History Channel’s – The Selection: Evolution 7 Recap

Evolution 7: Humility

With only 2 episodes left, there are 5 remaining candidates, #2, #11, #12, #17 and #19. They start off the episode with the candidates doing more PT and then we are transitioned into seeing the candidates receiving medical attention for various issues. Candidate #2 has knees that have been worn raw, #19 has a blood blister (and we also learn that while he has a size 10.5 foot, he is wearing size 8 boots. WTF?) And we get to see #11’s medical issue, butt blisters. I am sure that there are jokes and comments to be made on that and I will leave that up to the audience.

At the same time, this is going on, the instructors are reviewing the candidates. This is one of my favorite parts of the episodes. They feel that #2 has transformed himself during this all. They feel that #19 is not excitable. They wonder if there is something eating at #12, but also comment on the passion of #11 and #12. And they comment that despite his age, Passion is helping to carry #11 though this all.

Candidate #17 is taken for an interrogation and when asked “Why are you here” he replies with the same answer he has given in the past and this irks the instructors. He opens up and reveals that he believes he is the weakest link in the team. He also states that he has thought about becoming a SEAL and felt that this was a good experience to prepare him for that path if he so chooses. He also mentioned that he was bullied growing up because of his small stature. The instructors tell him that he needs to step up if he is going to make it through it all.

We finally come to the episodes evolution: Integrity. Basically they are going to run a 2.1 mile course with 6 PT stations. At each station they are to do 50 of a predetermined exercise.

  1. Squats with ammo cans
  2. Shoulder presses with ammo cans
  3. Push-ups
  4. Burpees
  5. Jumping Jacks
  6. Return the ammo cans to the pits and then run to the top of Flag hill and back.

What they aren’t aware of is that they will be filmed at each station and that the instructors are looking for integrity violations – those who says they did them all the required exercises but really did not. It was during this segment that instructor Ray Care says something that resonates with may of us the do OCR’s, GORUCK‘s, marathon’s etc.. We have all heard of how others want things handed to them without working for it, but instructor Care said it best, “People want to get dropped off at the top of the hill and look down.” Plain and simple, if you want to make it to the top, you are going to have to climb it. Good words to live by.

The seem to finish the evolution with no issues and are seen relaxing for a while before they are back in the classroom. It is here that # 17 is asked to stand and read from the board, what is the meaning of integrity. They are asked why did the class think the instructor has asked #17 to read it aloud.. Yes, it appears that someone had broke the integrity rule. Someone did not do the required 50 burpees at station #4.

When asked who might of not done all the burpees, at first no one replies but then #17 stands up and states that he may not have completed all 50. He stated that he was overheated and may have missed a couple. This does not set well with the Instructor who states that #11 was overheated as well and did all 50 of his burpees. He gave kudos to #11 for doing it all despite his age and the heat.

As they finish up in the classroom, you can see that #17 is upset at himself for his infraction. The team is very supportive of him and #11 can be heard saying, “Everything is a learning experience.”

Candidate #17 later has a one on one with Instructor Care who asks, “Why did you not complete the 2 burpees?” He really could not provide a good answer. He is disappointed in himself and feels that he should quit. The instructor tells him not to quit (I was a bit surprised, but then thinking back, again we learn from out mistakes. He admitted he made a mistake, and was willing to accept his punishment.) But he is told that he owes the instructor 50 burpees and that he will have to pay back later. The instructor believes he has integrity and #17 is seen leaving to go apologize to his team mates for his failure to them. Like a good strong team, they are very supportive of #17 and forgive him.

The instructor then calls out #17 to “payback” his 50 burpees and we see the whole team come out to do them. This is what teamwork is all about and what the instructors strive to instill in the candidates. You win as a team and you lose as a team. When all is said and done, the instructor and #17 are all squared.

