Extreme action in India is not limited to the mountainous terrains and weathered valleys of the country. In fact, urban landscapes are subjected to extensive adventure sports activity. While marathons have been around for a while, the obstacle course race is a relatively new endurance sport that is slowly gaining popularity.

Increase in popularity of a sport is closely followed by development of facilities, which in turn introduces diversity and competition. Sports Group Asia is making a similar contribution to the ambit of fitness and athleticism in the country.

The Phoenix Project, an undertaking of Sports Group Asia, is a large-scale mud-based obstacle course race, coming to Bangalore on April 2, 2017. A 5-7km track, with 20+ world class obstacles on a unique terrain, the course is designed for adventure, physical exercise and pure unadulterated fun. There are three categories to choose from. Those above 16yrs of age may opt for the regular race. The Nixie Project, an offshoot of the Phoenix Project, is a 1km long course with 7-10 easy obstacles for the young ones between the age of 8-15yrs. The Phoenix Ultra, a notch above the rest, is open only to the 20 toughest contenders, as it amounts to running 3 laps of the obstacle course race, i.e. 5×3=15km and 20×3=60 obstacles, putting your endurance, strength and determination to ultimate test!

Piloted by the same group who conducted the Alpha League Obstacle Races, the Phoenix Project is grounded in the philosophy of the phoenix, to rise from the ashes of the old self and transform into the new, applicable to all and sundry who shed their inhibitions and make that leap!

To retain the element of surprise, the variety and nature of obstacles on the course remain largely unrevealed to the participants till D-day. Built in a quasi-military style, with the help of ex-Indian Army and NSG commandos, there is a gradual increase in the level of difficulty of the world-class obstacles. More often than not, endurance races are a test of mind over matter. To get through the next hurdle, and then the next, and then the next. Till there comes the point of physical ineptitude. Volunteers and fellow Phoenix athletes lend a helping hand along the way, ensuring no one gets left behind. Those who choose to skip a hurdle, however, have to make up for it by doing the equivalent number of burpees or push ups.

Milind Soman at the Alpha League Race held in Bangalore in 2015.

The Phoenix experience doesn’t end at the finish line of the obstacle course race. After the race, festivities continue at The Phoenix Settlement. The buzz here marks the success of the participants. A complete carnival like atmosphere with music, zumba and euphoric engagements like The Phoenix Zone (Crossfit zone), Phoenix Hunter (spear throw), Phoenix Guzzler (beer station) keep the adrenaline flowing. Participants who successfully cross the finish line of this gruelling obstacle course win themselves commemorative goodies including a customised medal, timing chip and Phoenix Project apparel.

The last episode of the Phoenix Project was wrapped up in Dec’16 in Delhi and saw participation of people from all walks of life including housewives, businessmen, and the specially abled, breaking their daily monotonous routine to experience the thrill of obstacle racing. Entrants crawled in muddy waters, through tunnels, under barbed wires, climbed slushy ropes, and had to negotiate over metal barricades. The next race takes place at Century Artizan, Yelahanka in Bangalore on April 2, 2017. Another race is in the pipeline for June 2017.

The Phoenix Project is all geared up for the April 2nd meet in Bangalore. The team has been conducting regular boot camps in preparation for the event. Training includes regular cardio workouts and intensive core-strength building.

Snapshot of the boot camp held in HSR, BDA Complex on 19.03.17

Obstacle races are merely a game of strength and strategy. While it’s a good idea to focus on bodybuilding and drills, one must remember to energize the mind and body and have a practical approach towards obstacle course training. Here are a few points to keep in mind while gearing for an obstacle course race.

  • Dress light and comfortable.
  • Don’t forget to hydrate.
  • Off days are just as important as training days. The body needs to recuperate.
  • Push endurance levels only as far as the body can comfortably take it. Over-exertion can sometimes be more harmful than beneficial.

Other than that, all you need is an insatiable thirst for adrenaline.

April 2, 2017. Bangalore. The countdown has begun.


Author: 4Play

4Play.in is India’s first adventure sports channel which curates stories from the outdoor extreme and adventure sports. An outcome of roughing it up in the outdoors, living on the cutting edge of what may be termed as extreme, and basking in the experiences that came along.

The Phoenix Project: A Next-Gen Obstacle Course Race


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