Last week, I cheered for two friends who competed in The Ironman Competition in Kalmar. Today, it’s all about the Tough Viking competition!
This is one of the largest obstacle Course Races and I am still in awe at the mental and physical challenge these competitors put themselves through to get to the finish line. The climbing, the fire,…yes, FIRE!, the mud, the barb wire, the water hoses and the electric wires! See, that’s where you lost me. Running through 10,000 volts of hanging electrical wires while being hosed with water. Not gonna happen my friend. I’ll just watch!
Tough Viking is the largest, and most challenging obstacle course race in all North Europe. It was held at Kungliga Djurgården, in Gärdet Stockholm behind the Sjöhistoriska Museet.
There was also a Tough Viking kids for children between 5-11 years old. It is 1 kilometer with a fun and challenging obstacle course appropriate for kids.
This day, I chatted with Rik Parker, who is not only a good friend, but has been the Host Commentator for Tough Viking competitions and, he has seen it all. He spoke of former participants as our U.S. Marines and our former Swedish Ambassador Mark Brzezinski. From colorful sport clothes and costumes, to strong presentations of strength and endurance from individuals, work groups, and good friends. It’s all about team work!
1. Tell me about yourself and your sport career.
I grew up in Neenah , Wisconsin, for the most part. I am the son of a High School teacher and football coach. I played football and was a sprinter on the track team in high school as well as at the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse. I travelled to Europe for the first time after college. My college coach took me to Italy , where I was an import player/coach for a team in the Italian League.
2. What brought you to Sweden?
I first came to Sweden in the summer of 1993. I was coaching football at the same college I played at and wanted to coach in Europe during the summer. I answered an Ad in the back of a Coaches Magazine from the Stockholm Mean Machine. They answered a couple weeks later and asked when I could get there. I have been places in between but always managed to get asked back to Stockholm in some football capacity ever since.
My advice to anyone interested in participating in the Tough Viking would be;
1) Obviously be fit , 2) Work on your pulling strength , there are many obstacles where you are climbing and pulling your own weight. And, 3) wear tight clothing. You don’t want your clothes ripped off by an obstacle in the middle of the race.
Well, who would want that to happen?
This is one wicked race but from the smiles, laughter and hugs at the Finish line, it seemed well worth it for all who competed. Maybe it’s something to consider trying out.. OH NO!, not me!! Maybe you! 😀
For more info on Tough Viking, just click here!
Here’s a more vivid look at the race!