A survivalrun is a parcours in which several obstacles are present that must be overcome. The distance can differ per category: 5-7 km (mini-run), about 11km (half a run) or 17-19 km (whole run). Besides “natural” obstacles, such as culverts, ditches, and fences, also specific survivalrun obstacles are build, often from beams and ropes. These obstacles are different in length, physical and technical difficulty. Technique and agility are as important as strength. In order to get an idea of the obstacles you can encounter in a survivalrun, below the most occurring obstacles are mentioned. Of course it is also possible that several individual obstacles are combined to make a combinationobstacle, creating even more varieties and difficulty levels.
The net is an obstacle that occurs in many varieties. It can be set up vertically, such that you have to climb over it, but also underneath and passing on the left or right side is often the exercise. Besides vertical it can also be set up diagonal or horizontal, allowing you to climb again over and underneath, requiring more arm strength to prevent you from falling out. During the competitions also sometimes cranes are used, allowing the nets to be positioned above the water, allowing higher obstacles. In case of a “roofnet” it contains a rising and falling diagonal part, providing even more variation.
The footlock is the most used technique during survivalrun. You can use this to climb in (any type of) rope or for instance a firehose. With “bahia’s” several ropes are hanging next to each other and the exercise is to move sideways (traversing) and if wanted can be extended by having to do a swingover per rope. The footlock allows you to stand in the ropes, saving armstrength.
Triangles, rings and enteren
An example of training your arms and hands are the triangles. They are usually made of metal and sometimes have some tape for a better (and warmer) grip. By swinging back and forth it is possible to overcome the distances between the different triangles. Besides the traditional triangles also other materials are often encountered, such as short ropes (gnome lianas), (wooden) sticks, rings, or kartingtires. Sometimes it is simply one rope stretched horizontally or a beam underneath which you must while hanging climb only using your arms, called enteren (boarding).
If you want to feel like a monkey, try the monkeyhang. This exercise is a horizontal rope underneath which you climb, meaning hanging from your ancles and hands, like the logo of Tartaros.
In case your arms grow tired from hanging, the catcrawl can bring relief. With the catcrawl (opposite of monkeyhang) you lie on top of a rope and by pushing out with your legs (and pulling/stabalising) with your arms you can crawl further over the rope. This pose is without movement often used to take a short rest while crossing a long rope (using monkeyhang). Most people find the catcrawl more tiring and timeconsuming than the monkeyhang, but the restposition is better.
There are dozens of swingovers. A swingover is the exercise where you go over a (small) vertical obstacle, for instance a rope hanging from a beam. For climbing up the footlock is used and various swingover techniques can be used to get over the top. On our parcours we have several swingovers. One of the easier swingovers is the tireladder, since it can also be done without a (proper) footlock. Other swingovers present are rope swingovers and beam swingovers, requiring you to respectively climb over a horizontal rope or a horizontal beam. Swingovers can also be made more difficult during competition by placing them above water, or putting a weight/barrel or beam at the bottom of the rope. Sometimes it is even the assignment to take a load (tire) along over the swingover. The vertical rope can also be replaced with a thick rope or simply a pole.
There are several bridges within survivalrun, often made from ropes. In case of the indiansbridge two ropes are stretched horizontally above each other. The lower rope is to stand and walk on, while the upper rope can be used for balance and support. In case of a komeini bridge the top rope is hanged out of reach, but small vertical ropes are hanged from it to give a hold to the user. A third version is the postmanwalk. In this case the upper rope is loosely attached to the beginning and the end, forcing the user to create their own upper line by pulling the ropes together using the “loop-technique”.
Another obstacle often present in survivalrun is archery. This is not practiced during training, but is often present in competitions. In case the target is missed with the one arrow you get and extra round or obstacle must be overcome before you can continue. The shooting is sometimes also done with an airgun, catapult, throwing axe, pitchfork or other materials.
Another frequently occurring obstacle is chopping or sawing wood often after having had to drag along the timber along for a while. Especially at the end of the run when your arms are already numb this is a fun obstacle 😉 A more quiet, relaxing activity present is canoeing or kayaking. Floating around on the water, enjoying the nature or peddling for your life 🙂 Getting wet is quite normal during a competition, the above mentioned canoeing has made some victims, but every run requires you to pass some ditches, lakes or rivers, often making the next obstacle extra muddy.