Peter Nisbet is no stranger to the healing power of sport.
“I’m a veteran of five years in the Australian Army,” says Peter. “I damaged my hearing from a rocket-launcher [short range anti-armour weapon] live-fire training incident, leaving me with right sided sensorineural hearing loss, Tinnitus and associated mental health conditions for the past 20 years now.
“I’m a strong believer in using physical activity, exercise and participation in sports like obstacle course racing as part of my ongoing health treatment and recovery. Increased physical activity has a really strong and positive influence on wellbeing.”
Taking up the challenge
One way that Peter stays active is through obstacle course racing (OCR).
Obstacle course racing involves making your way through obstacle courses of varying lengths. The catch? The obstacles to overcome along the way include natural and man-made obstacles from mud, river-crossings and mountain climbing to barbed wire crawls, walls, rope climbs, monkey bars and fire jumps.
Races escalate in distance and obstacle count. They can range from 5km, half marathon, 50kms and 24 hours in length (all with obstacles along the way!).
Every race is challenging and very different.
Endurance and camaraderie
Spartan events are one form of obstacle course racing. Peter’s an age group category competitor, Street Team Member, Spartan Volunteer and Spartan Ambassador. He’s completed four ‘Hurricane Heat’ team-based endurance events and has competed 11 times across four race types since 2016.
Courses are always in different locations, with changing weather conditions and terrain.
“I love Spartan endurance events and races because it’s all about competition, enduring, working together and camaraderie,” says Peter. “You’re moving weights, throwing spears, running, jumping, crawling and doing your burpees. And there is a real and tangible community to it all.”
That’s the spirit!
Peter also just came back from participating and volunteering in the Spartan ‘Bright Trifecta Weekend’ where he completed a ‘Hurricane Heat’ and attempted an Ultra event. He was also was awarded the ‘Spirit of Spartan Award for 2019’ at the event.
The Trifecta Weekend was held at Pioneer Park and Mt Mystic in Bright, Victoria and had 7km, 14km, 21km and the Ultra events, and the ‘Hurricane Heat’, over one weekend. It’s the biggest annual event on the Spartan Australia calendar.
“Peter works hard, gets the job done and never complains about hard work,” says Mel Woosnam, Spartan Australia Street Team Manager. “There’s a lot that goes into a Spartan Race, from the pre-race build, on the day volunteering and the pack down. Peter always lends a hand and never asks twice. We’re very proud to have Peter in our community.”
“It was a huge honour and totally unexpected to be recognised by my peers,” says Peter.
Get involved in obstacle course racing
If you’re interested in obstacle course racing, contact VSA to talk about opportunities to get involved.