Sheffield mum Gemma Woodhead (centre) finished third in her elite wave category, and 20th overall across all age groups, in the recent UK Championships for Obstacle Course Racing.
Gemma, who co-owns Fitness Garage in Ecclesfield, and only started competing in OCR last year, said: “At the start of the year I wasn’t that good but I love racing and I’ve had lots of fun alongside the bumps and bruises.”
as part of a group. However after a colleague noticed her motivation and determination to finish the courses he suggested she think about racing competitively.
Since then Gemma has not looked back and has placed 2nd in the Nuts Challenge race where she qualified for the UK Championships, won 1st overall in Spartans Beast, 3rd in Pain and Suffering and 13th in the European Championships along with several other noticeable achievements both locally and nationally.
Gemma is modest in her success and credits the team she works with at the gym with different colleagues helping her with different aspects of her nutrition, strength and fitness.
Despite this Gemma admits;
‘At the start of the year I wasn’t that good. There are some embarrassing videos of me on YouTube running into walls and falling off the monkey bars. One wall I ran into several times before managing to get over it.’
Her enthusiasm for obstacle courses has also rubbed off on her 9 year old son Austin who is following in his mum’s footsteps winning a Spartan race this year and regularly placing in the top 5.
Although Gemma’s individual success is notable she suggests that is about leading from the front and showing her colleagues and gym members what can be achieved whilst having fun, albeit through a few bumps and bruises.
Gemma said “I had elephant feet for a week after winning Nuts Challenge but it was all worth it. I love racing and I love the camaraderie amongst our members and colleagues too. It’s great to see our members achieve their goals as well as me achieving mine. We have even built and outdoor area at the gym specifically for our members to practice on and get a taste of what to expect on an obstacle course race.”
Gemma’s goals for 2017 include completing a marathon OCR, running 10k in under 40 minutes and helping more people to complete races and OCR’s both for racing for fun and for competition.
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