Stepping into Otherworld OCR in Frederick, MD felt more like home than something not of this planet. Home because I spend a lot of time in that town for business travel. The cravings of this OCR addict just could not be satisfied by the hotel gym, playgrounds, or parks spread across this historic, mountainous land. Otherworld OCR did feel a bit extraterrestrial however. The first thing I saw was the skeletal frame of a huge Weaver. Peering through and beyond that I saw the stalactites and stalagmites of six (yes six!) monstrous Platinum Rig frames. Red, yellow, and black creatures dangled within from ropes, chains, and straps. To my left arose the fearsome, black, custom Otherworld logo painted Destroyer. Beyond that was a hill with a pile of steaming Wreck Bags and an adjustable vertical wall at its base. All this and more easily satisfied my urge for a true OCR training facility. Frederick, you are indeed fortunate.
Sadly, I was in no shape to take full advantage of the place even though I had it to myself for the afternoon. I was only two days off the West Point Sprint and this old man was still plenty tired and sore. But I touched everything, tried a bit of each obstacle, and spent most of my time talking to the owner and founder Tim Guinan and his partner Helene Dumais. Otherworld satisfied Tim’s dream and business plan ideas for a great OCR training and racing facility. While he still maintains his outdoor course in Great Falls, VA, Otherworld OCR is closer to a 24/7/365 venue than the perhaps twice-a-year OCR Unleashed. He’ll keep that one going for charity races.
The idea behind Otherworld is not just training but also competition. Tim wants to introduce what he calls league play to OCR. Small teams wind their way through the maze of obstacles, each one at least two-persons wide. Tim says this encourages a bit of contact between participants. Racers go side-by-side across the Weaver, Destroyer, Stairway to Heaven, Skull Valley, the Rigs, and more. The six-lane Rig is set up with two each for Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced athletes.
For those desiring additional training, there is a large corner of iron. It’s loaded with York plates, bars, racks, and a spread of dumbbells. For a bit of automation, there are two ski machines, two rowing machines, and four Strive Fitness treadmills from another dimension. I’ve never seen anything like them. Strictly human-powered, ones’ footfalls on the bean-shaped track determined the speed. I ran a mile on them and quickly got the hang of it. Very comfortable, controllable, and crazy fun.
Once the sweat was pouring from that warmup, I went over to the hill for some legwork. The rise is covered in artificial grass. I rigged up a soft sled with ninety pounds and combined it with a fifty-pound Wreck Bag then started doing intervals up and down the hill. Helene showed me a few new moves that I really liked.
She’s a girl who knows a thing or two about tough workouts and endurance competition. She is the first and only female to complete the Infinitus 888K, a massive 10-day race. Her certifications hang next to Tim’s on a wall next to the office. Between them, they bring experience in martial arts, Spartan SGX, GoRuck, NSPA, and CrossFit.
Otherworld OCR has not officially opened its doors yet. But Tim and Helene are holding classes, expanding their borders to provide gym time to local charter schools, and recruiting the passers-by who work in the industrial park where the gym resides just off Monocacy Boulevard, minutes from my hotel and workplace. They are building a client base, offering a massive selection of fitness opportunities, and setting a very high bar for other OCR gyms to achieve in terms of experience, equipment, and energy. Training here is ideal because so many OCR venues are also located nearby including the Maryland Savage Race, multiple Spartan races, Bonefrog, Rugged Maniac, and Terrain Race. Take advantage of this training facility and close proximity to some of the best racing in the area by joining Otherworld as a Founding or Associate member. Tim is planning a big bash grand opening sometime soon where these and other special deals are yours for a limited time.