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

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

OCR World Championship 2017 Results

OCR World Championships Crowns Jonathan Albon and Nicole Mericle as 3K Short Course Champions Each claiming the $10,000 First Prize Purse

MEN’S PRO DIVISION

  1. Jonathan Albon- UK 17:23.6
  2. Ryan Atkins – CANADA 18:00.3
  3. Ben Kinsinger – USA 19:47.2

WOMEN’S PRO DIVISION

  1. Nicole Mericle – USA 20:24.1
  2. Lindsay Webster – CANADA 20:59.1
  3. Karin Karlsson – SWEDEN 22:21.7

Blue Mountains, Ontario – The world’s best obstacle racing athletes from sixty-seven nations converged on Blue Mountain Resort for the 3K Short Course Championships as part of the OCR Championships Weekend. For the second year, athletes made their way to the picturesque Blue Mountain for one of the most challenging and exciting short courses in the world.

The OCR World Championships Short Course featured nearly 3,000 athletes from sixty-seven nations and total prize purses over $43,500 disbursed among age group and pro divisions. The Friday event featured a 3-Kilometer course with fourteen obstacles from races and builders around the world. The athletes battled a challenging Farmer Carry from Green Beret Challenge and show-stopping Hanging Walls from Indian Mud Run. The Platinum Rig obstacle continued to test the athlete’s strength and perseverance.

With rain coming in right before the start of the Pro Division it meant that the already grip based obstacles were even more challenging when wet. Many athletes struggled at the new Northman Race obstacle and Platinum Rig. Both requiring grip strength and determination.

Athletes qualified to race from all over the world and this international race showcased the best in both the Pro Division and also the best Age Group racers in the world.

In addition to claiming the 3K Short Course World Title Jonathan Albon took home $10,000 in prize money. Joining Jonathan Albon on the podium was Ryan Atkins and Ben Kinsinger. On the women’s side, Nicole Mericle finished in the top place followed by Lindsay Webster and Karin Karlsson.

OCR World Championships Crowns Jonathan Albon and Lindsay Webster as 15K Classic Course Champions

MEN’S PRO DIVISION

  1. Jonathan Albon – UK 1:33:48
  2. Ryan Atkins – Canada 1:37:30
  3. Ryan Woods – USA 1:40:41

WOMEN’S PRO DIVISION

  1. Lindsay Webster – Canada 2:01:43
  2. Nicole Mericle – USA 2:09:33 3
  3. Karin Karlsson – Sweden 2:14:58

The Saturday event featured a 15-Kilometer course with over forty-seven obstacles from obstacle races and obstacle builders around the world. With obstacles coming from as far as Sandstorm Race in the United Arab Emirates and as close as Mud Hero in Ontario and Northman Race in Quebec as well as eleven other race series from around the world. The race showcased some of the most unique and exciting obstacles in the industry. Athletes qualified to race from all over the world and this unique race showcased the best in both the Pro Division and also the best Age Group racers in the world.

Jonathan Albon continued to prove he is the top athlete in the world continuing his streak as undefeated at the OCR World Championships against the best in the world. Lindsay Webster won her third straight OCR World Championships.

Jonathan Albon took the lead early in the race and never looked back. Besting the rest of the men’s field by nearly four minutes. Ryan Atkins finished second for the fourth time in the four years of the event. Ryan Woods bested Hunter McIntyre for the third spot on the podium.

In the women’s pro division Lindsay Webster earned her third OCR World Championship title
winning 2015, 2016, and now 2017 15K Classic Distance. Nicole Mericle led most of the race but had difficulties at Skull Valley one of the final obstacles which opened the door for Webster to pass Mericle. Karin Karlsson ran a solid race pacing herself along the way to claim the third spot on the podium for the second time this weekend.

In addition to claiming the 15K Classic Distance World Title Jonathan Albon took home $10,000 in prize money. Joining Albon on the podium was Ryan Atkins and Ryan Wood. On the women’s side, Lindsay Webster earned her $10,000 prize for first followed by Nicole Mericle and Karin Karlsson.

In just four years, OCR World Championships has become the premier championship for athletes globally in the obstacle course racing industry and continues to set standards for excellence. Bringing together not only athletes but also race organizers in a truly OCR United effort.

