We shared some information about the OCR World Championships (OCRWC) a couple of weeks ago, and since then there have been so many questions popping up on Facebook groups and MUD Run Guide has also gotten our fair share of emails asking for more details. Brett Stewart sat down for a chat with Adrian Bijanada, the CEO of Adventurey, who as created this event, to get the full scoop – or as much as he could tell me on the record:

Brett: Hey Adrian, you and I have known each other for a while now and I know we share a similar passion for the sport of obstacle course and racing, but what would you like the average racer to know about you?

Adrian: That’s a strange question to start off with… long walks on the beach? Pina coladas? Well, I guess it’s just that I’m a real guy with an incredible passion for endurance racing. A huge part of my life over the last five years has been spent training, racing, coaching, and marrying those passions to various businesses.

Brett: Great, so you’re human. But how would address some of the skeptics out there?

Adrian: Nowadays, that’s a very viable question. How many events have popped up on the scene with various gimmicks to grab some quick cash only to disappear? Right now, racers approach any new event with cynicism and I don't blame them. There’s very little confidence in many of these new races and I totally understand where that's coming from.

But I also know how carefully we've approached this event to ensure that it adds legitimacy to the sport while celebrating the athletes behind its success. We wouldn't be moving forward with something like the OCRWC if we didn’t think we could offer something truly special to the amazing people in this racing community. Now thankfully, after some truly heroic work by some amazing people, we’re in a position to make this a reality.

Brett: But you’re going to tell me every little detail today, right?

Adrian: You wish. Well seriously, there are still minor pieces that are in the final phases and I'm trying my best to resist the urge to share those aspects until they are an absolute certainty. We’re looking to have a complete and formal release on www.ocrworldchampionship.com by the first of the year…. but probably sooner. As my wife can attest, I'm usually terrible with keeping surprises secret.

Brett: Okay, can you tell us the date at least?

Adrian:  Sure. The OCR World Championships will most likely take place on October 18 & 19, 2014 with the venue to be announced very soon.

Brett: Tell me a little bit more about the decision process about the location – wait, can you give me a hint about the location?

Adrian: Nice try. Not today, though I think many OCR insiders will be extremely pleased with the venue. I can tell you that we selected a location based on the challenging natural and man-made terrain, located in a community that will truly embrace the event. The course itself is under development to be tough, yet fair for all competitors.

Brett: C’mon, what else can you share about the course?

Adrian: The distance will be at least 7 miles, with beautiful natural terrain challenges and some of the best obstacles in the industry. The course design itself is all about throughput – we do not want any backlog or bottlenecks at all for the athletes. To me pacing is the most important part of any race and we have got to get that right first and foremost.

 Brett: Did YOU design the course?

Adrian: I’d love to sit back and say I did, but that’d be a total lie. This course has been designed by an amazing team of athletes, race directors, industry insiders, architects and more–I truly believe that we are working with some of the best in the business on this. We've carefully listened to athlete’s feedback and that will be reflected in all aspects of the event.

Brett: Are you competing with other race series?

Adrian: No way. In fact, we’re doing the opposite. We are hoping to INCREASE participation in other races by serving as a unifying event.

Additionally, by not aligning the OCRWC with a particular brand of races, we possess an inherent flexibility that will allow it to be shaped by the OCR community. There are no gimmicks or themes beyond delivering a pure obstacle race for athletes.

For example, in talking to a focus group of incredibly passionate obstacle racers, the idea came up that we should highlight the athletes truly driving the sport, not just the quickest people out there. So we've developed a “Journeyman” category that will be open to the sport’s most dedicated athletes. Though this isn't final, to qualify for this division athletes will have to complete five OCR's in 2014 prior to the OCRWC, with at least two of them being OCRWC Qualifiers. Of course, space in this division will be very limited, but there are some truly amazing athletes out there that deserve to be honored despite never reaching a podium. I think division this accomplishes that.

Brett: So, you opened up the can of worms with “qualifiers”, what are they and how do you qualify?

Adrian: The “who” will be announced on January 1 or earlier, but the “how” is pretty simple. Essentially, if you finish in the top of your division (age group or elite, criteria TBA) at any of the 2014 qualifying events all over the world, then you’re eligible to register for the OCRWC on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration will close once we hit capacity and that's it. We are adamant about not overcrowding this event to ensure a racing experience worth of a World Championship.

Brett: Is there any other option for runners who don’t qualify at the top of their division? Can they buy their way in with a charity spot or via a lottery system?

Adrian: We haven’t completely ruled out charity spots, but they will be extremely limited and that’s to be determined. In 2014 there will be no lottery, and we’ll make decisions after the 2014 event for subsequent years.

Brett: I know we joked about this the other day, I’ll add it here: Would you invite athletes like Lance Armstrong to compete for the media buzz?

Adrian: No. This is a celebration of the sport and we are looking for real OCR athletes. Lance will have to qualify like everyone else.

But we’d gladly reach out to Dean Karnazes. Karno’s already done a few OCR’s this year, right? Didn’t you run an ultra marathon with him?

Brett: Yeah, but my man-crush on Dean is a bit off-topic. Let’s talk about cash – what’s the prize purse like?

Adrian: I’d love to say it’s not about the money, and for me it really is about building the sport of OCR. That being said, there will be cash awards for the winners in every category–age groupers to elites, Journeyman/woman, and teams.

Brett: So, what’s this going to cost to enter?

Adrian: I personally remember how painful it was to pay $900 when registering for Ironman NY (anyone remember that?!), and I promise we aren't heading down that road. This is an event by athletes, for athletes. In line with that we are committed keeping this as affordable as possible, at or below $200. You’ll see the whole breakdown when www.ocrworldchampionship.com goes live.

Brett: What’s next?

Adrian: Well, I’ve been all over the globe this week right after the press release dropped, so I’d like to take a nap. But seriously, sign up for updates on www.ocrworldchampionship.com (editor: and check back here on Mud Run Guide) and stay tuned.


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