THE “oohs” and “aahs” fill either the mind in awe or the living room with cheers of other viewers in unison. People’s television or computer screens are bright, set to max volume, and viewers are glued to a showcase of the contestants’ sheer force and willpower. And when that’s not enough, people who are crazy about Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) watch videos on YouTube or share clips on their social media accounts.
OCR may sound like a game for some, but it is one of the fastest growing sports in the Philippines. OCR fuses fun into fitness.
OCR is a sport wherein an athlete attempts to finish a course with a combination of running and overcoming challenges known as obstacles. The sport has been available in many different distances as short as 500 meters to as long as 50 kilometers. Challenges can reach up to 60 obstacles and categories vary by different training types and fitness levels.
This February 2021, thanks to United Vismin OCR Community, Pilipinas Obstacle Sports Federation and Fitcamp Cebu, the first-ever roof deck obstacle course pop-up facility in the Visayas is set up at the Skypark of SM Seaside City Cebu. Now, Cebuanos who think they have what it takes to showcase their “ninja-like” abilities have a chance to do so for real.
This pop-up facility features obstacles like the underwall, through wall, pull-ups, monkey bars, rings, incline push-ups, twister rings, over six feet wall, dips, traverse wall, inverted wall, rope climbs, and is offered to the public through the Stay Fit at the Skypark program through guided sessions on the 3F Amphitheater 2, Skypark beginning last Feb. 13. The opening event was attended by Cebu-based fitness coach Sherwin Managil who won a silver medal in the 2019 SEA Games, Cebu City Councilor Dondon Hontiveros, basketball star, and athletes from the Philippine Accessible Disability Services Inc.
Runs are held every Saturday and Sunday at 5 p.m. via pre-registration for limited slots.
For SM Seaside, it is its way of providing the community with a safe space for outdoor fitness activities to encourage everyone to balance leisure and physical workout.
The Skypark is also the venue for the upcoming Ninja National Qualifying Challenge this Feb. 27 and 28 where various athletes compete to quality for the Philippine National Team that is set to compete for the world championships in Moscow, Russia.
All the challenges are guided by current Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases guidelines for a controlled number of participants to ensure safety protocol measures are implemented.