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Did you finish Denali’s Run the Gauntlet in the time you trained for? By improving your running technique and balancing skills you can not only shave minutes off your race time, you can significantly improve your enjoyment while doing it. Contact Us for a Free Consultation

Every Spring and Fall Denali brings out the ladders, cargo nets, balance beams, and tubes to create a 5k obstacle course that weaves in and out of East Rock Park in May and Lighthouse Point Park in October. This year was the first year I decided to run the race alone, without the company of a team. It really changed the experience and gave me a different appreciation for the event.

Part of what I love about the Denali races is that their obstacles are not only man-made. They make use of the terrain in which they set their courses. This makes it so much more fun for me as a Natural Movement coach because it makes the race more than just a race. It actually becomes a training event. You’re scrambling up rocks, running through water, crawling through sand, trail running, street running, balancing, jumping, even lifting and carrying a backpack filled with…something moderately heavy. It’s all practical stuff, practical stuff that we train in our gym every day.

In previous years the Denali races have seemed a little disorganized. I didn’t feel that this year…though the Thimble Islands Brewing Company was late and there was a point in the race at the end where it wasn’t clear which way to go. Besides that bit, the course was well marked and there were volunteers the whole way. The weather was gorgeous this year but that’s not always a guarantee and definitely not something Denali can control. The band was rocking and the carousel was free for the day. There’s a mini O-course for the kiddos and Go PRO, Merrill and Denali all had tents with cheery, supportive staff ready to answer any questions I had.

I love Run the Gauntlet for a first obstacle course race. The obstacles aren’t overly challenging but they are enough to slow you down if you don’t know what you’re doing. I highly recommend learning how to clear the obstacles with power and grace. I saw a lot of people getting hung up on points that a little technique can easily clear up. After that, it’s just running training that needs the work. A little technique can get you a long way, even if your endurance isn’t quite there yet.

Try this workout (click the links to see video demonstrations):

4-6 rounds after a brief (10-minute warm up jog)

1) Drop Squats: 2(to)1 (5-8 each side)

2) Foot/Hand Crawl (see video @ 0:19) (10 – 25 yards)

3) Tripod Vault (3 each side)

4) Cross Reverse (2 each foot along 16 feet)

5) 1/4 mile run

Training at Elm City Coach is grounded in Natural Movement Fitness systems. All of these skills cross over directly to enhance your performance and your enjoyment on a course like Denali’s Gauntlet Race. Click here to learn more about our training programs and if you’re ready, consider a FREE consultation.

Marannie Rawls Philippe is Director for Elm City Coach, a Holistic Health and Fitness Gym offering Personal Training, Group Fitness, and Health Coaching in New Haven, CT.