My first introduction to Jonathan Lopez was at the dinner before the 2016 Operation Enduring Warrior takeover of the Spartan Ft. Bragg Sprint. I had spoken to OEW VP of communications, Kelly Farmer prior to the event and asked her to pair me with one of the many incredible adaptive athletes that would be there, so I could follow their story. She did not hesitate when she suggested Jonathan.
Muddy Mud Guts and Glory Masters, Warrior Dash Warriors, Beasts Beasting the UltraBeast and Conquer the Gauntlet...Conquistadors? Okay - that last one was a stretch, but you get the gist. This last weekend had no lack of races, mud, pain or fun! Whether it was a fun run or a death march you craved, OCR delivered in spades.
With Civilian Military Combine unveiling exciting new obstacles, Savage Race crushing numbers and levels of fun, Terrain Mud Run bringing a solid good time to everyone who was lucky enough to be there, and Spartan Race at Fort Bragg raising patriotism to a level that left the burliest of men in tears, it was a an amazing weekend to be out and playing on our adult recess playgrounds.
So to say this week was an emotional one for OCR is a bit of an understatement.... with some of the best racers we have out there giving it their all - those of us at home followed the action like the Olympics weren't over.
It is always so lovely to be in the swing of the season and see the OCR calendar come to life all over the world. In Australia, the bucket-list worthy True Grit had an amazing weekend, while in Canada, the XMan Race brought in impressive numbers. Dirty Dozen weekend in England, Warrior Race in South Africa...the entire planet appears to have been getting muddy this week!
If we were to pick two words to sum up this last week in OCR, I would have to say it was "Spartan" and "Beard". One crushing it with nationwide domination and growth, and the other...for its lack thereof. (RIP chin curtain)
It was another stellar race weekend, and Hills, Heat and the major Elite were out in full force. We had another Canadian BattleFrog terrain use triumph, some much-loved smaller races like CTG and Mud Endeavor bringing in some impressive numbers - but the weekend belonged to Spartan Race, with three races in two locations and a true battle of the big names. The entire top twenty in Palmerton, PA. looked like a veritable who's who of OCR!
If you have been in the world of endurance sports within the OCR community, you already know Don Devaney. Or at least – you know what he has let you know of him. I have watched on several occasions, some of the toughest athletes I know, turn tail in fear at the mere sound of his booming voice coming closer. If you thought you would hide or sneak in a rest, he would catch you – and it was a guarantee you would regret your choice.