The main event of the OCR World Championships is the 15K race, which was held on the Saturday. This race had it all, a crazy mix of differing terrain and a massive 43 obstacles to conquer!!!
In a reverse of the 3k start times the Pro wave was the first wave of the day at 8:30am so this meant i had to wake up early and make my way to the athlete zone so I could get my warm up done and check my bag before heading to the start line. In the 3k we started in ‘time trail’ fashion with 8 racers going every 5 or so minutes, in the 15k it was the normal mass start.
In terms of the terrain OCR WC managed to use every single ski slop they could find .. twice! At points on the accents we had to resort to literately crawling up the slops as gradient and muddy mixed together made it extremely difficult to get enough grip to jog/power walk all of the way up. Some of the down hill sections toward the end where on some pretty great single tracks and what seem to be mountin bike tracks. Again both of the heavy carries where up and down the hills, only today it was double the length of the carry in the 3K, the descents on especially the double sandbags was pretty tretreous as the slops were just mud slides by this time I reached them.
For me one of the best part of this weekend was getting to take on obstacles from some of the best races that north america has to offer. OCR WC had all of these amazing obstacles spread over this 15k course, but they had seemed to group a lot of the grip intensive obstacles towards the last section of the race, in the first half of the 15k the real obstacles had to be the ski slops with a spaced out placing of walls and half pips to tackle.
After the 3K Race and the drama of a lot of athletes really struggling on the rigs people had half an idea of what was waiting for them out there during the final part of the 15K race which was pretty much the same obstacle gauntlet is the 3K Race. For myself and I’m sure a lot of the European racers who had made the trip across the pond there was a lot of different obstacles that we haven’t seen at some races like Stairway to Heaven, Skull valley and my favorite obstacle of the Championships the Floating Walls were all new obstacles to try and conquer.
My race didn’t go as i had hoped really, the first half of the course had the hardest terrain but the least obstacles, it was pretty much up and down the ski slops about 4-5 times .. and yes it felt terrible if you wanted to know :-s. After i had struggled though the hills i was around 80th place I’m guessing, so when we hit the second half of the race i managed to pull some places back when more obstacles appeared on the course. Coming across the finish line in around 68th position in the Pro wave, not great but I’ll take that for my first effort at a World Championships events.
Two major points of interest post OCR WC 2017:
1. Where would OCR WC 2018 be held?? — And the the emended pleasure of every obstacle course racer this side of the Atlantic (the best side ;-p) the Championships will be held in the 🇬🇧 at Nuclear Races in Essex. I cant wait to see what they do with the event as it will be different to Blue Mountain as there isnt the opinion of having people so close to the race site, but there are a lot of things that could happen, which race will provide obstacles other than Nuclear, Toughest? OCR Series? … Will a lot of the North America athlete make the trip over like the Europeans have for the pass few years? .. will Jon Albon win his 5th title on home soil?
2. Drug’s in OCR!? — So by now im sure you’ll have heard that Ryan Wood’s who was the 3rd place finisher in the 15K and part of the winning USA team that took 1st place in the Team event, Failed a drugs test and has been disqualified meaning that Team UK are now three times winners in the men’s team relay event and Hunter Ncintyre moves into 3rd place for the 15k event.
This is the first real case of drugs and OCR so there is a lot of interest and opinions about drugs in OCR, with this being said Ryan Wood’s is not the Lance Armstrong of OCR. The substandard that he failed the WADA testing for was DHEA which is on the banded list and Wood’s has now been banned from attending all Adventurey LLC events in 2018, this the company that hosts the OCR World Championships. We are yet to hear any thing from the Toughest Mudder or Spartan Race regarding Wood’s and if this failed test will mean for him racing there events in 2018.
***Press Release from OCRWC***
Obstacle Racing Media have done a podcast with Woods, Team Strength and Speed have put one out on the subject of OCR & Doping looking at Wood situation also Will Hicks talks about this subject on his podcast in his WTM 2017 from the booth with Matt B.Davis episode and the Link Endurance podcast had Ryan Woods on there latest episode.
I do suggest that you take a listen to these podcasts as they seem to have some differing views on the subject and the story surrounding this issue.