Back when running wasn’t my primary source of income I used to take part in a wide variety of different obstacle races. Lately though, a squeezed racing schedule and a need to concentrate on an organised series like the Toughest Tour has meant I have only taken part in a few types of races. I was therefore excited to be traveling to Stockholm to take part in a far smaller event than I am now used to but one that offered just as much fun and excitement.
The race was called ‘Ultimate OCR’ and only had some 400 competitors last year. This year that number would more than double and I would be one of them. At 9km long with around 40 obstacles it would be a similar racing feel to Toughest but the obstacles were mandatory completion, which would add a twist to the competition.
Arriving the evening before I didn’t want to look around too much. I never used to look at courses before the event but with how fast and competitive the races are, it is almost necessary these days. By not knowing what obstacle is coming up next and whether I will manage it gave a different kind of thrill that I missed.
Not being able to rest for every race in my schedule meant I would be starting this one with a few miles in my legs from the week before. I wasn’t too worried though as I was sure the thrill of running in some technical Swedish woods would power me along regardless and there are always the obstacles that break the running up.
By far the most tiring section was a log carry, this went up a ski slope with an A frame obstacle on top. The addition of this section being timed separately meant even though I was winning by this point I still tried to give it the beans. 3 minutes 26 seconds later I was dropping my log off and had gained an extra minute lead on this section alone.
The final obstacle was a water dunk with a rig immediately afterwards. For fun, the rig had a harder land and an easier lane. I could choose either but with the lead I had I gave the harder lane a go. Being completely soaked and trying to traverse handing metal poles saw me slip down resulting in a retry. This time taking the easier lane I swung through and was finished some 42 minutes and 28 seconds after starting.
This was a fun event and one I thoroughly enjoyed but my attention now turns to my next race, Toughest Malmø. This fast and flat course will be one of the most challenging obstacle races of the year, with a stacked field one failed obstacle can’t be afforded…wish me luck!