Like many obstacle course racers, I have developed some impressive calluses on my hands and feet from working grip strength and running on a regular basis. There is nothing more frustrating than when you tear your callous or pop a blister and experience that raw, stinging discomfort that will ultimately sideline you for a few days while your body works to heal itself.
You could feel the nervous tension in the air at the OCR World Championships at dusk on Thursday night. In 12 short hours, the first racers of the weekend would be taking their mark. Athletes from 67 different nations were congregating around the obstacles as the finishing touches were being made. Strategies were developing and although we did not speak the same languages, you could tell we were all thinking the same thing; this course is going to be brutal.