In reflecting back on this episode, there seemed to be a lot of “down time” for the candidates. Was it time for reflection on their part, or part of some mental game being played on the part of the instructors. Making the candidates wonder when the other shoe drops? As the evolution ends, we see instructor interviewing the candidates; #2 is emotionally weak and thinking of quitting; #11 when asked about his role in the group states that he thinks he is a leader  and is able to share his life experiences with the team; #12 still feels that he has to prove himself to his dad who has never told him how proud he is of him; and we close with #19 when asked what one thing he has learned from his experience so far he replies, “Humility.”

Next weeks episode appears to be a culmination of all they have been taught and experienced through the past 7 episodes. In the previews we see what appears to be the return of the box. And based on the comments made by the instructors in the preview, does anyone make it through? Looking forward to seeing the final episode.

Read recaps of previous episodes here:

Watch the episodes here.
All photos courtesy of A&E Television Networks  ©2016 A&E Televisions Networks

(Some) Answers About Tougher Mudder

Tougher Mudder

We’ve reached out to TMHQ and here is what we have learned so far regarding the recent Tougher Mudder announcement.

  • It is a timed start wave at a regular Tough Mudder using timing chips and/or bibs.
  • It will cost $30 extra to register for one of these waves.
  • It will take place prior to the first standard Tough Mudder start wave of the day. Closer to the event you’ve registered for, check your email and online for pre-event communications for details on the exact start time for each event.
  • So far, Tougher Mudders will happen Saturday Morning ONLY at the following events:
    • New Orleans  March 18, 2017
    • Los Angeles    March 25, 2017
    • Arizona            April 8, 2017
    • Kentucky         June 3, 2017
  • There MAY be more Tougher events added as the year goes on.
  • You can purchase an add-on ticket for Tougher Mudder if you’ve already signed up for a regular Tough Mudder.
  • There will NOT be day of, on-site sales for Tougher Mudder.
  • Tougher Mudder will be part of the existing Tough Mudder course and obstacles, but will include an additional set of course challenges, specifically created for Tougher Mudder participants.
  • There will be prizes of $500, $250, and $100 for the top male and female participants.
  • There are currently NO team categories or prizes for Tougher Mudder.
  • ALL participants will get Tougher Mudder t-shirt, Tough Mudder headband, and chance to win prize money or discounts to Toughest Mudder events

Comment below with your questions, and we will update this article when we have the answers.

Rise of the social fitness challenge and OCR

Rise of the challenge

As the 2017 OCR season gradually opens up, you may find yourself looking for something to challenge you. You need to train, but that’s boring on its own. You crave that social world that OCR offers, but it’s months before you can actually participate. Sometimes you need something to engage you between races during the season. If you’ve been anywhere near the social media groups that have formed around our sport, you will have noticed the appearance of fitness challenges.If you are like me, you are not really surrounded by a lot of fellow OCR enthusiasts that share your particular brand of workout crazy, a social fitness challenge group may be for you. I’ll highlight some of the main fitness challenge groups related to OCR that are available:

OCRbeast.co

OCR Beast Co. offer a range of excellent paid Obstacle Course Racing specific coaching programs – available for monthly subscription from their website. They also run regular free challenges throughout the year on instagram. Most recently the dead hang challenge had , and the May Murph challenge they ran earlier this year. They have a great deal of community support and participation with over 6000 followers. Their challenges tend to last 30 days or so and have scaling options for all participants. Stay tuned for what they have coming next and definitely check into the coaching programs they offer.

