Conor Hancock is aiming for a top 10 finish in the World Obstacle Championships in Cincinnati, Ohio this Saturday.
The 21-year-old scaffolder from Eckington, qualified for the challenging Mud, Guts and Glory race after winning the UK Championships in the 18k Dirty Dozen Destroyer race in September.
The Muddy Racers athlete, who will be joined by two other team mates from England, is confident he can compete against the world’s best despite only taking up the sport last year.
“I’m hoping to get in the top ten. It’s a lot to ask because I will be competing against the elite but I’ve competed against the toughest in Britain and so now I’m excited to see what the rest of the world are like,” the former Hallamshire Harriers runner said.
“All the big names in the sport will be there and I’ll be competing against two athletes who have won the World’s Toughest Mudder competition.
“It’s brilliant to see how far I’ve come as my first race was Sheffield’s Man of Steel just last year and now I’m flying off to America!
“It is going to be very tough. It’s a gruelling race packed with challenges like barbed wire obstacles and huge frames to climb but I can’t wait and fingers crossed I’ll do well.”
The course will be an extreme mud obstacle run combining eight miles of demanding terrain over steep hills, deep ravines and tree-tangled creek beds with over 30 intimidating man-made obstacles.
Prior to this event Conor has previously competed in Rat Race’s Man vs Mountain – a 20 mile course up Snowdon, recorded the fastest time at the 2013 Cheshire Tough Mudder and won the inaugural Tough Guy Marathon this year.
The popularity of extreme races has increased rapidly over the past few years, a trend which Conor hopes will continue.
“I was always into different sports but you really can’t beat this because you have to use all of your body. It’s so addictive as well because as soon as you have finished one you want to sign up for another,” the former Thai boxer said.
“The sport is just getting bigger. The main thing is signing up – get your name down and then you have to do it – it acts as a massive goal to train for.
“There’s nothing better to help with fitness and you may get covered in mud and battered around a bit but it’s so much fun as well.”
His club Muddy Racers is still trying to raise sponsorship to cover costs for the World Championships and future events and any-one who can help can email: firstname.lastname@example.org
n To find out more about the World Obstacle Championships follow them on Twitter @OCRChampionship.