OCR World Championships 2017 Part I

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Just back from Blue Mountain, Canada. We have tons of interviews from the finish line of this year’s OCR World Championships.

From the 3K, it’s the top 3 women Nicole Mericle, Lindsay Webster, and Karin Karlsson. Followed by Justin Mathews and Scott Hyland. We then talk to the top 3 men Jon Albon, Ryan Atkins, and Ben Kinsinger.

The next day was the 15k and we talk to Albon, Atkins, and Woodsy. We then snagged a very excited Jesse Bruce. (Sorry Jesse, we told you the wrong finish position). We then talked to Marco Bedard, Lindsay Webster, Jamie Rahn (Captain NBC), and Nicole Mericle.

Hunter McIntyre was next followed by Mudstacle’s Phil Harris and LeEarl Rugland. We chatted with James Appleton for an extended period of time to catch up with him and talk a little about Tough Guy.

Wrapping up the episode are chats with Jamie Styles, who we have talked to at many Georgia finish lines and Kelly Sullivan from NorEaster OCR.

Part 2 will be the finish line from the Sunday team relay, and a long conversation post event with Adrian Bijanada.

Todays Podcast is sponsored by:

Wetsuit Wearhouse – Save 15% using coupon code ORM on all purchases.

Show Notes:

2018 OCR World Championship Results

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2018 Obstacle Championship Locations Revealed!

Today was the day we have all been waiting for. Around June of each obstacle season, the Facebook pundits and keyboard warriors start pontificating about where the next year’s OCR Championship races will be. Moreover, the minute each championship event ends, the speculation really ramps up.

How lucky are we that all 3 major championship OCR companies unveiled venues this morning for their 2018 events.

2018 Spartan Race World Championship

Date: October 5-7, 2018

Location: Walt Disney World. Orlando, Florida.

Spartan HQ told us “The OCR world will rejoice that the “Original Obstacle Championship” is coming back to the east coast. After years in Tahoe, athletes and their families will get to experience a world class event, and have an awesome family vacation”

2018 World’s Toughest Mudder

Date: November 9-11, 2018

Location: Drumnadrochit, Inverness, Scotland

It’s no secret that Tough Mudder has U.K. roots. Will Dean has long wanted his flagship championship event near his home soil. You think you have seen cliffs in Vegas?! Wait til you jump to near death from high castle walls.

2018 OCR World Championship

Date: October 12-14, 2018

Location: Marietta, Georgia (near the Big Chicken)

Many of us thought that World’s Toughest would be in Georgia in 2018. As you learned above, it’s in Scotland. However, those of us in Georgia do get a championship event in our backyard. Event owner Adrian Bijanada told us, “After signing a 2 year title sponsorship deal with Kentucky Fried Chicken, it totally made sense that we would do our event near The Big Chicken. There’s ample parking and everyone in Georgia knows where it is.”


Debo and JM

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Today’s program is an interview with Deborah Arrieta. Matt and Debo talk about her and her OCR life to date. A fair amount of time was about her experience on 2 seaons (so far) on Spartan Ultimate Team Challenge. Matt and JM chatted at a race a few weeks later. At that time, JM talked about his time on the show as an obstacle tester and “spotter”.

Learn about a ton of stuff that did not make the air.

Todays Podcast is sponsored by:

Savage Race : New obstacles, new locations, new syndicate medal. Check them out at Savage Race.com

Show Notes:

Previous Episode with hosts and athletes from SUTC.

Listen using the player below or the iTunes/Stitcher links at the top of this page. 

Savage Race Georgia Fall 2017

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Savage Interview with Top 3 Men and Women Savage Race Georgia Fall 2017

Ashley Samples, Alexandra Walker, Rachel Watters

Yuri Force, Nathan Frantz, Jay Flores

Plus some special guests.

Todays Podcast is sponsored by:

Rugged Maniac – $5 off when you use the code PODCAST.

Listen using the player below or the iTunes/Stitcher links at the top of this page. 

Tough Mudder Pro Team

Spartan Race first introduced their Pro Team back in 2012. The idea for Spartan, was to help legitimize obstacle racing as a sport. Back then, OCR was still mainly looked at as something for weekend warriors and Couch to 5kers.  This new pro team gave more visibility to the early am “elite heats”, and the athletes that ran them. The Pro Teamers (depending on athletic ability and the races’ budget) received money, travel/accommodations and/or swag from sponsors.

