17 May 2016

What is Survivalrun?

The sport of survivalrun is an endurance sport that combines trail running with obstacles. This sport is mainly practised in the Netherlands and there is also an umbrella association for it, the Survivalrun Bond Nederland (SBN).

At Slopend, we train for this sport every week on our own obstacle course, at both beginner and advanced levels.

Almost every week, survival runs are organised throughout the country for which you can register from the SBN. 

During a survival run, you run a parkour of 5 – 25 km with various obstacles in between. You can often view these in advance on the website of the relevant run to prepare yourself. The ultimate goal is to run the entire parkour as fast as possible with a tape, but it can also be fun to run with friends.

On the day itself, the route will be marked by ribbons and there will be volunteers at each obstacle who will tell you how to perform the obstacle. So basically, you don’t need to watch anything in advance to run the run.

Before you start a run, you will be given a red tape that indicates whether you have succeeded in all the obstacles or not. Should an obstacle fail, you can try again for as long as you like. Sometimes the obstacle will succeed after a few tries, but if you really don’t succeed, you can have your band cut by a volunteer.

If you get your band cut, you will get a penalty time of 2 hours.

It is not compulsory within Slopend to run runs, but it is definitely recommended! It can be a fun challenge to see where your limits are and see what you have learned. Furthermore, it’s a very sociable day with a lot of Slopers to chat with and encourage each other.

Different categories

It varies per survival run which categories are present, but generally the runs can be divided into distance and difficulty.

For instance, you have the:

  • Race category: To enter this category, you must be at least 18 years old and have earned 6 qualifying points. What you can earn points for is indicated at on the SBN website when you register (this will usually be the recreational category). Within the race category, you can choose between different distances:
    • Short Survivalrun: a course of 6 – 9 km
    • Medium Survival Run: a course of 9 – 15 km
    • Long Survival Run: a course of 15 – 25 km
  • Basic Survival Run: To compete in this category, you must have earned a minimum of 2 qualifying points. This category is designed to narrow the gap between the recreational and competition categories.
  • Recreational category: The obstacles for the recreational category are slightly easier, which is ideal for people who haven’t been running for long and are trying to get their competition licence or for people who enjoy running a lighter run.
  • Couple run: This run is often at the level of recreational runners, but the difference is that you can help each other (from the obstacle). It can be very sociable to run with someone else, so if you’re going for sociability then this is the run for you!
  • Group run: This run is usually a bit easier than the recreational run. So if you ever want to introduce your non-Slopend friends to the sport then this is the run to sign up for. It can also be fun to run a group run with Slopers once or even compete against each other (like in the Battle of the Committees).

How to register

You can register for a survival run via the SBN’s competition calendar https://survivalrunbond.nl/wedstrijdkalender/ . The race calendar lists all upcoming runs for the academic year. When you click on a run, you will get all the categories you can register for. Be careful! Because sometimes categories fill up quickly. Furthermore, registrations for the race category close 5 weeks in advance.

You will also get a choice whether you are an SBN member or not. Most likely, as a training member of Slopend, you are also already a member of the SBN and you can enter your SBN membership number right away. Should this not be the case, you can buy a day membership, which will insure you for the survival run. Note! You save qualification points only if you remain a member of the SBN.

What do you need to bring to a survival run?

  • Sportswear
    • Survival shoes
    • Socks
    • Running tight
    • (Thermo, buff, hat if it’s cold)
    • Sports shirt you will get from the organisation!
  • Clean clothes for after/before the race (you often get wet, so then it is very nice to have dry clothes with you)
  • Underwear
  • Shoes
  • Socks
  • Regular/jogging pants
  • Warm jumper & T-shirt (bring plenty of warm clothes, you get cold faster after doing a lot of exercise)
  • Trash bag for dirty/wet clothes and shoes
  • Towel & soap for shower
  • Water/sports drink
  • Lunch
  • Snacks (quick sugars)

For more information on how to prepare for a survival run, check out the members’ drive in the workspace. There, three experienced runners share their preparation.

5 interresting runs!

Early September, North Brabant, RECR+MSR+LSR

The real start of the survival run season. Saturday you can run the shorter distances and Sunday it’s time for the long ones, so there’s something for every runner! The parkour is challenging and made up of imposing structures. You will definitely get wet because of all the obstacles above the water. Usually the weather is nice, so it’s not too bad. 

Early January, Gelderland, RECR+LSR

The original survival run. In winter, as it should be according to some (brrr…) and very popular with Slopers. This is always visited in large numbers. The heaviness lies in the often cold weather conditions, the accumulation of efforts and the tough running fields. But of course, Beltrum also has its characteristic obstacles in, for example, the Bok and the finish line on the Mariaplein. There are also many thick beams incorporated into the run. Very nice to try as a group run.

Late March, Utrecht, RECR+KSR

Another run that a lot of Slopers go to. Logical too, because in the neighborhood and a perfectly accessible run. Especially for freshmen too. And a sociable run, because with start, finish and the training ground close together, there is always someone to encourage.

For the serious competitive runner, it is mainly a fast course on which you should be able to score well (training runs are often prepared with an eye on Zeist).

Late April, Utrecht, 9 km + 6 km + group run

The Utrecht survival run, like our survival battle, is a run organized by students. This also makes it an extra sociable run. There are distances of 6 km and 9 km. In general, Utrecht is not a difficult run, so a fun run for beginners or if you want to run with a group. Besides, of course, Utrecht is also relatively close by.

De Knipe
Early June, Friesland, RECR+KSR+MSR+LSR

The perfect run for a weekend away! Shorter distances on Saturday, longer on Sunday, good cycling routes to follow and encourage your mates. Lots of water, but that’s okay because it’s clean and nice and warm. A very special loop bridge and two crane obstacles.

It’s a run that’s doable, the combis are never really long and mainly monkey-hanging, if you want to try to finish an MSR or LSR with a tape once, this is your best bet. But this doesn’t mean you get it for free, it’s still an accumulation of obstacles. If you’re running for a fast time, there’s still a nice challenge there.

For a more comprehensive list of the most fun survival runs, check out this file on the drive! https://docs.google.com/document/d/1J4mE5vXlA4hhTVVcJViKi_1IElRH-WHVS2PUq_mORgQ/edit