 

Photo Credits: OCRWC Press Release/Social Media Sites, ORM Instagram
Press Release: Margaret Schlachter, OCRWC

I Ran the OCRWC: I Got a Medal. And an Asterisk.

Of all the possible endings I had envisioned for my race, riding shotgun in a volunteer’s pickup truck and bypassing obstacles en route to the finish line wasn’t one of them. And of all the adjectives I could use to describe my experience at the 2017 OCR World Championships, I can’t believe the first one that comes to mind is “anticlimactic.”

I Had A Goal

This was my first time at OCRWC. I’m still fairly new to the sport, and I’m certainly on the “enthusiast” end of the spectrum. My 2016 OCR goal had been to complete the Spartan Trifecta, something that seemed crazy when I first seriously considered it. But then, last October, balled up on a South Carolina hotel bed, clutching my new three-piece medal, after eight hours-plus of the hardest thing I’d ever done, I decided out of nowhere to go for Worlds in 2017.

Winning a qualifier or nabbing a podium for an automatic entry wasn’t going to happen. The Journeyman class would be my way in. I picked my qualifying races for the front half of the year. I included one race more than I would need, just in case. I pre-registered for the 15k in December, a full ten months early. I booked accommodations at Blue Mountain in February. I lined up travel to Toronto in April. (Yeah, I like having a big red X to shoot for.) This was going to happen. After I completed my fourth and final qualifier, I badgered the OCRWC office staff via email to make sure I was really in. It all seemed like there must be some catch. I mean, surely they don’t let guys like me run in the WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS, RIGHT???

And truth be told, I was nervous right up until the moment they handed me a bib number in the Athletes’ Center on Thursday night. Right there in the shadow of the giant slip wall, it felt real. I was in. I would be included among the champions for one magical moment in time.

2017-OCRWC-race-bib

The Atmosphere Was Electric

OCRWC and Blue Mountain Resort put on a spectacular weekend. The atmosphere was electric. The obstacles, all larger than life and scattered around the Village. Coach Pain’s amplified pep talks floating through the nippy air. Huge crowds of people cheering for racers as they crossed the finish line. I felt like a rockstar walking around the grounds with my “Competitor” lanyard. I saw the giants of the sport up close and personal. Ryan Atkins and Lindsay Webster, right there for winners’ photos. Yuri Force floating up a warped wall like it wasn’t even there. I did the ‘sup-bro head-nod thing with Hunter McIntyre, who’s never seen me before in his life. I chatted up Kevin Gillotti in the pita restaurant and got obstacle tips. It was surreal.

Then it was my turn. The Journeymen (and Journeywomen) took off at 2:45 on Saturday afternoon. This had been a detail of no small concern to me from the moment the schedule had been released. That’s late in the day, certainly much later than the 9 am waves I prefer to sign myself up for. It seemed alarmingly late, even, given the 15km distance and the high number of obstacles.

2017-OCRWC-course-map

Even more nerve-wracking was the verbiage I remembered from the rulebook that specified a strict five-hour cutoff. Based on previous races, I knew five hours might not be enough time for a guy like me to make it 9.3 miles and navigate 43 obstacles. When I had looked up what time the sun goes down in Toronto in mid-October, I freaked out even harder. The race officials might give me until 7:45 pm, but Mother Nature would be shutting off the daylight at about 6:30.

In Life, We Are All Journeymen

But despite those sobering numbers, I figured that the OCRWC organizers must know what they’re doing. I couldn’t worry about the details now; I had the race of my life to run. I’ll freely admit I bawled my eyes out as Coach Pain reminded me and my fellow amateurs, the ones who wouldn’t be holding a big cardboard check at the end, the in-it-for-the-love-of-the-sport racers, the men and women who had struggled the most and worked the hardest to even be here, that “In life, we are all Journeymen.” With that, we attacked Blue Mountain.

The course was brutal. That familiar OCR gallows humor came out early on the first of several trips straight up the mountain. Yet spirits were high, encouragement was plentiful, and the weather was cooperating. The rain that had been forecast to have already started… hadn’t. We all forged onward. Up and down the mountain, over walls, under barbed wire, and through the mud. This is what we came for.

2017-OCRWC-warp-wall

As the race wore on, though, things changed. The rain started – first as a drizzle, then in earnest. Now, obstacles became more slippery. Footing became more challenging. The trips up the mountain got significantly slower and harder. The sky got progressively darker as afternoon turned to evening.

