The Epic Series OCR challenge on December 17th was the final race of the year in San Diego. This would be my 3rd time this year competing in one of their events. This event was going to be the hardest one to date. For me, a master’s level competitor at 45yrs of age Epic series in 2016 has continued to offer an elite wave for anyone 40+ years of age for their open course challenge. This year I have had some success by reaching the podium three times on the two previous races.
As we are driving through very remote parts of Texas, the Y.O. Ranch entrance comes into view. The ranch encompasses massive amounts of acreage, where cattle and white-tailed deer roam freely. Ranch houses and picnic pavilions scatter the property. This is where the Green Beret Challenge: Behind Enemy Lines – Survival and Evasion took place.
Last weekend marked the last OCR of 2016 and the first run where almost all Dutch team RAM members showed up! We enlisted as a team to run the 13km OCR from origin Survival Run. The original Dutch Survival sport shows some similarities with OCR. The main difference is the immense complexity of the obstacles, with extremely long rigs, lots of ropes and demanding massive upper body strength and technique.
It turns out that as innovative and cool as they are, the biggest obstacles are rarely the ones on the course, even at an event like the World's Toughest Mudder. Instead, they're the physical and mental obstacles we bring with us. I am proud that I managed to conquer a few of these myself out there in the desert.
World’s Toughest Mudder (WTM) is the championship event of the Tough Mudder series. It also is one of the rare ultra-obstacle course races (ultra-OCRs) because participants complete as many laps of a 5-mile course in 24 hours with an extra 1.5 hours to complete the lap the participant was on at 24 hours.
England, the origin country of my OCR team, my favorite obstacle racing country, so the 2016 UK Championship was something that I just HAD to do! Only British citizens could enter the elite and age group divisions, but the Journeyman division was open to all.
Just two weeks before World’s Toughest Mudder 2016 (#WorldsToughest16), Tough Mudder (TM) put on both a full and half course at the same venue. Obviously, many of the local players made a strategic appearance to check out the course, get in some final obstacle training, and have a good time with great people. There is no guarantee that any of the course or obstacles will mirror that of WTM, but I find it hard to believe that they’ll dig new pits or rebuild certain key obstacles like Everest 2.0 or King of the Swingers. The other caveat is that there was a fire on course the night before the Saturday event and TM had to quickly reroute us to the other side of the venue.
First off, Spartan Race (SR) didn't have to do this. When Spartan canceled, correction, when Hurricane Matthew canceled the Spartan Race in Okeechobee, FL. No one would have blamed them for packing up their trucks and moving on to the next race. Instead, they chose to put on a special Hurricane Heat at Virginia Beach on Virginia Key in FL. So, having always wanted to do a Hurricane Heat (HH) and rather than driving three hours to Okeechobee, I could do one virtually in my backyard....sign me up!!
It was a cool morning on the banks of the Gregorian Bay. However, we expected much worse from Mother Nature in October. We are in Canada! As I stood there in the start corral for the Pro Wave of the 2016 OCRWC, I found myself wondering...
This past weekend would be the third time this year I was at Historic Virginia Key Beach for an Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) event. It would also be the third time I was at an OCR event that was different than any I'd been to before. This past weekend was The Benjamin Dash. Interestingly, on the way over, I passed at least three other running/biking events going on and it reminded me just how hard it is to get the attention of people in Miami. There's just so much going on all year! So I was very interested to see just what this race was about, as there was apparently cash up for grabs...and not just for elite racers!!