Every race I have a goal in mind. Sometimes it’s clear cut and sometimes it’s a bit more abstract (finishing on the podium vs. finishing having done the best that I could). My goals for the Championships were fairly modest, but having had a crushingly poor race in the World Championships in 2017, I had no idea how I could place with the best OCR racers in North America in my age group. So my goal for this race was to smile and high five my kids and wife when I saw them, and get through every obstacle so I could keep my band. This might not seem very challenging but ask the people that were there – you had to put time into training to get through these obstacles.
If you haven’t done an OCR Championship race before, you wouldn’t know that the obstacles at these races don’t compare to a local Spartan Race. A local Spartan race might have one or two obstacles that present a slight challenge, but the championship series has fifteen to twenty. Essentially if you aren’t truly ready to compete and haven’t put in the work, you’re going to find out.
I had a good taper for the 15km solo race. I dropped 20% of volume per week for two weeks in order to give my body the rest I felt it needed. Being sluggish is not a good way to enter a race. There were some very challenging obstacles and I’m happy to say I got through them all. Somewhere deep down I was confident that I had put in all the work I could have with the time I had and I would succeed or fail having given it everything I had.
I would write more about the obstacles but I think describing them wouldn’t do them justice. You can always find video if you go to Youtube and search for NORAM OCR 2019. Some obstacles I loved: Skull Valley, All the rigs, and Valkyrie. I only had to do two of the obstacles a second time so I had a very clean race. My biggest weakness was being a fast enough runner and descender on the mountain.
Overall I loved having my family at the race. I felt better finishing the race with them cheering me on, 24th in my age group, than I have being on the podium at Spartan Races. There’s something about having the people you care about around you wanting you to do your best that makes for a very sweet finish. They didn’t care if I won or not, they were just happy to cheer me on.
Next up is the Northman Marathon. I’m excited for this race to get a lot of distance over many hours of racing; I love going into the pain cave to see what I can do.