Urban Sky was the first obstacle where volunteers started shouting out time announcements. “You’re behind the 8-ball! You have got to pick up the pace! You are not going to make five hours!” Very soon after, we heard a whole new race strategy: “Forget the retry lane! Start skipping obstacles! Go around if you can! Just get to the finish line in five hours or you won’t get a medal!”

I May Have Nothing To Show For It

And for the first time, it occurred to me that I might not make it, that this whole trip – no, this whole year of racing and training – might leave me with nothing to show for it but a big fat DNF.

Just after the Low Rig, there was a very narrow passageway in the woods that we had to traverse. I can only describe it as a waterfall without the water. It was a sheer rock ravine no more than four feet wide. Enough for one person at a time. With one rope for assistance. And it was pitch black. The only sound was the occasional noise of a rock skittering away and sliding downhill under someone’s misplaced foot. This sound was always accompanied by one person’s sudden – and often NSFW – exclamation… and the concerned words of coaching from the dozen or so of us trying to navigate this patch of very technical mountain terrain. My overriding thought? “This had better be the last bit of this kind of trailwork or someone is going to break something. Or worse.”

A few minutes later, I was out of the ravine and on the Log Hop. I strained to see the vertical stumps, even though they were right in front of me. It was so foggy. It was so wet. It was so cold. It was so dark. And then, a voice from the volunteer tent in front of us. “Get off the obstacle! We’re shutting it down!”

Shutting it down?!? I knew it wasn’t 7:45 yet. What did they mean? Shutting what down? Just this obstacle?

No. Organizers had just halted the race, we were informed. It was too dark and too wet. The course had become unsafe. Volunteers held us at the tent and told us no one could proceed. Trucks were on the way to take us back. Several racers burst into tears that their day was over. Some were openly relieved at the same realization. One started swearing at the volunteers, demanding to be allowed to continue.

Would We Still Get Medals

But it was over. We stood shivering, swapping stories, laughing, all nervously wondering to ourselves to some degree what would happen next. My brother and another racer realized that they still had their wristbands, 33 obstacles in. They wouldn’t get the chance to go for a perfect 43. Would we still even get medals?

After that truck ride, we were allowed to climb the final slip wall and cross the finish line. Medals were draped over our necks, to the smattering of polite golf claps from the handful of spectators who had stayed, as crews and vendors hurriedly packed up their tents in the darkness. I don’t even think the emcees were still welcoming runners in over the microphone anymore. I was sore and exhausted, to be sure, but I knew I hadn’t run the full race. There were ten obstacles out there I never even got to see. It all felt empty. Hollow. Anticlimactic.

I don’t begrudge the OCRWC organizers for calling the race when they did. Conditions on top of the mountain were no longer safe for racing. That was obvious, even to the angry guy screaming that he’d promise not to hold anyone liable if he hurt himself by continuing on. There’s nothing anyone can do about the weather; that’s an inherent roll of the dice with any outdoor event.

It Feels Like A Hollow Victory

I guess my frustration/anger/bewilderment comes when I think about that schedule. That 2:45 pm start time. For the Journeymen wave, of all people, the runners that need the most time of anyone competing the entire weekend. Why wait until 2:45 to send the amateurs off on a 15k mountain run with 43 obstacles when the sun goes down at 6:45? A five-hour time limit for “the enthusiasts” seems awfully hardcore, but it adds to the challenge, fine. It’s Worlds; it should be tough. And if you have to call it at four hours because of weather, well, them’s the breaks.

But I was never going to get that five full hours. Even on a bone-dry course, I doubt I could have done that race in four. The full five would have still forced me to make decisions about skipping obstacles or bailing out on retries, both of which would seem to contradict the “for-the-love-of-the-sport” ethos that had inspired us, Journeymen, to be there in the first place. Coach Pain had pointed out at the start that our group was not the fastest, nor the strongest. True enough. But we were given the hardest obstacle of all, the one that couldn’t be overcome, the one I worried about when I saw the race-day schedule, the one that anyone with a free app on their phone could have foreseen simply by looking up sunset times.

