Obstacle course races gaining popularity, local gym offers uniqu - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Obstacle course races gaining popularity, local gym offers unique training

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PASCO, WA - Obstacle course racing is one of the fastest growing sports in America. Actually, these days more people are signing up for them than marathons and half marathons combined.

Sandra Hanses is one of those adventure-seekers. A lot of people's obstacle course journeys started much like hers.

"A girlfriend of mine said, hey I'm going to go do a mud run, why don't you go with me. So three of us went up we did and I got done and I thought, yeah that was awesome and I was hooked," said Hanses.

That was about three years ago. Since then, she's done 20 more. A glutton for punishment? No. She knows these races are about so much more than the challenge itself.

"The friendship, the camaraderie you've established going through that whole run, just that feeling of empowerment... Of yeah, I did it," said Hanses. Now she trains several days a week specifically for obstacle racing at SED Fitness in Pasco.

"With the popularity of shows like America Ninja Warrior, people are like 'ooh - I can do that on a smaller scale, maybe' and that's where things like Tough Mudder, Spartan or our own local Renegade Rage comes into play," said SED Fitness owner Pedro Torres.

The most important takeaway is to train. Another good tip is to look up pictures and videos of the run you're planning to do, so you can familiarize yourself with some of the obstacles. Torres said you can't show up day-of an event and expect to make it through just fine. You can train at home, at the park, anywhere. Also, SED Fitness is planning an obstacle course training workshop for late spring.