Film explores the psychology behind the obstacle race phenom


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If you never thought too deeply into why obstacle racing is wildly popular, you will after watching the trailer to obstacle-obsessed journalist Scott Keneally’s indie documentary, “Rise of the Sufferfests.”

The documentary is currently in the works — with only a few days left to support the project on Kickstarter — and will feature interviews with average Joe participants, star obstacle race athletes like The Painted Warrior and Amelia Boone, and experts in various fields to help ask Keneally’s question: “Why the hell is everyone suddenly paying for pain?”

Keneally believes this phenomenon is a reflection of our lives in the digital era. In a technology-driven society when so many people are constantly planted in front of a computer and choosing to socialize via social media, are extreme experiences — like running through mud, getting electrical shocked and crawling under barbed wire — our spirit's way of crying out for something more in life? Perhaps.

Our bodies are made to move. The less physical we become, the more our bodies (and our spirit) will resist. Mark Morford explains it best in his column: "Like the drug addict needing bigger and bigger doses to get the high, like the extreme kinkster requiring more and more violent debasement to get turned on, like the weekend warrior requiring bigger and badder challenges to validate his existence, it’s all just endless struggle to fill the void, to scratch a divine itch that can’t really be scratched that way."

Check out the trailer below and visit the Kickstarter page to help Keneally complete his film.