The obstacles of nature – Waterra

What started as a shared love for shooting balls of paint at the enemy, grew into a passion for delivering awesome nature-based Obstacle Course Racing courses.

Jason Pachon and Bryan Peek are the minds and owners behind Waterra, an OCR company which creates courses in Kwa-Zulu Natal throughout the year, ranging from entry level challenges to a course to endear even the bravest competitor – the superior combination of agility, cardio and strength.

It’s very fortunate that these two creators happen to be neighbours at Botha’s Hill, with both properties oozing dams, rivers, and plenty of natural obstacles.

“We both like bashing around in the outdoors,” said Jason, who houses the OCR venue on his property, which was formerly at Bryan’s place, the first event held in 1998.

Bryan began playing paintball competitively in the 1990’s, when Jason used to work for him in the paintball business world, and now enjoys Air Soft, which is shooting with plastic bb’s.

“It’s like very fast chess, where you get punished if you muck around.”

The company name derives from ‘water’ and ‘terra’; hence the goal to combine as many natural obstacles as possible.

Their motto is ‘More Obstacles, Less Running’ aiming for one obstacle every 500 metres.

Jason also holds corporate team building events at the venue, and each Saturday hosts one of the claimed toughest 5km Park Runs on the planet.

“We use the natural terrain as much as possible, and everything is very well built. Safety is a huge thing,” said Jason.

Interestingly enough, although OCR is considered a hard core sport for the elite, the biggest growth for Waterra has been in the five kilometre event.

“I like trying to think of obstacles that are going to test people, and I enjoy seeing people having fun,” said Bryan, adding that people develop different personalities out on the course, to ‘everyday life.’

It’s also a great way for kids and families to spend time together, and kids compete for free with a paying adult.

“The team work aspect is great, the corporate category has also seen big grown. It’s great seeing people in groups get into the outdoors and try new things,” said Jason.

These business partners know their recipe for OCR greatness is not yet finished, and they’re constantly trying new methods to attract more interest.

This can mean experimenting with different distances, obstacles, location and terrain.

“Just do it eh, just commit – don’t wait for your friend!” said Jason, who competes in OCR as well as ultra marathons.

“It’s just such a great feeling to finish.”

Bryan loves the team work en route, whether it’s between family and friends, or complete strangers.

“It’s just awesome to see that,” he said.

Although it’s the participants who are breathless on race day, it’s Bryan and Jason who are living on adrenaline and no sleep for the days in the lead up.

“There’s always a couple of all-nighters leading up to the race!” confessed Jason, but said it’s a high, and totally worth it when they see the first competitor cross the finish line.

“And one of our biggest pet hates is people getting lost,” he added, so the pair will complete the course numerous times themselves to ensure it’s the best it can be.

Going forward, these guys behind Waterra would really like to see more sponsorship behind them, and more people singing up for the sport, with races ranging from 5-7km, to 10-12km races.

But in the meantime, their focus is encouraging OCR through creating awesome events.

“Because no matter what sport you do, you should not only ever do just one sport,” said Bryan.

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Waterra OCR is one of the best obstacle races in the country. Fantastic/tough obstacles, heavy carries, amazing trails, great vibe, and well organised! Well done guys!” – Tom Basson

Enter Waterra’s latest race here

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