On March 7, 2021 I attempted my latest Ultra-Obstacle Course Racing (Ultra-OCR) charity event, OCRmill 21000 feet. The event involved me running one mile on a treadmill and doing four obstacles repeated for six hours while hooked up to a hypoxic generator (used by mountain climbers to simulate altitude) that simulated the oxygen deprivation of running at 21,000 feet above sea level. The event was also run in conjunction with a virtual event. Here’s how it turned out:
Evan’s 21,000 Foot Challenge: The first hour we increased elevation every minute until we topped out at the maximum capacity of the machine at 21,000 feet. I spent the majority of the event over 5 hours at 21,000 feet. Lots of safety precautions were taken including an extensive build up and monitoring of my heart-rate/oxygen saturation for the whole event (listen to the pre-event podcast on Obstacle Running Adventures here). The event proved to be challenging not only due to the limited oxygen but the mask cut off peripheral vision and required a crew to make sure I didn’t run over the oxygen hose/electrical cables. The lack of peripheral vision and oxygen deprivation made balance obstacles harder. It also made for some significant challenges on anything that required depth perception, like the pegboard. After doing 93 obstacles (25% grip, 25% strength, 25% balance and 25% rotating focused obstacles) and 23 miles, the event came to an end. For more details check out Episode 155 of the Strength & Speed podcast.
Virtual Event Results: The event was also “loosely” competitive virtual event. Athletes donated $50, 100% of which went to the charity Folds of Honor (scholarship money for children whose parents were killed or wounded in US Military service). Athletes had one week to run their event consisting of six hours of 1 mile run (outside or treadmill) plus four obstacles of your choice. Some ran from gyms, some ran using their home built obstacles and others used Playout The Game (a card game simulating OCR movements, read the review here).
Top three men were:
- Fred Clarke-Louie
- Jon Taylor
- William Shell (owner of Mythic Race, coming in 2022)
Top three women were:
- Mirada Huber
- Mary Koester
- Mitsy Williams
All athletes received a belt buckle for their efforts. Top three men and women also received some Strength & Speed stickers/temporary tattoos along with their choice of one of my books. If you are interested in hearing more, check out Episode 155 of the Strength & Speed podcast talking where I go in depth on the event and talk to the male/female winner.
Although the competitive portion of the event is over, we still have some belt buckles left, so if you would like one you can donate to Folds of Honor before March 31st here and email me your results at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are reading this after March 31st, you can sign up directly off the Strength & Speed website and email me your results to get your buckle while supplies last.
Overall: The event turned out to be a solid fundraiser. We raised more than $5000 for charity making this a great event. The virtual portion was really a cool addition allowing me to share in other athletes suffering despite being geographically separated. Overall, that brings our total to more than $25,000 for the last five years of fundraising. A huge shout out to the OCR community for being so great and making some pretty substantial donations for a great cause.