Charity Challenges

Charity Challenges grew out of a twitter conversation between some friends in October, 2013. Since then they have steadily branched into a wide range of different fitness challenges and virtual events, many of which are applicable and support the sport of OCR. The primary goal of Charity Challenges is to raise money for charity, while allowing participants to enjoy fitness challenges. To participate, you donate to join that challenge, and log your reps for that challenge using your account on the charity challenges website. Team challenges are available and encouraged. Charity Challenges are extremely well attended with thousands of participants. Charity challenges produces patches and badges for completion of challenges. They are currently running a 1000 mile challenge which will last the entire year of 2017. You can sign up for that here

Machete 30

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A branch of Machete Madness, Machete 30 was founded by Victor Carrillo. Victor underwent an incredible transformation of his own to become a well recognized face in the world of obstacle course racing and now, among other things, he runs a Facebook challenge group that boasts 1200+ members. A new free fitness challenge is created and delivered to the group each month. Participants are encouraged to complete the movements each day of the month and to post a video or photograph of themselves doing so. Challenges are usually quite accessible for beginners and highly conditioned athletes alike, often involving minimal equipment. Victor is really great at engaging and encouraging participants, and community support is strong. If you’re looking for some real Machete Madness, check out Machete Madness events.

Captain Kaufmann

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Jeremy Kaufmann has produced a years worth of OCR based fitness challenges and workouts in the form of a book. Detailing dozens of innovative and tough fitness challenges, the Captain’s playbook is available both in print and in eBook form. Jeremy’s work spans a wide variety of movements essential to becoming elite at obstacle racing. I also think it is a great strength that Jeremy’s challenges are often body-weight based or may involve just basic equipment – that means it’s usually pretty easy to jump in without the need of a gym or weights. It might help to have wreck-bag or weighted vest for some challenges.  Watch out for posts with #captainschallenge on his instagram feed.

OCR Guy Challenge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

@ocrguychallenge is run by myself (Glenn Hole). Currently in it’s 4th volume, ocrguychallenge is a co-operative challenge group, bringing trainers, athletes and participants together under one free community. Most of the challenges are tough, but we usually offer some scaling options for novices. I like to limit challenges to just one week, which allows prominent members of the OCR community (like team HEXT, Anna Solomon, Austin Azar, Josh Stryde and Lindsay Webster) to help out without too much of a time commitment. Previous challenges have included a bucket carry for distance, pull-ups, distance running, sleep and recovery, nutrition, yoga and OCR fitness bench-marking weeks. For finishers, I produce virtual badges for the completion of each challenge, and occasionally prizes are available. To join the next challenge follow @ocrguychallenge on instagram or join the ocrguychallenge facebook group.

Other notable players to watch:

We’ve also seen notable one off challenges from the Wieclawek Brothers @YYCbrosOCR, Hunter McIntyre @huntthesheriff, @southjersey_ocr, and @teamsocialmisfits. Watch these accounts for challenges in the future!

Conclusion

The social fitness challenge is an exciting new phenomenon that seems to have grown in some part at least from the broad appeal of OCR as a sport and a lifestyle. Love them or hate them, fitness challenges are growing all the time. For me, the challenges allow me to connect with friends I’ve made on the OCR circuit in a meaningful way. We get to compete with each other and endure difficult things together each time we get together for a challenge because that’s part of why we race in the first place. It’s also a great way to hold myself and others accountable to a high standard of fitness during the off season and between races. It’s a way of developing new friendships, teams and alliances. If you feel like you need something to keep you accountable and motivated until your next race, jump in on a fitness challenge!

Which fitness challenges have you enjoyed? Are there any I have missed? Leave a comment below.

History Channel’s – The Selection: Evolution 6 Recap

Evolution 6: Seed of Doubt

We start this episode with the separate interviews of Candidates #2 and #3, our couple on the show. When asked about how he was doing, #2 felt he was doing good. He was asked about candidate #3 and felt that she was empowered on her end. He shows concern for her and the instructors jump on it. During her interview #3 feels that she is the best overall. Not the top, but not the bottom, just overall. She mentions that she hates long rucks with heavy weights and we hear the instructors state that these are both in her future.

Candidate #2 is removed as the team leader and replaced with candidate # 3. The candidates are also told that the instructors will give orders once and they are expected to follow them. This looks to be an interesting show as the mind games continue on the part of the instructors.

