News · Singapore

Men’s Health Urbanathlon 2017: ‘Tis the Season to Go “Physical”

by On Jan 3, 2017

New year. New goals. And if the goal at the top of your list includes an obstacle race, you won’t have to travel far to push your body to extremes at the next Men’s Health Urbanathlon 2017.

Men’s Health Urbanathlon 2017: ‘Tis the Season to Go “Physical”

You’re probably trying to deal with new year stressors like new goals, financial planning and other matters that must be laid out for the new year. But we’ve got an antidote to your stress and angst: Men’s Health Urbanathlon 2017, a free-form obstacle race like no other.

While you’re in a race planning mood, put yourself at the top of your generosity list by registering your fine self for the 4th March 2017 event where “free-form,” “free style” and the ultimate in physical challenges await you.

This event’s motto portends surprising results: No Pain, No Glory, No Bruises, No Story!

But you’ve got a story to tell and a mission to complete — especially if you made promises to stretch the boundaries of the challenges you’ve set for yourself and your 2016 promise time limit is about to run out.

Why an obstacle race? It could be good for your health

"New York Times" fitness writer Gretchen Reynolds became fascinated with the rapid growth of the international ultra running scene, and her research findings are eye-opening.

She peeked into the “general health implications” runners confront when they graduate from ordinary marathons to those entailing all matter of strenuous activities that often have nothing to do with running.

Having dug deep into the science of ultra-run physiology, Reynolds learned that athletes who include ultras in their race mix are amazingly healthy. On average, they have low high blood pressure rates, fewer irregular heartbeats and less than 1-percent of competitors have been diagnosed with heart disease or at risk for a stroke. Since the majority of the athletes cited in her article turned out to be over the age of 40, she sat up and took notice.

In an interesting twist, athletes under the age of 40 tend to sustain more injuries than their older counterparts. Reynolds' educated guess? She believes that runners belonging to the older, mellower age group simply take a more relaxed approach to training thus they experience fewer injuries. So much for the myth of inherent dangers of ultra-events, which may be all the reason you need to participate in the 2017 Men’s Health Urbanathlon.

Men’s Health Urbanathlon 2017: ‘Tis the Season to Go “Physical”

6 Training tips to consider

Will you require a whole new workout plan to prepare for the upcoming Men’s Health Urbanathlon challenge? Not really. Just some common-sense steps to take so you’re prepared for what awaits. These six will get you started on the road to preparation.

  • Match up the route and activities you’ll undertake so you condition in an environment that's as close to the challenges you'll face as possible.
  • Don’t skimp on breaks when you put together your training program.
  • Bring solid fuel sources along when you undertake long and arduous conditioning trailing (energy bars, gels, etc.) and bring some to the Urbanathlon, too.
  • Skin lubrication products help with challenges you face, but don't wear so much that you risk an injury.
  • Practice the art of intermittent activity to help preserve your energy stores.
  • Ignore hydration breaks at your own risk. Drink sports beverages or water every 15 minutes and think about adopting this ultra-athlete habit: drink high-caffeine beverages as you near the end of the event.

Men’s Health Urbanathlon 2017: ‘Tis the Season to Go “Physical”

About the Men’s Health Urbanathlon

It’s been eight years since “Men’s Health” magazine first staged an Urbanathlon, and if you’ve taken part in one or more, you probably noticed that the more things change, the more they stay the same!

For the 2017 event, organisers have rolled out “a complete refresh,” so it’s anybody’s guess how much wilder the 4th March Urbanathlon is going to get before it’s over.

On the other hand, logistics have been set in stone for some time now, so jot down the time (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.), start and finish location (Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza; SCAPE Playspace) and anticipate covering around 12km of ground before you cross that finish line.

Because this event features a free-form running format, every competitor can choose from the four obstacle courses rather than pursuing a traditional fixed route, so you might say the Men’s Health Urbanathlon has been customised to suit each and every participant.

Men’s Health Urbanathlon 2017: ‘Tis the Season to Go “Physical”

Think you can meet the challenge?

Both men and women are invited to take part in the Men’s Health Urbanathlon, just as long as they’re over the age of 18. The conclusion of everyone’s event is going to be the daunting Urban Warrior course staged at Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza.

Organisers swear that this finale will end your race with a bang, so make sure you save energy resources for this last stand, remembering that this race is all about discovering what you’re made of rather than how much time it takes for you to hit the finish line.

You are given your choice of flag-off times (every half hours starting at 9 a.m.), but do yourself a favour and get to the Urbanathlon epicentre early (Playspace) so you have adequate time to settle last-minute details and unwind a bit before you jump in and have at it.

All runners must meet the 150-minute time limit maximum. You wouldn’t want to put that much energy into your effort only to be disqualified because you got to the finish line a minute late, would you?

Men’s Health Urbanathlon 2017: ‘Tis the Season to Go “Physical”

What’s in it for you?

Bragging rights are not to be taken lightly if you manage to face Herculean obstacles set up within those four zones that are situated throughout Singapore’s city centre, so feel free to claim your share when you finish.

Champions are determined by a total of timings collected at each obstacle zone rather than the span of time between the start and finish lines, which is why this race is designated a free-form run.

Anticipate a nice assortment of race back goodies worth over $100 that include an Adidas race tee, subscription to the magazine, Lab Series trial kit, $20 Zalora voucher and more.

Reach your goal and a finisher’s medal, personalised e-certificate and special gifts just for Urban Warrior Obstacle Course victors will be added to your stash.

Look for your name on the Race Village leader board if you finish ahead of the pack, and if you’ve got any energy left over, celebrate with other “survivors” who achieve success at this challenging event.

Since fitness expert Gretchen Reynolds says ultras are good for the body and the mind, what stops most people from undertaking them — and specifically, what stops you?

Nathaniel is a disciplined casual runner and a lover of bananas. As a columnist for RunSociety, he is always on the lookout for exciting and controversial topics that touch the heart of the running community in Singapore, often adding in his funny observations. He has embarked on a mission to start a world class running group in Asia.

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