Multi-time masters champion Doug Snyder blasts through a muddy Conquer The Gauntlet race in his VJ XTRMs in 2020.

When new VJ Shoes or MudGear socks come out you better believe they are at the top of my shopping list.  However, my family may not always want more Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) stuff in the house.  If your significant other (or yourself) are looking for presents for other OCR athletes that don’t take up space, here’s a couple of suggestions for you.  Whether you buy these for other people or add them to your own Christmas list, enjoy these “Presents for the OCR athlete with too much stuff”

CTG Pro Ashton Abraham on his way to winning his 3rd Conquer The Gauntlet event of 2020 while rocking his MudGear socks.

  1. Race Entries and/or Trip: An easy Christmas or birthday present is buying your loved one an entry to a race or covering the cost of an upcoming race.  A weekend trip to a race probably takes care of all your Christmas shopping in one idea.  Whether you give them a little coupon to redeem later or just book the trip right now through a travel agent like Enchanting Getaways (owned by Conquer The Gauntlet Pro Matt Willis’ wife).

  1. InsideTracker: We already spend so much money on races and travel, why not find out what is going on inside your body.  InsideTracker tests your blood and provides up to 43 biomarkers highlighting aspects of your performance and recovery (read the longer review here).  They have options from a single test to a pack of four along with gift cards to just help reduce the price for your athlete.  Prices range from $49 (for do it yourself) to $500 (for multiple tests) and provide easy to read data as well as practical recommendations based off your desired goals.  If they’ve used InsideTracker before the new test will chart their new data on the same graph as their own one showing where they are improving, falling short or maintaining.

Strength & Speed Dev Team Athlete and Certified Dietitian Luc Labonte in his office at East Carolina University where he works with D1 athletes.

  1. Dietitian: Speaking of making sure things are going well inside your body, perhaps instead of receiving the data you just want someone to be blunt with you. “Eat this, don’t eat this and sometimes eat this.”  You can always give your athlete the gift of hiring a nutritionist.  OCR athletes like Luc Labonte is a certified dietitian who can give you the instructions you need to help you perform at your best while understanding the needs of an OCR athlete.  (Get Luc’s pricing by contacting him at or contact him through his Facebook Page.  Learn more about him by listening to him on the Strength & Speed podcast in episode 77.

Conquer The Gauntlet Pro Randi Lackey at RockTape's taping seminar in person (pre-quarantine). RockSauce can be used with the tape without issue.

  1. Education: Maybe you don’t want to pay for expert advice but would rather work on making yourself an expert.  You can purchase classes or education for your athlete.  RockTape’s huge line of movement and functional classes including taping, blades, cupping and more are now available via Zoom. (Read the review from their in person RockTape seminar or message CTG Pro Jay Flores who attended the Zoom version in 2020.)  You can get the same expert instruction from inside your own home on almost any weekend.  There list is too long to explain in one article so if you are interested, I would explore their website for pricing and options.  If you are looking for much less costly alternative almost all my OCR books are now available in digital (and hard copy) from Amazon.   Pick them up, learn more about the sport and keep your house free of clutter with digital books:

Mud Run Guide’s Ultra-OCR Bible

Mud Run Guide’s Ultimate OCR Bucket List

Conquering The Gauntlet: Your Guide to Completing the Midwest’s Favorite Race

CTG Pro Team OCR Workouts To Go: 75+ OCR Workouts To Take With You Anywhere

Ultra-OCR Man: From Special Forces Soldier to Record Setting OCR Athlete (also in audio book format)

  1. Supplements: While technically supplements do take up room, you will eventually eat them so it is only temporary. My go to brand is Hammer Nutrition providing endurance fuel like Perpetuem (carb/fat/protein blend), HEED (carb/electrolytes) and Gels to power performance.  They are also a lifestyle supplement company with products like REM Caps (sleep aid) and Premium Insurance Caps (multi-vitamins).  Their line up of product is deep and you’ll be able to find something on their website whether you are looking for a gift for an endurance athlete, short course racer or sedentary individual looking to stay healthy.  Prices vary from $1 to $50,  but this is a great option for looking for stocking stuffers like Gels and Fizz (flavored electrolyte tablets).   Don't know enough about what flavor or specific product they like?  Just order a variety kit based off your athlete's sport broken down by a mix of product type or goal oriented (i.e. long course, short course, ultra-running, ultra-cycling etc.)

  1. Massage: Did none of those work for you? Don’t worry I still have one more idea.  Schedule a massage for your athlete.  Personally, the best massages I have had for sports performance were at a gym or sports-focused fitness center.  However, if there is not one near you, a chain massage place like Massage Envy can be almost as good if you get the right masseuse.  It is relaxing, enjoyable and will help you stay injury-free.

There's always OOFOS if you do in fact decide you need more stuff focused on recovery. Great for athletes at their day job like American Ninja Warrior/Veterinarian Amy Pajcic (and children's author) or non-athletes who spend a lot of time on their feet.

7. Specialty Gym Access: Chances are your athlete already has gym membership.  What they may not have is access to a specialty gym.  Personally I use a standard gym for most of my training needs but gyms like Motus Ninjas (an OCR/ninja warrior gym) and ROKC Olathe (a climbing gym, read the review here), provide access to equipment I can’t get anywhere else.  While I don’t plan on getting a full term membership for something that takes 45 minutes or an hour to drive to, I would be thankful for a 10 punch pass or a couple of day passes to either of those.  A great option for a loved one or maybe for your favorite Mud Run Guide author that you send over a digital pass for…just saying…

ROKC Olathe climbing gym with the largest rock wall I have ever seen both height and width wise.

That is a quick rundown of ideas to get you thinking about what you can get your loved one for Christmas.  Feel free to bookmark this and bring it back up for future events like birthdays, anniversaries or any other time you want to buy someone a present.  Feel free to drop some other ideas in the comments down below either on this page or on the Facebook post.  Just because your loved one has too many pairs of socks, shoes, race jerseys, compression shorts and rig grips, doesn’t mean you can’t still get them an OCR focused present.


CTG race pictures from Stoke Shed

Hammer Nutrition picture from the Hammer Nutrition website

All other pictures provided by the athletes pictured

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