The first part of the evolution is a physical fitness test consisting of, pull ups, push ups, kick ups, sit ups, dips, bench press, rope climb while wearing a 20# vest, and finishing with a 5 mile run. They will be scored on all sections, best to worst. This will help the instructors to rank the candidates (I’m sure in regards to future evolutions.)

While everyone does well on this, candidates #3 and #19 could not complete the rope climb with weights. As we see the candidates finish the 5 mile run we are given their scores;

  • #17 – 96%
  • #12 – 92%
  • #19 – 83%
  • #2 – 80%
  • #11 – 78%
  • #2 – 65%

As day 8 begins, the mental games directed towards candidate #3 increase. We learn that the next part of the evolution will be a long ruck with a 45 lbs. of weight on their backs. Candidate #3’s biggest fear is about to come true. The candidates will be rucking with 45 lbs of weight on their back for a distance of 4 miles.

The course is hot (the temperature is 104 degrees), with steep segments and the instructor is setting the pace for the team. Candidate #3 is carrying approx 40% of her body weight on her back. That has got to take a toll on her. We see them as they cross what they thought was going to be the finish of the evolution, but the instructors have other plans; they are told that they will do it again, for time. The looks on #3’s face says it all.

We see #2 talking to #3 telling him that she can barely walk and is considering quitting. But somehow she manages to find the strength to move on and starts the 4 mile ruck again. We see #12, the fastest runner of the group running back at mile 6.8 as he passes #3 as she is still moving out.  She is struggling and the mental demons are all over her. Seriously thought that she would call it quits while on the ruck but she manages to finish it. The instructors tell her to hit the dip tank (a tank full of what appears to be ice water) to cool down as she is overheated from the ruck.

Now earlier in the evolution, #2 and #3 are told to stay separated but they disregard the instruction, #3 is relying on #2 to keep her going and they are penalized when they are caught. Candidate #3 was unable to do the punishment, push ups, quickly enough so the whole team gets penalized for their infraction and has to do the push-ups as well. Seems that the focus of this week’s evolution is to make #3 drop.

During the push ups, the instructors start the mind games up by bringing in plates of food and offering them to anyone that quits. Realizing this is not working, the instructors tell the candidates that it is “sugar cookie” time and they need to hit the dip tank and then start rolling in the sand. Candidate #3 is barely moving and the instructors start yelling for her to move it. She enters the dip tank and at that point, she tells the instructors, “I’m done.”

The instructors have high praise for her but the ruck was her downfall. Up until this point, she has kept up with men in the group. She knew her weakness and unfortunately it brought her down.

Candidate #17 is made the new class leader and we see the instructors telling #2 not to quit. He needs to focus on what lies ahead.

Candidate #12 is taken in for an interview and he reveals that he could do better and that the box in episode 4 was the toughest thing for him to endure. But despite it all, he never thought about quitting.

As the evolution ends we see candidates discussing how they feel. Candidate #17 states that his legs are paying for it and they feel numb. We see #12 crying (or appears to be on the verge of crying) and realize that this has been tough on them all so far. Final comment from the instructor Ray Care, “We have to strip everybody down to bare essentials and rebuild them.”

So 5 candidates remaining, #2, #11, #12, #17 and #19 and only 2 evolutions left. The previews for evolution #7 look interesting. It appears that more PT is on the horizon. Candidate #2, will he quit? Same goes for #17. And who was the integrity violator? Can’t wait to find out who makes it in the upcoming evolution and onto the final evolution.

Read recaps of previous episodes here:

Watch the episodes here

All photos courtesy of A&E Television Networks  ©2016 A&E Televisions Networks

OCRWC Announces US Championship

This morning, Adrian Bijanada and the OCRWC announced a United States Championship to take place Labor Day weekend in Texas. Keeping with the #ocrunited theme of the World Championships, The U.S. only version already has several races on board including Savage, Green Beret Challenge, BoneFrog Challenge, Warrior Dash, Terrain Racing, Conquer the Gauntlet, and more. These races will all be qualifiers for this new Championship. They will all, in theory, be donating obstacles for the actual race this Fall as well.

