Building his own homemade course allows Campbell to train for ANW’s most brutal obstacles, including the Ultimate Cliffhanger, which sealed his fate at the past two Sasuke events.
“Physically, it’s one of the most difficult obstacles in the course,” says Campbell. “It requires such a specific type of strength. You’re hanging from your arms for a long time, having to do very large jumps with precision catches [to the next ledge]. Plus every obstacle in itself is very challenging, because you don’t have any time to rest in between them.”
Angela Sun, ANW’s sideline correspondent, has seen her fair share of competitors this year, all with their own unique stories. “It takes a lot of dedication and time to do this, just the training in general,” said Sun. “One of the most unique things about ANW is that you literally have to build the course yourself to train. But that’s what the passion and competitive spirit is all about. That’s what makes these people tick, they love challenging themselves.”
As helpful as it is to train on a homemade course, Sun did not discount the experience of doing it live, in front of a crowd of people, and the millions who will be watching on TV. “It’s such a different feeling on the platform having all the eyeballs on you,” said Sun. “You’re on a stage with lights and music; not just competing but performing. It may look easy on TV, but in person, it’s a whole different ballgame. You have to be so prepared both physically and mentally.”