian Bateman of Morristown, New Jersey, points out that “most of these runs don’t have the word ‘race’ in their names at all, because they don’t want to encourage racing. It’s about finding your inner strength and ensuring no one is left behind.” For that reason, many obstacle runs don’t time their finishes at all, or they require you to cross the finish line as a team.
"When you run as a team, it takes the pressure off, while motivating each individual to strive to acheive personal best," Bateman continues. "You don't want to be the one to slow your teammates down. You work as a group. The faster members of the team might start a cheering section at a point on the course to help the slower members push harder while knowing they are cared about."
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