Today kicks off the racing at 2016 OCR World Championships in Blue Mountain, Canada. The racing on Saturday starts at 8:00 am with the Pro Division Men, and Pro Division Women heats starting first followed by the Age Group heats throughout the rest of the day, concluding with the Journeymen division. The 15-Kilometer Course will feature over forty obstacles for racers to climb, crawl, and swing on.
American audiences were glued to the television last night as Jessie Graff became the first women to ever hit the buzzer at the end of Stage 1 of the National Finals in Las Vegas. With friends, family, and the rest of the women of American Ninja Warrior cheering Graff made history. As Graff hit that buzzer she not only moved onto the next stage of the competition but also inspired a whole new generation of women and girls in the process.
Normally I sign up for as many races as I possibly can but I came across a race that I just couldn’t sign up for, literally. As hard as I tried to persuade the nice folks at the Dirty Girl Mud Run to let me run their race they stuck to their theme of a girl’s only event. My last ditch offer was made to run in drag but that request was also turned down. So I did the next best thing and I signed up to volunteer for this female only event that focuses on educating women about cancer prevention and celebrates those who have battled the deadly disease.
Schlachter, commonly referred to as "the most connected person in the sport of OCR" or "center of the OCR universe" takes on the role of Supreme Editor-in-Chief of Mud Run Guide (mudrunguide.com) on top of her duties as host & producer of Obstacle and Adventure Weekly, co-host on OCR Warrior, founder of Dirt in Your Skirt, subject matter expert & columnist for obstacleracing.About.com, and writer for Mud & Obstacle Magazine.
“What the Hell am I doing here?” I thought to myself as I stood in a pack of about 40 men and women in the Elite heat of the BattleFrog Race in WV. My only previous OCR experience had been almost a year earlier at the Super Spartan in VA. Despite running in the Open heat, I’d put up a pretty competitive time which gave me some confidence heading into the BattleFrog race; however, my confidence began to fade once I arrived.
The Canadian Mud Queens is one of the newer OCR groups I have joined on Facebook. These ladies are passionate about their races, and about helping others newer to the sport with questions ranging from the best gear to how to train hard for success. I had the opportunity to conduct an over Facebook interview with Kelly Ripley, one of the founders of the Canadian Mudd Queens.
“Human Movement is committed to providing the highest quality experience for all Dirty Girl participants,” said HMM CEO Jeff Suffolk. “While we are pleased to have saved these eight events, we understand the disappointment this may bring to participants of canceled events, and are working hard to present alternative options to honor the original registration.”
99% of Mud Runs & OCR's are designed to accommodate men and women of all ages, size & fitness levels; high school wrestlers are in the same heat as 50 year-old housewives, athletes and fitness models rub elbows with the dorky guy from your IT department and Tiffany from HR. The inclusiveness is sometimes part of what makes these events great, but at the same time there is surely a need to break some accomplished athletes into different waves - say, the "elite" start times and make room for all the normal guys and gals to compete with others on their same level. Sometimes, you can make something really special through the simple math of "addition by subtraction". Yep, I said it - cut the guys out of the equation and you have an even more enjoyable event for women the world over to enjoy. Are these "easy races fit for the girls?" Not necessarily - but they are created specifically for women (usually by women) and are exciting, challenging, and fun events that growing like wildfire in the world of Mud Runs & OCR's!