Obstacle course aficionados are getting ready for this month’s True Grit challenge in Newlands.
The nation’s first and only Australian designed military-style endurance challenge will be held at 1901 Ryalls Road, Newlands, via Kirup, on Saturday, October 28 and Sunday, October 29.
The event features 30 obstacles scattered across the 10 to 12 kilometre course, inspired by Australia’s regional terrain.
True Grit’s co-founders have over 30 years of combined experience in the Australian Defence Force and spent the last 20 in Special Forces.
They have also bodyguarded Australian Prime Ministers and been involved in hostage recovery missions.
Mr McNamee notched up over 15 years with the ADF and spent the last 10 as a Special Forces Commando in Afghanistan, Iraq and Timor-Leste.
He said the event had steadily gained in popularity.
The co-founder also added the course was designed for people of all fitness levels and demographics.
“It’s evolved in the fact that we’ve grown...I guess the landscape within the industry has evolved,” he said.
“We’ve seen the popularity of the sport increase dramatically, I think a lot of people have moved away from the traditional sports like football and tennis and into what we’d call an ‘experiential’ style of sports where they can get together as a group and experience something that they just can’t do every day.”
Mr McNamee said new and experienced competitors were allured to True Grit’s layout.
He noted the challenge tested lateral thinking and risk management.
“It’s something different to what people do every day, people are used to going to the gym or running or outdoor sports whereas this is something that you can’t repeat elsewhere,” he said.
“It’s something where you can get away with friends in a big group, most of our participants are in groups, and just experience something that is not only fun but really is a challenge.
“Combine that with the festival style atmosphere we have with music, food vendors and everything [and] it just makes a great day out.”
The event has also helped to raise more than $150,000 over the past five years for soldiers and their families through the Legacy Foundation (and the Commando Welfare Trust).
Mr McNamee said he has seen the impact both foundations have had on individuals deployed overseas as well as families dealing with loss.
“A lot of sporting events have a designated charity, and for us it’s a little more first-hand because we get to experience and see the effects of it,” he said.