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Shepparton athletes overcome obstacles

Shepparton's Dirty Fighters have put their bodies through plenty during the Obstacle Course Racing Association of Australia Aussie Titles in South Australia.

MATTHEW GALEA May 1, 2014 3:05am

Shepparton’s Dirty Fighters made an impressive bow at the Obstacle Course Racing Association of Australia Aussie Titles last weekend.

Seven racers from Shepparton made the trek to Caudo Vineyard in South Australia on the banks of the Murray River to take part in the landmark short-course event.

Mat Reid, Josh Doxey, Roger Robinson, Mel Jones, Mel Hinchcliffe, Michael Chalmers, Troy Tremellen and Burke Flynn made the trek to the event after being invited either on the back of results in last year’s Obstacle Course Racing League events or through wild-card entries.

Doxey, Chalmers and Tremellen qualified on the back of their times at OCRL events last year, while the others earned wild-card entries.

‘‘We’ve been training pretty hard for it,’’ Reid said.

‘‘It’s the first time they’ve held them ... and it was very good. Everyone performed well.’’

Although the Dirty Fighters train and prepare for races as a team, they compete as individuals.

Burke finished the gruelling 15km course in one hour and 34min, beating Doxey who finished the race in 1.37, while Reid came in third out of the Fighters taking 1.38 to complete the course.

Running through bushland along the soft clay of the Murray, before running through difficult terrain in the vineyards before running 10km of South Australia’s red sand dunes the course was as difficult as anything the team had come across.

‘‘Those sand dunes sorted a lot of people out,’’ Reid said.

‘‘There were rope climbs, wall climbs, a swim in the Murray, monkey bars and balance beams as well.’’

Reid said the event attracted all sorts of athletes from marathon runners to triathletes and felt the event was a big step forward for obstacle racing.

The event will be televised on ESPN in the coming months.

‘‘There were some issues with timings and placings. Not everyone’s time and place was recorded, but it was the first time running it, so hopefully those issues are ironed out going forward,’’ Reid said.

‘‘It’s going to be on ESPN, so I think it’s becoming a bit more mainstream.

‘‘A lot of people just do it for fun, but a lot of people are starting to take it a lot more seriously now and there’s a bit of money to be made in the racing as well.’’

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