Shortly thereafter, races, gyms, and product brands began to announce their own pro teams. One event company that did not was Tough Mudder. TM did not have timed waves (outside of World’s Toughest Mudder) or a competitive atmosphere at all, so there was really no need. That changed with the announcements of the Tougher and Toughest series back in March.

Coach and E-Rock have been part of TM’s streaming content and on demand videos for a while now. In addition, earlier this year, OCR fans began to see online content with Hunter, Lindsay and Ryan, or Steph Bishop. Yesterday, TMHQ made it official and announced their first ever Tough Mudder Pro Team. ORM published this photo on Facebook last night of Ryan and Lindsay in their new Tough Mudder Pro Team threads.

Today we received the following from TMHQ:

Tough Mudder is officially announcing our Tough Mudder Pro Team that is composed of some of the biggest names in OCR and not only will they be competing in the Spartan World Championships but OCR World Championships (and of course World’s Toughest Mudder in November at Lake Las Vegas).

We are confident the Tough Mudder Pro Team could sweep the Championship season. The team includes top athletes Ryan Atkins, Lindsay Webster, Hunter McIntyre and Stefanie Bishop. All of who excel at different OCR and race formats.

The current roster of the Tough Mudder Pro Team was selected not only on their tremendous racing ability and elite status in the OCR community, but because they fully embrace the values that Tough Mudder Inc. stands for – Teamwork, camaraderie, pride, accountability… They race their hearts out at every event, but they never have lost sight of why they first started running and why they continue to push themselves and the boundaries of what a person can accomplish day-in and day-out. This team continuously places top of the pack, but they will still turnaround and help a fellow competitor, and they have shown nothing but class and grace throughout their pro racing years.

Ryan and Lindsay will be competing in all top 3 Championship events. Hunter will be competing at Spartan Worlds (BEAST) and OCR Worlds (as you know Hunter is not a long distance guy so he is not doing WTM) and Stef is focused being the first woman to hit/break the 100 Mile mark at WTM this year. They will all be adorned with TM Pro Team logo emblazoned on select gear throughout the Championship season.

In addition to repping Tough Mudder at these events, they also have and will continue to provide and participate in TMHQ content on training, nutrition, etc… across TM digital and social channels, as well as their own social platforms, as well as to continue to represent the brand via earned media interviews. As part of the the TM Pro Team they receive financial compensation (in addition to normal T&E, registration fees, etc… like others). TMHQ also wants this team to accomplish their other goals beyond TM events —and supports them on their journey and help spread the word.

Is Facebook Taking Over OCR? Or is OCR Taking Over Facebook?

Once upon a time, “It’s not on real TV, but you can see it online” meant you were scraping the bottom the barrel. You aren’t on TV? Well, you must not be legitimate/big time/ready for primetime. In 2017, that is no longer the case.

It has been said that the mobile phone is much like the “Big 3 TV networks” were back in the day. Radio, believe it or not, ruled our entertainment choices at one time, until television came along. ABC, NBC, and CBS were bringing pictures into millions of homes, and by doing that, they were putting myriad radio stars and advertisers out of business. Today, mobile devices and streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon are the new champs, with “traditional television boxes” being the radio.

Enter Facebook. If I was a tech writer, I could go on and on about worldwide mobile users, FB users, data, and usage. I am an OCR writer, so let’s just say Facebook is Facebook. It rules your life and mine, in and out of obstacle racing. Earlier this month, FB launched something called Facebook Watch, which is their new home for “channel style” content.  Facebook will launch original content, as well as partnering with brands for additional content.

Last week, Spartan Race announced it had partnered with Facebook to provide live streaming race coverage for one of those new channels. This new deal will be exclusive as Spartan previously provided that content in real time, and for later streaming on both FB and YouTube. You can view that Facebook channel here. Most Spartan fans are already aware of the US Championship Series and The Tahoe Champs being aired online. As part of the press release, Spartan announced 4 additional broadcasts for fall races in Atlanta, Dallas, Sacramento, and San Francisco.

Today, Tough Mudder announced their own partnership with Facebook and are launching two new channels: Tough Mudder Live and Tough Mudder Bootcamp Live.

According to the TMHQ press release.

  • Tough Mudder has partnered with Facebook to deliver original, live event sports and fitness programming on Watch, Facebook’s new platform for shows. 
  • Facebook will be the exclusive video platform for the new $50,000 Tougher Mudder Championship race series and Weekly Tough Mudder Bootcamp fitness studio classes. 
  • Fans can add this programming to their watchlist by following the Tough Mudder Live and Tough Mudder Bootcamp Live show pages. 

