We all have our favorite race series in the world of OCR and they all have different variations when it comes to distance, time, and overall goals of the specific race. However, it has been that way since the beginning, and we have not seen much in the way of innovation in the past few years. Enter the Platinum Rig 24-hour Team Championships and their unique spin on a 24-hour race. They most recently held a successful race on October 19-20, 2019 just North of Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The 24H Platinum Rig Team Championships / Platinum Rig Events were created by a collaboration of Dominic Maurice, owner and creator of Platinum Rig, as well as Julie Labelle and Brian Townsend of the non-profit organization Run Together.
One of the things that sets this race apart from others are the world-class obstacles including: Rigs, Monkey Bars, Rope Climbs, Atlas Walls (Slip Wall Ramps), Tunnels, Nets, Slacklines, Mini Rigs, Floating Walls, Irish Table, Ninja Steps, Samurai, Balancing Beams, Spear Throw, Maze, Ladder Wall, Rings, Peg Boards, Sans bag and Rubber Mat Carries, Infinity Bar, Rope Ladder Climb, Hercules Hoist, Cliffhanger (Tip of the Spear), and many different variations of each. The obstacles were created by a collaboration of Dominic Maurice and Brian Townsend. Their influence and obstacle designs can be seen in other races all over the world.
The biggest curveball to this race series is the design of the course and the constant changing of each lap throughout the 24-hour period. The venue was a 400-meter hard-packed oval track that had 40 obstacles on the track and in the inner grass area. Racers started on the inner track for the first 400 meters and then they turned around and completed the outer ring for another 400 meters. It may sound like a very short course that would get tedious and boring over the course of 24-hours, but that is where things really start to change. Obstacles constantly rotate and change with 15-25 open at a time and sometimes none at all. The changes happen every 10 minutes and no one except for the race director and crew know what will be changing. This is where strategy becomes involved. Teams could monitor the entire race track from a 16-foot-tall tower in the middle of the course and make decisions on which member should run at which time. To stay in the competition, each racer had to complete 20% of the total laps and all obstacles are mandatory. Another example of how the Platinum Crew tried to keep everyone on their toes and set their race apart includes starting the first lap with a 50-pound sandbag.
Teams consist of 4 people with a minimum of 1 female racer to qualify for the competitive class. There is also an open class that consists of 3-4 racers of any gender, but they are not eligible for prizes, the podium, or OCRWC qualification. Each participant received a custom jersey, a Platinum Rig Events buff, and a finisher medal. There were also branded hoodies, beanies, and dry robes made available for purchase. There were cash prizes for the top 5 teams: 1st Place: 3000$ Cash +Prizes, 2nd Place: 1500$ Cash +Prizes, 3rd Place: 750$ Cash +Prizes, 4th Place: 500$ Cash +Prizes, and 5th Place: 250$ Cash +Prizes. The race even gave away a free rig to one lucky winner at the race. A 12-hour race is being added to the 2020 event scheduled for June 6-7 of 2020 at Montreal North Shore Track for those who think starting with 24-hours is too daunting.
Coming at the heels for World’s Toughest Mudder and the Spartan Ultra Championships, it is refreshing to see a new race out there that is trying to do something different. There is no mud or risk of hypothermia with this race. You can sign up with a group of your friends and push yourself further and harder than you ever imagined. There is a planned expansion to the United States with a 24-hour and 12-hour race coming in summer of 2020. Grab your team and get out there and try something different in 2020.