If you are like most readers of this website you are probably going through Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) withdrawal right now. In order to keep motivation high, I recommend working on a pre-established long-term training plan like those provided in my book Strength & Speed’s Guide to Elite Obstacle Course Racing or those provided by training groups like Conquer The Gauntlet Pro Team. Then in between workouts, keep inspiration growing by watching some OCR documentaries.
Since OCR, as a sport, is still in its first decade of founding and growing, there are not many out there. Here are some of the ones that you can watch right now (in no particular order):
Rise of the Sufferfests
Part history of the sport, part psychology of the sport and part Scott Keneally story. This is arguably the best produced OCR video content currently available. It is available to rent for $0.99 or buy for $5.99 (SD) or $6.99 (HD) via Amazon video.
New Addiction: The Story of Jesse Bruce:
One of the best OCR athletes in the world, Jesse Bruce, had quite a troubled past. This documentary covers his background in drugs and alcohol which transformed into a new addiction for racing. This 16-minute documentary is very well produced, was published in 2019 and is available now free via YouTube.
OCR America: When Hell Freezes Over
Around 24 minutes long total, this eight-part documentary was filmed by Stoke Shed in January of 2020 and cover my eight-day, eight-venue, 200 mile OCR journey to raise money for the charity Folds of Honor. Multi-lapping eight different venues between New York and Kansas you get a fun mix of suffering, variety in locations and human interest all to raise more than $7,500 for charity. Part one is included below and all eight parts can be viewed for free over at Stoke Shed’s Facebook page or the Strength & Speed website.
Hanging out this week with Evan Perperis, travelling the country doing crazy things for Folds of Honor! Thanks to Obstacle Athletics for letting us race and film. Check out Evan's page for more details, and come run with us in your city!
Posted by Stoke Shed on Monday, January 20, 2020
Robert Killian: Hard Work Defined
In 2016, Ascent Protein did a eight part documentary on US Army Special Forces officer and Spartan World Champion Robert Killian as he set his sights on back to back titles. The cool part about this series it includes not only OCR but also the legendary military endurance event called Best Ranger Competition, Spartan’s winter Agoge, Robert’s training, his nutrition, his family and more. The complete video is around 24 minutes long and is free via YouTube. Part one is included below and the full series is available here.
The Legend of Obstacle Course Racing: Hobie Call
If you entered the OCR world in the last three years you may have missed the original American OCR Legend, Hobie Call. Multi-time Spartan World Champion, top American finisher at the first OCR World Championship, 50+ OCR first place finishes and arguably the best American OCR athlete ever, Hobie Call set the standard for elite performances. Spartan Race did a documentary on Hobie Call in 2017. The 13-minute documentary talks about his background in running, entrance into the OCR world, family life and performance at Spartan World Championships throughout the years. It's available for free on YouTube.
The Painted Warrior
Technically not an OCR documentary since it primarily focuses on ultra-running, however, you might recognize Stephen Sinek aka “The Painted Warrior” from the OCR world. The movie includes several scenes of him running OCR and is an interesting mix of art and endurance sports. The Painted Warrior can be viewed for free if you have Amazon Prime.
Facing Infinitus explores the unique motivations of people inexorably drawn to an 888k race deliberately designed to break competitors both mentally and physically. Every mile takes us a step closer to understanding why these runners have committed themselves to more than just an ultramarathon. Through this documentary, film producer/athlete Hélène Dumais shows us that sometimes it takes such an event to prove we can overcome our fears, push our limits, and commit to something bigger than ourselves in racing and in life. The 40-minute documentary is available for purchase here
Also in 2020, Stoke Shed is going to producing a documentary based on some of the endurance events I have done called “Ultra-OCR Man”, which will be shown in select locations in 2020 and widely available in 2021 (trailer is below).
Earlier this year, I got to take a trip with a crazy man named Evan Perperis. We became friends, and it was so fun and insane that we decided to take the rest of this summer to expand on his exploits and create a half-hour documentary called "Ultra-OCR Man." Obstacle Course Racing is a new sport and we hope that telling stories like this one will help us grow our community and spread our love for something we love to do. Stay tuned for ways to be a part of the process and even be in the movie- until then, feel free to share this trailer with your OCR-loving friends!
Posted by Stoke Shed on Thursday, March 5, 2020
For the purpose of this article, I avoided ones that are race-centric and focused on ones that are more people-centric. If I included all the “race documentaries” the list explodes to a number that I couldn't possibly count. However, if you are looking for short recaps of races that are motivating and well shot, check out Arnel Banawa's OCRTube.com.
I am sure there are a couple of ones I am missing that were produced by smaller companies or sponsors talking about the backgrounds of specific athletes. For example, my own brand, Strength & Speed did an 18-minute mini-documentary on my 48 hour long Endure The Gauntlet, multi-lap of Conquer The Gauntlet Tulsa in 2018 to raise money for Folds of Honor (available here). If you know of any, please post them in the Facebook comments and below in the comments of this article. I know I and other fanatical OCR fans will appreciate it. Stay fit and stay motivated, a little bit of motivation will go a long way in reaching your goals.
Pictures and videos are pulled from the websites/brands associated with the content.