There’s Too Much At Stake

How could OCRWC organizers not have seen that coming??? How do you justify starting the amateurs so late in the day? I understand that we can’t go first. That course has to be clean for the elite runners. There’s too much at stake for the sponsored racers to make them navigate a course full of obstacles AND a bunch of couch warriors getting in the way. I get it. Truly.

So give the Journeymen their own day. The 3k seemed to go off for all waves without a hitch on Friday, or at least I haven’t heard of any similar issues with darkness. Saturday is the right day for the elites, the semi-pros, the podium runners, the athletes who have a legitimate shot at prize money. And Sunday rightfully needs to be reserved for the team relay and charity runs. Totally agree. So extend the event one more day and let the Journeymen have the torn-up course all to themselves starting at 8 am Monday for as long as it takes them. I wouldn’t have minded. And I’m not the only one. But to allow the Journeymen to come from 67 countries to compete at the World Championships… only to yank them 75% of the way through the course because it’s too dark?!? That’s just terrible planning.

2017-OCRWC-finisher-medal

I See An Asterisk

I’ll always have the story of this weekend to tell. And I hope that one day when I tell it, it won’t include the words “empty” or “hollow” or “anticlimactic.” But right now, it sure as hell does. I competed in the OCR World Championships. For one magical weekend, I was included with the best on Earth. I played on some insane obstacles I’d never even seen before. I climbed a mountain… multiple times. I crossed the finish line. I got the T-shirt. I ran three-quarters of the hardest race of my life. Yes, I now have a World Championship medal. But honestly, when I look at it, I don’t see a neon green maple leaf in the middle of it. I see an asterisk.

Maybe someday I won’t.

Clydesdales and Athenas – The Next BIG Thing!

The Clydesdale and Athena divisions should be added to OCR and running events. There – I said it.  Burn me at the stake, throw tomatoes or emphatically disagree if you’d like. But before you do, at least finish the article. Deal?

What are the Clydesdale and Athena divisions?  Both divisions are classifications based on weight, rather than the standard age group.  The Clydesdale division is typically males over 220 pounds while the Athena division is women over 165.  Who cares, right?  It doesn’t affect the majority of people today, right?  Before you brush off the logistics already, let’s look at other sporting events for a moment.

Clydesdale-Runner-Floating-Walls

Would the world’s greatest boxers still be the greatest if no weight classes existed? Would Floyd Mayweather be able to beat Evander Holyfield in his prime?  Could Manny Pacquiao have withstood punches from Mike Tyson?  We will never know because it would be “unfair” to place them together in a ring.

Would Olympic weightlifting results differ if they didn’t have Bantamweight, Lightweight, Heavyweight and Super Heavyweight divisions? Chances are – the super heavyweights would take gold, silver and bronze every single time.

Would the MMA be the same if Conor McGregor fought heavyweights like Fedor Emelianenko, Junior dos Santos, or Andrei Arlovski?  We will never know – they will never fight.

The majority of individual sports can be broken down into two major categories – skill vs speed/strength.  Size or weight is less of an issue in skate boarding, tennis, golf, or surfing because you either have the skill at these sports or you don’t. Not every person has the balance to surf or hand-eye coordination for tennis.  However, Boxing, MMA, Weightlifting, Power lifting, and all forms of martial arts are restricted by weight class. Not to say that skill or talent isn’t involved, but a 130 pound wrestler is far less likely to win against a 250 pound heavyweight.

Clydesdale-Runner-Wrestling

What makes running different? What makes OCR different? What makes Triathlons different? That, my friend, is the question. Why are they different? The answer is- They aren’t. It’s just that nobody has challenged the norm. Running isn’t split by weight because runners are almost exclusively less than 200 pounds. Competitive runners are ALL under 200. Why change now?  I’d ask the opposite, why not? How many people started their journey as a runner in the Clydesdale or Athena division?  Many people who were overweight to start likely fell in that category.  However – some people are just larger athletes, regardless of effort or training.  Wouldn’t it be great to have the option to compete against other larger athletes who are of similar build?

