Fitness Director Competes on Televised Race

With the rise in popularity of shows like American Ninja Warrior, obstacle course racing (OCR) has grown to over 5.6 million participants from around the country annually. Although obstacle courses can be traced back to the very first Olympics, Tough Mudder, one of the major OCR companies, was founded in 2010 and is known for high endurance over a long distance rather than quick, timed races. Usually, Tough Mudder courses are 13-15 miles and take days to complete.

This year, Tough Mudder created an “extremely quick” obstacle course to be televised nationally on CBS. In the first event of its kind for the company, Tough Mudder X was created as short 1 mile obstacle course with 20 obstacles that competitors must complete in under 20 minutes. The show will broadcast at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 27, and may show a familiar face to the Bexley community. Bexley resident Jason Goggins competed in the invitation-only event in July.

Goggins is the Fitness Director at the Jewish Community Center on College Avenue and trains to compete regularly in obstacle course races. Goggins was one of just 38 participants to travel to Hugo, MN to compete in this first-time, invitation-only event. He competed next to Ninja Warriors, Harlem Globetrotters, members of the Olympic rowing team, top Crossfit athletes, and other professional Obstacle Course Racers. With the short distance and high number of obstacles, it created an action-packed race.

“Usually in events such as these, there is something to watch every twenty minutes as competitors reach obstacles that are few and far between,” Goggins said, “but in this event, there was always something happening, always something to watch.”

An elite OCR athlete, Goggins began racing obstacle courses as a way to add more to the triathlons he’d been doing previously.

“I reached a peak in triathlons and I was looking for more to do,” Goggins said, “I participated in my first one on a whim and made the finals but I didn’t feel prepared to compete. I found that I enjoyed training for them and that I was good at them.”

Goggins placed tenth in the OCR World Championships last year and often finishes on the podium, winning his age class. Because of his placements in races last year, he was invited to join the elite list of competitors for the Tough Mudder X race.

Goggins was notified three weeks before the competition what obstacles would be on the course. In that short time span, he used the JCC’s Black Diamond Obstacle Course to train. The course on the grounds of the JCC is 2.2 miles with 33 obstacles and is geared toward training in short bursts of high intensity effort. Goggins recently set the record for completion at 24 minutes and 54 seconds, beating his previous record set last Thanksgiving.

A week after Tough Mudder X, Goggins headed to his next invitation-only OCR challenge in California. After five rounds of interviews and submitting videos of his obstacle course racing, Goggins was chosen to compete in Steve Austin Skull Buster Challenge, a reality series broadcast on CMT. Hosted by the former professional wrestler himself, the show will premiere its fifth season on Tuesday, September 26 at 10:00 p.m.

Goggins will be one of the eight male competitors in the premiere episode who compete one-on-one one in a bracket-style elimination competition. After three elimination rounds, a single finalist must compete in a half mile obstacle course (the “Skull Buster”) not only completing the course but doing so in record time. To find out how Goggins placed, tune in to CMT for the season premiere.

“It is an incredible opportunity I have working at the JCC to train at the Black Diamond obstacle course,” Goggins said, “Combined with the expansive fitness facility where I can work on strength training, it really prepares me to compete at this elite level.”

The obstacle course is free and open to all JCC members. It also hosts open training days and is available to rent. For more information on course training or to rent the facility, contact Jason Goggins at jgoggins@columbusjcc.org or 614-559-6237.

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