The complete press release will follow at the bottom of the page.

But first…Some quick Q and A With Adrian Bijanada

ORM: Is this event being produced with your partners from OCRWC?

AB: Yup, 365 Sports will be one of the partners helping to bring this to life.

ORM: Is this event open only to US Citizens?

AB: We are following the same path as similar competitions like US Track and Field. You must be a U.S. Citizen or a something called a “U.S. National”. A “National” is someone who has lived here for at least 3 years and has the ability to represent the United States in other competitions.

ORM: Will there be a journeyman category?

AB: No, because there is currently no qualification for the Open divisions.

ORM: So, to clarify, anyone can sign up for the Open (Non-Pro) division?

ABFor the inaugural year, and presently, there is no qualification for the Open divisions.

ORM: What about prize money? Will it be for all divisions?

AB: Cash prizes are definite for the Pro, we are currently determining the feasibility for age groups (Open division) prize money.

ORM: Can we expect maybe a U.K. version of OCRWC? Or perhaps a European version?

AB: We currently have no plans for additional events beyond this and the OCRWC

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

UNITED STATES OBSTACLE COURSE RACING CHAMPIONSHIPS TO TAKE PLACE IN TEXAS ON LABOR DAY WEEKEND

New York, NY, January 12, 2017 – Adventurey LLC, organizers of the independent Obstacle Course Racing World Championships, announced today the launch of the first United States Obstacle Course Racing Championships (USOCRC) to be held on Labor Day weekend, September 2 & 3, at Y.O. Ranch Headquarters, Mountain Home, Texas.

The two day event will consist of a 3k short course competition on Saturday, September 2, followed by a 15k long course championship on Sunday, September 3. Both distances will feature a Pro Division for qualified athletes as well as Open Divisions for Age Group competitors. Qualifying criteria will be available at http://USOCRChamps.com in the coming days. Additionally, qualifying spots for the 2017 OCR World Championships will be awarded for top Pro and Age Group division finishers.

“The sport of obstacle course racing continues grow at an amazing pace with the support of many like-minded companies and individuals looking to take it to the next level,” said Adventurey CEO Adrian Bijanada. “With enthusiastic community support, strong partnerships, and a deep bench of professionals willing to work together for the betterment of the sport, the U.S. Obstacle Course Racing Championships is poised to be another incredible experience for obstacle course racers from all over the country.”

In an effort to serve the growing community, the 2017 USOCRC will feature obstacles from many United States-based partners, including: Green Beret Challenge, Savage Race, BoneFrog Challenge, Warrior Dash, Terrain Racing, Conquer the Gauntlet, Indian Mud Run and more. Additional details will be available shortly on http://USOCRChamps.com.

About Adventurey, LLC

Founded in 2013, Adventurey, LLC is a New York City based company whose holdings include eCommerce, Event Production, and Marketing companies specialized in the endurance sports industry.

Media inquiries may be sent to HQ@USOCRChamps.com.

 

 

Rugged Maniac’s Changes Its Timing Protocol

Rob Dickens, co-founder of Rugged Maniac, recently sent out an e-mail explaining the way this event will time competitors going forward. After relying on timing chips, and then making timing chips optional (at an additional cost), the race has decided to do away with timing chips entirely. For 2017, anyone who wants to compete for a spot on the podium will have to enter the first wave of the day. Other competitors will simply time themselves against the start and finish line clocks. Rugged Maniac will then let you submit your time to their online database so that you can track yourself against others in your age group, at the same event, etc.

This move appears to solve lots of problems: racers who are competitive can race in a competitive heat. Those who want to keep track of their score and compare their performance with others can do so (assuming enough people take the extra step of reporting their time). Those who want to participate as part of a “fun run” are automatically do this. And no one has to pay for a complex, expensive timing system. This arrangement is similar to the one Warrior Dash implemented a few years ago.