If you want to be a nurse, do you pursue it? If you love painting, do you paint? If your passion is music, do you practice singing, playing an instrument or composing music?  Fitness has become a passion of mine and I have been sharing the knowledge I’ve learned from personal experience ever since. I’m pursuing that passion with every run; every weight lifted; every training session.  Why should that passion be thwarted because I’m 6’5” – 260 pounds running against 160-pound individuals?  Regardless of your opinion, the truth is a larger framed individual will never be competitive in running against the “typical runner”.  The body supplies oxygen and energy to working muscles, so the lighter the load, the better.  If you took two runners, identical in all physical abilities, different only in their weight, odds are that the lighter runner would finish with a faster time than the heavier runner.  Some might say “then lose the weight and quit bitching”. While I agree to an extent, and I will never stop training to be better, most Clydesdales and Athenas will ALWAYS be larger regardless of effort toward losing weight.  Should we be punished because our genetics have pushed us out of the “fit” category in running?

Clydesdale-Runner-Monkey-Bars-Zoom-out

I’ll leave this with a final thought…

At 6’5” – 260lbs, I have more mass to hold up on monkey bars, more mass to swing across rigs, and a more difficult time trudging up hills than Ryan Atkins.  Yes– he trains his arse off – but put the same training into someone 230 pounds and in the same shape as Atkins.  Who wins? Atkins still wins all day and twice on Sunday.  Why are bigger males still chasing Jonathon Albon or Ryan Atkins and females chasing Lindsey Webster or Alexandra Walker for a medal when we wouldn’t be placed in the same boxing ring for the title match?

The opportunity to challenge and compete against other athletes of similar build is long overdue. These divisions aren’t about me, my family, friends or acquaintances to acquire more medals or achievements for “mediocrity”, as most would consider it.  This isn’t about one man’s journey to “win events” and be famous. It is to change society’s view regarding the larger athlete while being the motivation for acceptance and change.  Regardless if my fitness journey takes me below 220 pounds or not – I’m a f&%king Clydesdale and proud of it. It’s time to remove the stigma that has been placed on these weight classes over the years and be proud to be a larger athlete. It’s time for the Clydesdale and Athena divisions to be represented in the OCR and running world.

Clydesdale-Runner-Fist-Raised

Photo Credit: Starr Mulvihill, Jason Akers and Billy Howard – Single Stone Studios Photography

USAOCR with Tim Sinnett

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Tim Sinnett USAOCR

On today’s show we talk with Tim Sinnett. You may know Tim as The Race Sherpa and/or as husband of OCR athlete Rose Wetzel. He recently became a member of the media committee for USAOCR.  On this episode, we attempt to answer (among other things) what USAOCR is, what this first event in Miami is all about, how OCR may get into the olympics, and how you can get involved.
Todays Podcast is sponsored by:

Obstacle Guard – Code ORM gets you 10% off all orders in the U.S.

Show Notes:

Race Sherpa OCR – Facebook page.

Sports Illustrated article – Referenced in this podcast.

USAOCR.org – Homepage and how you can you can run for a seat on the Board of Directors.

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

An awkward moment for the IORF at the OCRWC

 

ocrwciorf

Much has been written about the third annual OCR World Championships held last weekend at the Blue Mountain Resort in Ontario, Canada. The International Obstacle Racing Federation also chose last weekend to host its annual conference at the same location. Its president Ian Adamson wanted to take part in the race, and this has led to some friction between Ian and OCRWC CEO Adrian Bijanada. I spoke to both of them today to sort out what happened.

First, a little background about Ian and the IORF.  Established in 2014 to promote obstacle racing, the IORF describes itself as the world governing body of OCR. Equivalents in other sports might be the IAAF for track/athletics or the ITU  for triathlon. It is no secret that the IORF was originally the idea of Spartan Race founder Joe De Sena, but the IORF has officially established its independence from Spartan in order to work with the IOC to try to get OCR into the Olympic Games.

Meanwhile, also in 2014, Adrian Bijanada founded the OCRWC. Part of the event’s origin involved the desire to sell OCR-appropriate gear, but it has blossomed into an annual event that attracts athletes from around the globe to what has been perceived as a well-organized professional end-of-season event that brings together talent from many different race series as well as obstacles from those events. In addition to elite races, the OCRWC features races for age groupers and those of us who will never set foot on a podium, as well as a charity event on the last day.

While the IORF congress and the OCRWC happened on the same weekend at the same venue, they were not organized together, and the two groups keep a safe distance. Ian and Adrian had discussed the possibility of Ian racing the course, but nothing was ever finalized. Ian explained to me that in the days leading up to the race he tried to reach Adrian, who was understandably busy, and at the event Ian talked to people from 365, the company that produced the event about jumping in. He climbed over a fence and joined in one of the waves of racers. Later on, he raced the course again with a team, having registered in advance for the team event.