If you recall, the Tougher Mudder Championship Series was just announced last week and offers additional prize money for 4 Tougher events. You can read more about that series here.

As we first heard in The Rise Of The Sufferfests, “Obstacle racing may be the first sport that social media launched.” Should it be any surprise that the two industry leaders, along with the social media leader are doubling down together?

Tough Mudder Press Release


 The New “Tougher Mudder Championship” Series To Be Broadcast Exclusively on Facebook

The Live Programming To Include Weekly Tough Mudder Bootcamp Fitness Classes

BROOKLYN, NY – September 25, 2017 –Tough Mudder, Inc., the leading sports, active lifestyle and media brand, announced it has partnered with Facebook to deliver original, live event sports and fitness programming on Watch, Facebook’s new platform for shows. Facebook will be the exclusive video platform for the new $50,000 Tougher Mudder Championship race series and Weekly Tough Mudder Bootcamp fitness studio classes. Fans can add this programming to their watchlist by following the Tough Mudder Live and Tough Mudder Bootcamp Live show pages.

The new Tougher Mudder Championship race series will feature four events beginning with the first regional event on October 7th at Tougher Tri-State in Englishtown, NJ and culminating with the Tougher Mudder World Championship on November 4th at Lake Elsinore, CA (see full schedule below). The Tougher Mudder Championship race series will feature the world’s top OCR, endurance runners, and functional fitness female and male athletes tackling 20+ signature Tough Mudder obstacles, such as Kong, Everest, Funky Monkey: The Revolution, and Arctic Enema, over 10 grueling miles for a chance to take home weekly cash prizing (up to $2,500). Top finishers will qualify for the Championship and respective winning purse of $10,000 each for the first place male and female finishers. The coverage on Facebook will feature live feeds from multiple obstacles throughout the course, “point of view” head cams and aerial drone footage, as well as behind-the-scenes “everyday hero stories” along with hosted commentary and engaged social interaction with viewers from Tough Mudder personalities Eric “E-Rock” Botsford and Kyle “Coach” Railton.

Viewers will also be able to get in shape with weekly, live fitness classes streamed from Tough Mudder’s new fitness studio offering, Tough Mudder Bootcamp. Tough Mudder’s training expertise and fitness content is coveted by millions of people within the Tough Mudder community, as well as by active lifestyle enthusiasts around the world. The partner-based, 45-minute HIIT workouts are sneak peaks at what franchisees will be offering around the United States beginning in fourth quarter of 2017. Classes are centered around four fitness pillars: strength, power, agility and endurance.

“Tough Mudder has become a leading innovator of building sport around community. With our highly engaged global community of millions, Tough Mudder has excelled at delivering a unique, highly social way to consume live sports programming. With Facebook being the exclusive video platform for the Tougher Mudder Championship series, this partnership is a great complement to our linear video programming offerings and partners, and bolsters Tough Mudder as one of the leaders in the future of sports,” said Jerome Hiquet, CMO, Tough Mudder Inc.

Tougher Mudder Championship Series Programming

Oct. 7th             Tougher East, Englishtown, NJ

Oct. 21st            Tougher South, Mt. Pleasant, NC

Oct. 28th           Tougher West, Lake Las Vegas, NV

Nov. 4th             Tougher World Championships, Lake Elsinore, CA

About Tough Mudder:

Founded in 2010 with the launch of the Tough Mudder obstacle course event series, Tough Mudder Inc. has become a leading global sports, active lifestyle and media brand. With more than 3 million participants, the company hosts more than 130 non-competitive (Mini Mudder; Tough Mudder 5K, Tough Mudder Half, and Tough Mudder Full) and competitive (Tougher, Toughest, Tough Mudder X and World’s Toughest Mudder) events annually in 11 countries including China, Dubai, Indonesia, and Australia through its partnerships with IMG, Seroja and Sports Media and Entertainment 360 (SME360). The company’s content arm provides the more than millions of engaged online brand enthusiasts with fitness, nutrition and wellness content delivered daily across social and digital platforms. Tough Mudder broadcast, OTT and Live Stream programming can be seen worldwide through partnerships with CBS Sports, Facebook, Sky Sports, The CW Network and ESPN Media Distribution. Other sponsorship and distribution partners include Merrell, Amazon, Jeep, Aflac, Guinness, Vega, Samsung, Olympus, Lucozade Sport, Nexcare, For Goodness Shakes, Bosch, TREK, Head & Shoulders, L’Oreal Men Expert, Käserei Loose, Snapchat and Live Stream.

