Spartan announced today a return to North Lake Tahoe for the 2019 Spartan World Championship, their 5th year at this beautiful and historic location.
Let’s face it; our sport as it currently exists does not fit the Olympic mold. The courses, the obstacles, and the events have too much variation. There are distances from 1 mile to 24 hours and courses that have obstacles which are essentially glorified speed bumps to those with a 98% fail rate. The sport as it currently exists will never be in the Olympics, although a variation could be with standardized distances
The Olympics are talked about every year on Facebook posts, blogs, podcasts and websites like Mud Run Guide. This year things have been taken up a notch with articles about Pentathlon, laser run, USAOCR and more. OCR enthusiasts talk of legitimacy, sponsors, money pouring into the sport and how great it will be. However, like a good buzzkill...
It is no secret obstacle course racing has blasted onto the international sporting scene in the last decade. The most recent push has been to legitimize obstacle course racing into an Olympic sport. While opinions vary, OCR is headed there. Over the last couple of months, an "arms race" for OCR seems to be brewing.
Spartan Race continues to innovate the world of obstacle course racing. Known for their Sprint, Super and Beast distance options, they recently unveiled their new "Olympic distance" of 1.5 miles in their preliminary steps to qualify as an Olympic sport in the future. The Spartan Race Invitational was recently held at the Reebok Headquarters in Canton, MA.
You're probably asking what the heck this has to do with Obstacle Racing, right? Well, if one of the 3 groups fighting for different forms of sanctioning have their way, there will be at least one branch of OCR (or OR) that will strictly adhere to a rule book with hundreds of pages of guidelines about every bit of minutiae that could possibly affect an athlete's time on the course.