A few days later, in a closed group on Facebook, Ian joined in a comment thread discussing fairness to athletes on the course. Very rarely does a story that starts with someone joining a Facebook comment thread end well. All the same, since part of IORF’s mission is to promote safety and fairness for the athletes at races, Ian chimed in with his input regarding fairness, and he mentioned that he had completed the course in an admirably fast 1:55. Another enterprising commenter noted that his time did not appear in the published race results, at which point Ian mentioned that he didn’t have a bib or a timing chip for the event. From there, things spiralled downwards, leaving many with the impression that could be expressed as “IORF official bandits OCRWC race”.

Running a race as a bandit is a phenomenon that drives race organizers crazy. For those unfamiliar with the term, running as a bandit means taking part in an event without paying an entry fee and without the permission of the organizers. People run as bandits at events because they can’t get into a race, can’t qualify, or don’t want to pay an entry fee. While it may seem like a victimless crime to some, it is not only unfair to racers who did qualify and pay to enter, it puts race organizers at risk. A bandit racer who collapses on the course has not signed a waiver and has not provided the organizers with any emergency contact information. It is also a theft of services. It is a bad thing to do. That said, not everyone who enters a race pays an entry fee. Racers are comped for a variety of reasons, but even then, the protocol still requires those racers to register, sign a waiver, and wear a bib like everyone else in the race.

So why did Ian, who is an experienced adventure racer, simply jump into the race without a bib? He explained to me that he wanted to evaluate the course, “and the only way to do that was to get my feet dirty, to talk to the volunteers and the race officials.”. He told me that when officials from international federations host their counterparts from other sports at championships, officials get what are essentially all-access VIP passes, and it would not be uncommon for a federation official to compete alongside the age groupers. Since this behavior was common at other international championships, he did not think what he was doing would be a problem. In retrospect, he told me, it was an oversight on his part. He explained that he was thinking like an international race official, and not from the perspective of an athlete. His goal was to do something for the health of the sport, but his execution was faulty.

Meanwhile, Adrian found himself in an awkward position. The highest priority of any race director is the safety of the participants, and the head of the international federation had just admitted to committing a fundamental breach of safety protocol. Today he told me “While I understand that  the IORF is trying to position itself as a governing body, having an official illegally enter a race is unacceptable regardless of that individual’s intentions. Individuals need to understand that they put themselves at risk as well as others.” Everyone needs to register to race, “otherwise we have no idea who is on the course, and should an individual needed medical attention, or if someone falls down a ravine, we do not know that they are there. While I admire his intentions, this may not have been the best course of action.” Adrian also explained to me that race officials compare the numbers of everyone who crosses the start line and the finish line to make sure that no one has been left out on the course. Given how rigorous the terrain is at many obstacle course races, this is a smart safety routine. 

What are the consequences of Ian jumping into the race without a bib? Adrian told me: “I prefer not to address race violations publicly, but we do want to note that Mr. Adamson did violate the rules by effectively banditing the race and entering the race without permission. We have informed him that we have prohibited him from participating in the 2017 events.”

Adrian wrote us close to press time to add  “I truly respect Ian and admire his desire to drive OCR forward. However, it’s important that our organization take a consistent approach in addressing infractions regardless of who commits them”.

Ian has apologized, and there are plenty of lessons to be learned. For starters, never bandit a race. Also, if you break the rules, don’t mention it on Facebook, even in the comments, even in a closed group, even if you didn’t think you were breaking the rules at the time. Finally, there are plenty of people who care about this sport and want to make sure it is safe for everyone. Let’s encourage that kind of concern.

Update 10:05am EST Jesse Fulton, president of 365 Sports and partner for this year’s OCRWC championship sent us an email which reads:

“As much as we want everyone to enjoy our events in no way would we ever allow someone to access the course without going through the proper registration steps, most importantly signing a waiver. This event was insured by our personal insurance policy and we would never allow someone access to the course without a signed waiver. Even the Dj’s and the staff/volunteers all had to sign them. In addition, we do not have the ability nor the power to allow someone access without the expressed permission of OCRWC”

– Jesse Fulton 365 Sports Inc.