Brakken Kraker, Spartan Pro Athlete, will be Competing and Coaching in New Zealand
Race organisers have locked in Brakken Kraker as competing in the 2017 Wairua Warrior race in Nelson, March 2017. Hailing from the US, Brakken is a member of the Spartan Pro Team and founder of LeaderBoard, an online OCR coaching program.
The Wairua Warrior is a 6 and 12km bi-annual event held at Happy Valley Adventures in Nelson in the summer and winter each year. With undulating terrain, a river, lots of mud and 20+ obstacles ranging from rope climbs to barbed wire crawls to sand bag carries, whether you are a first timer or a seasoned athlete, the Wairua Warrior has something for you.
Brakken will also share his racing expertise in a full-day seminar on obstacle course racing in Nelson. In an amazing opportunity for budding athletes and runners to learn from an experienced athlete, spaces are set to sell-out for what is the first time that a professional OCR athlete has offered open coaching in New Zealand. The seminar takes place March 24th, with the Wairua Warrior race taking place March 25th. Registrations for both can be made combined or separate.
While the elite field will be fiercely fought over, the real heart of the event lies in the large proportion of participants who may not be running competitively but who are looking for something fun and out of the ordinary. At the previous summer event, I asked participants why they would purposely put themselves though an event that involves running through mud and water, things that many may view as uncomfortable and potentially even crazy. The responses were varied, “Friendship and having a weekend adventure with friends” replied Fran, “I did it last year and loved it. It forces me out of my comfort zone” replied Erin, “The satisfaction of going through hard times and overcoming obstacles together. It’s hard in the moment, but it feels so good afterwards.” said Tristan, “I like doing something that’s above my level and out of my comfort zone. Before I couldn’t even run a kilometre.” Said Julia Fletcher (after I asked her, Julia went on to run the 12km distance at the event and finished in 3rd place, in the female open division).
The Wairua Warrior is organised by Greg and Donna Witika who also lead the Wairua Warriors, New Zealand’s first obstacle racing club. Greg and his wife Donna have assembled a group of passionate people behind the club, all with a people-centric culture that stems from the Witika’s Maori heritage and informs their business and growing OCR community. With the establishment of a club, an expanding race series, and the attraction of international athletes, the Wairua Warrior has become a must-do on the NZ OCR scene.
In March, 2017 you will have the chance to race against Brakken in the elite heat or learn from him in the full-day seminar – or both!
This article was originally published on the previous Obstacle Racers NZ site in December 2016.