Once again the Obstacle Racing World Championships rolled around. It has been six years since the first one in 2014 and the course has evolved massively since then. Back then there was only the 15km classic course with the 3km short course not being conceived until 2016 and the hardest obstacle in the old days would now be laughed at by the majority of contestants.
Day 1 is for the 3km with the 15km held the day after… time wise this is akin to trying to run a pb 5km running race followed by a pb 21km the next day. It’s no surprise that athletes are therefore prioritising one of the two but for the past years it has been my goal to win both and this year was no exception. The main difference between this year and the previous was my psych…I just didn’t feel as pumped up or focused as usual. Maybe it’s the thought of other races to come or the fact I have competed so many years in this event but my excitement levels just weren’t where they should be.
This made me slightly worried toeing the start line as in such a short race you really can’t afford to make any big mistakes and certainly can’t afford to cruise around.
So with mixed feelings the gun goes and I run along with everyone else. The first obstacles are simple to spread the field a little. Ditches, tyre pit and 10 low walls in a row. By this point I am feeling like I can push a higher pace than everyone else but still felt I was missing the fireworks I managed to ignite in myself the year before.
This was likely a good thing though as the rigs/hanging obstacles were coming…and there were a lot of them, 13 I think total over what was meant to be 3km. To have a clear head and to not have pushed yourself to the max on the running can certainly help you concentrate on what were many of the most technical obstacles I have seen.
Two mistakes eroded the lead I had managed to create but I still refused to panic and kept a cool head. When jumping of an obstacle where you had to use two wooden dowels to swing yourself over to the bell, my dowel was left whizzing around in the hanging thing, so I spent what felt like an age trying to jump and knock the thing to the floor. Shortly after I got my foot stuck in a net for what felt like a further age, even though it was probably only a few seconds.
I was through though and was now in racing mode, every obstacle had ignited a little more fire in me, even though I wasn’t burning as hot as the year before I wasn’t going to give in. I had led the entire way so it would be a shame to throw it away now. A few more technical obstacle and a yoke carry and I was at the final wall and over the line.
Quite a relief to have won and even though I had won this distance the previous two years it was quite unexpected on such a technical course. So with half the weekend’s job done it was time to try and recover enough to do the same the next day, x5.
Great Photos by Scott Seefeldt, The OCR Report and Cyro Studios.