The only possible downside to this arrangement is that it might have compromised Rugged Maniac’s ability to serve as a qualifying event for the OCR World Championships.  However, Rugged Maniac and OCRWC are working together so that the top ten male and female finishers at each event will qualify for OCRWC.

I asked Rob some questions about this new format:

ORM: Did you compare notes with the people at Warrior Dash to see how their transition to this system had worked?
Rob: We did not.  We looked at what our contemporaries were doing with regards to timing to see what options were available, and we talked to our Maniacs to understand what was most important to them. What we learned was that Maniacs choose to get timed for one of two reasons: (1) they want to win the race and/or qualify for the OCR World Championships or (2) they want to see how fast they are compared to others.

Moving away from chip timing actually allows us to better provide what our Maniacs want.  With respect to winners/OCRWC qualifiers, we’ll have our staff at the finish line to manually record the top 10 men and women in the Elite Heat, which is a more accurate system than chip timing (but not scalable for timing everyone) and doesn’t cost the runners anything.  We’ll continue to award prizes to the top 3 men, top 3 women, and top man and woman 50 or older.  We’ll no longer offer an under-20 category.

For those who simply want to know how they stack up against the field, we’ll compile self-reported times from Maniacs who wish to be included in the unofficial results, sort them by age and gender, and then make them available after each event.  This is an improvement over what we were doing in previous years because now that Maniacs no longer have to pay $10 for a timing chip, many more will submit their times for the unofficial results, creating a much larger field for comparison.

ORM: Since I am a lawyer by training and therefore inclined to see the worst in people, I have to ask about the possibility of cheating. The start and finish are easy to monitor, but what about the obstacles on the course? Wouldn’t it be easy for a less-than-honest competitor to skip obstacles on his way to a top ten finish?
Rob: Nothing will change with regards to obstacle completion on the course.  We have always relied on a combination of staff monitoring and runner self-policing to ensure that only those who complete all obstacles are eligible to win the race or qualify for the OCRWC.
I reached out to OCRWC founder Adrian Bijanada, who told me “as long as they have sufficient staff to guarantee the integrity of results ” he was happy to accept the new timing scheme.  This includes marshaling on the course.
The reaction on Facebook has been encouraging. One bonus that Rob did not trumpet is that Rugged Maniac does not charge extra to sign up for the first, elite heat, unlike most races with competitive first waves..
 While this might not be the best development for the timing chip industry, it represents progress for the sport as a whole. It acknowledges that participants come to races for a variety of reasons and with a variety of expectations. It also presents the possibility that more races might eliminate the extra expense of timing, which is a good thing for smaller races that are trying to grow. Finally, it sends a message that more people are welcome at more races: you don’t have to be competing against anyone to take part, but if you feel the drive of competition after trying one of these races, you can come back again with tracking your time as a goal. Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Here’s the full text of what Rugged Maniac sent out:

In case you haven’t heard, we’ve decided to eliminate official timing at our events.  Going forward, you won’t have to pay $10 for a timing chip to see how you stack up against your fellow Maniacs on the course!

Here’s how it’ll work:  The post-race email will contain a link to an online form where you can enter your name, age, gender, and finish time as determined by you (there will be a clock at the finish line for this purpose).  We’ll then sort all the results by age and gender and post them on our website.  The beauty of this system is that it’ll be open to everyone, not just the people who run in the Elite Heat, so you’ll see your time compared to many more people than in the past.

This system will NOT be used to determine the winners, so there’s no incentive for people to intentionally fudge their times.  The winners will be the top 3 men and top 3 women who cross the finish line in the 9:45 a.m.Elite Heat.  The top-10 men and top-10 women in the Elite Heat will also qualify to compete in the OCR World Championships.  We will not record times for anyone outside of the top-10 in the Elite Heat.

I hope to see you at an event this year! As an added bonus, sign up between now and January 13th and take 10% off your registration with promo code TIMING.

Sincerely,

Rob Dickens
Co-Founder
Rugged Maniac