Participate in enough OCRs and you will notice that there are all types of personalities on the course. After a considerable amount of thought, I’ve broken the personalities into 4 category types. Each one is a scale in which someone is low, high, or somewhere in between. It is possible for individuals to be high on more than one type, but many will find that one type defines them much more than the others.
The Competitor: I’m sure you know this type. You see them on OCR podiums. The competitor structures life around training and racing. Nutrition, training, & rest are carefully monitored and planned to bring optimum performance. Competitors don’t haphazardly approach their fitness regimens. They have their training plan and they stick to it religiously – tweaking it for upcoming events or to improve on weaknesses. Competitors are not satisfied unless they perform their absolute best. Even then, they may not be happy if they didn’t place as high as they wanted. Beat a competitor and s/he will train harder for the next time. Competitors are serious and the race is enjoyed after it’s over.
The Funner: This type is easy to identify on the race course. Funners are frequently seen standing on the course just chatting or taking pictures. Wear a dog costume to a race? Why not!! Funners are also the personality type most likely to be laughing and smiling on the course. Why? Because they’re having fun and because they haven’t been running fast enough to be out of breath and exhausted. Sometimes they don’t even know how long it took them to complete a race. It doesn’t matter to a funner. You are also likely to find funners at themed races like Color Runs. Sometimes competitors have difficulty understanding funners.
The Masochist: Similar to competitors, masochists arise to challenges, but not so much for the competitive aspect as the “I’m going to do things other people won’t” aspect. Brutality is more important than racing. The race is 15 miles in the heat? “Big deal. I’m going to wear a gas mask, carry a log, run it in sandals, and drink antifreeze throughout. Oh, and I might just run it twice.” Masochists get excited when racing conditions are at their worse. They advocate for 1 mile swims in 40 degree weather and for monkey bars that are greased and continue for 30 yards. They are likely to undertake different challenges like 10,000 burpees in a day or sticking their tongue on a frozen flag pole.
The Teammate: This personality type does not race for themselves, but as part of a bigger group. Individual times do not matter. The Teammate is there to make sure the slowest person gets through a course no matter how long it takes. Tell the teammate that s/he has to run alone without others and it will ruin an event. Teammates feel honor bound to race for a cause. Got yourself tangled in a barbed wire crawl and can’t get out….you better hope there is a teammate personality type near and not just competitors (who are too focused on going fast to notice you) or masochists (who will laugh and tell you to rip yourself apart and get out).
Which one(s) best typifies you?
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