ORM presents the series of stories on OCR Transformations. Runners and athletes whose mind body, and spirit have been altered through obstacle racing.
Being overweight, suffering from asthma and then surgery on a herniated disk is a lot for your body to handle. But then being told you may have a problem walking and lose feeling in one of your legs, was the breaking point to make Azhar Razak finally take serious action about his health and fitness and lose 57kg.
Seeing the first ever Singapore Spartan Race advertised (Sprint distance) Azhar decided maybe this would be the thing to get him moving. He started training by simply running, but due to his weight, he could only run 400m around a track in his first session. Not one to give up, he perserved and managed to finish the course, and his first race, in 1hour 15mins, making the fire jump one of many to come.
Finding like-minded people was key to helping him achieve his goals, which wasn’t easy given the infancy of OCR in Asia. Luckily for him, Azhar met the “Lion City Spartans” group founder, Shrek, and joined what is now Singapore’s, if not Asia’s largest OCR community group with over 1,900 members. The group meets weekly for outdoor training sessions where people of all abilities are welcomed.
Soon realising that he may have found his niche’ in life, Azhar pushed himself even further by registering for overseas races. This dedication and passion got the attention of Spartan Race Asia organisers and Reebok, who decided his story was one that many people could relate to, and they decided to support him with his goals. Having now raced across Asia, Australia, the Emirates and the USA, his most memorable event is the 2016 Spartan 12 hour Hurricaine Heat in Chicago, at the Richmond Hunt Club. Interestingly it was one he didn’t finish but it has had the most impact from a mental point of view and has changed the way he perceives things in life, as well as people. It made him stronger and more motivated.
Azhar’s current training schedule consists of:
- A morning session which is a 5km run followed by some statics exercises – burpees/pushups/leg raises/squats/lunges or a 10km run every day
- And then evening are dedicated to weight training 8pm
At 175cm dropping from 135kg to 78kg is not an easy task, and he still admits that he is constantly working on improving his nutrition. With the aim of encouraging anyone on the couch to get moving and try obstacle racing, Azhar hopes to inspire people via his instagram account @ Azhar.snippets.
I am a Reebok sponsored athlete, and one of Asia's top Obstacle Course racers, an avid runner, personal trainer and an Asian CrossFit champion in my age group.
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