Extreme racing couple create Obstacles to train others

More than 200 took course as part of Spartan Race prep

by Kevin Woodhouse

For some athletes, running a race along asphalt is not stimulating enough. Some athletes crave a more extreme style of racing such as the very popular Spartan Races that take runners through an outdoor obstacle course style race requiring a lot of vertical racing along steep hills.

For Guy Pilon Jr. and his wife Melissa, Spartan Races is a way of life. As a personal trainer, many of her clients were asking to be prepped for an upcoming race and after some thought, the fitness loving couple created Obstacles, a training program designed to teach athletes and couch potatoes alike how to take on a Spartan Race and surpass your own goals.

“We have permanent trails and obstacles that you would find in an endurance race set up at La Base de Plein Air Les Cèdres,” Pilon Jr. told The Suburban. “We provide different kinds of training stations and had all kinds of people from elite runners to out of shape beginners.” Melissa, after giving birth to their daughter, took some time off from racing but has placed 34th overall in the Spartan Race Worldwide women’s rankings last year while her husband took part in six different Spartan races with a 105 world-wide ranking.

The training sessions have ended this year but after the couple’s inaugural year, more than 200 people took part in the training sessions, next year’s training will start in late March. For some, it was a way of improving their fitness and endurance while others trained for extreme races that have grown in popularity over the last few years. 

“Nowadays there are a multitude of different obstacle races all over the province,” said Pilon Jr. “You can basically enter a different race every single weekend of the year.”

The Obstacles outdoor course is almost a kilometre long and boasts an eight foot wall, 16-foot climbing ropes, oversized tires and javelins. Spartan Races have three categories: sprint which is usually about five kilometres in length with less than 20 obstacles, super is 15 km in length and a beast race is a half marathon with at least 50 obstacles.

Due to the course’s popularity this year, Pilon Jr. is planning on “doubling the length of the course and adding an exterior gym that will allow us to have unlimited options as far as muscular training goes to handle all aspects of obstacle racing: cardio, obstacles and muscular strength.” 

As a way of highlighting the training course, Obstacles will be holding an Open House and demonstration taking place on Saturday, Nov. 30 at La Base de Plein Air Les Cèdres, 1,677 St. Dominique in Les Cèdres. For more information, e-mail them at guy@melfitness.com or find them on Facebook under Mel Fitness. The webpage also offers regularly updated nutrition and training tips.

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