Media Contacts:

Angela Alfano

(703) 447-5629


Robert Zimmerman

(917) 543-1046


Ethan Metelenis

(917) 882-9038


Spartan Race Press Release


Spartan, the World’s Largest Obstacle Race and Endurance Brand, to Bring Live Content to Facebook’s Watch Platform

Exclusive Facebook Live Streaming of Spartan Events Launches with 2017 Reebok Spartan World Championship in Lake Tahoe September 30

BOSTON, MA (September 21, 2017) – Blood, sweat, athleticism and pure grit will stream exclusively on Facebook’s new Watch platform thanks to a partnership between Spartan and Facebook. The partnership will feature live streaming of men’s and women’s obstacle races (OCR) through the 2017 Spartan season, kicking off with the Reebok Spartan World Championship September 30 and October 1 in Lake Tahoe, CA. The broadcasts will be dynamically produced with multiple cameras, drone coverage, graphic packages, audio commentary, replays, and behind-the-scenes content.

“Spartan draws some of the world’s most talented athletes to obstacle racing to battle technical terrain and punishing obstacles, which creates fierce competition that is unlike any other broadcast sport,” said Spartan COO Jeffrey Connor. “Producing live broadcasts of our races was a major focus for us in 2017 and an important part of Spartan and the OCR industry’s growth. Partnering with Facebook to stream our events exclusively on Watch will bring the action to sports fans across the globe, showcasing the pure grit of the fastest growing participation sport while helping Spartan spread its message of healthy transformation to a new audience of millions.”

In addition to broadcasting the race events, Spartan’s Facebook Live streams will feature interviews with competitors and major players in the industry along with a host of socially-driven content optimized for a mobile audience, including live-polling and real-time engagement. Spartan will also produce a weekly workout session exclusively for Facebook’s Watch platform. People can add this content to their watchlist by following Spartan LIVE.

“As a producer of lifestyle content that spans sport, nutrition and training, Spartan has more than five million Facebook followers and established television shows on NBC Sports Network and NBC primetime, which makes this partnership a natural next step as we expand our media programing,” said Spartan Founder and CEO Joe De Sena. “The live streaming broadcasts of our events this year received tremendous views, averaging more than one million for each, and as we expand our Championship Series to more than 30 countries across the world in 2018, we’re excited to grow those numbers globally as we work with Facebook.”

Spartan’s militaristic-style obstacle races push the bodies and minds of competitors to the limit across miles of unforgiving terrain while they conquer signature obstacles such as the spear throw, bucket brigade and barbed wire crawl. Spartan is a leader in transforming obstacle racing into a mainstream endurance sport, having been the first brand to feature timing, rankings and a Global Championship Series. The 2017 Reebok Spartan World Championship is the pinnacle event of the obstacle racing season and features a field of elite athletes from more than 50 countries battling the mountainous terrain at Squaw Valley during the 16-mile “Beast” race for more than $100,000 in cash and prizes. This year’s event features a new World Team Championship, which will see coed teams of three from 25 countries facing off in a team-style competition.

Following the World Championship, Spartan plans to broadcast races in Atlanta (October 21), Dallas (October 28), Sacramento (November 11) and at AT&T Park in San Francisco (November 18), which is part of the Spartan “Stadium Series” that unfolds at the hallowed grounds of the most beloved ballparks across America.

Spartan Race is the world’s largest obstacle race and endurance brand, and the first in-sport to feature timing and global rankings. With more than 200 events across more than 30 countries in 2017, Spartan Race will attract more than one million global participants offering open heats for all fitness levels, along with competitive and elite heats. The Spartan Race lifestyle boasts a community of more than five million passionate social media followers, health and wellness products, training and nutrition programs, and a popular NBC television series, which has made obstacle racing one of the fastest growing sports in the world. Spartan Race events feature races at three distances, 3+Mile/20+ Obstacle “Sprint,” 8+ Mile/25+ Obstacle “Super” and 12+ Mile/30+ Obstacle “Beast,” culminating in the Reebok Spartan Race World Championship in Lake Tahoe, Calif. Visit http://www.spartan.com for more information and registration.

MEDIA CONTACT: Jonathan Fine, 781.248.3963, jonathanf@spartan.com