ORM Best of 2015 Poll Results

You raced, you voted, and now it’s time to figure out what it all means. Turns out you like Spartan Races.  A lot. Whether it’s because you drank Joe DeSena’s KoolAid or because pursuing that trifecta changed your life, you really, really like Spartan Races.



Now, let’s look at each poll question individually. The most interesting result for the Best Multi-Race Series was not so much that Spartan Race was so popular but that Warrior Dash, traditionally considered one of the Big Three (along with Spartan Races and Tough Mudder), barely made an impact here. They’re still getting lots of participants, but the results suggest that other events, ones that emphasize toughness over fun (BattleFrog, Savage Race) are developing a fan base from more devoted OCR participants.

Best Multi Race Series (6 or more races)

Best Season Ending Race? Pretty much a three-way tie, and the results support Warrior Dash’s decision to make this year’s championship its last.

Best Season Ending Race

Well done, Muddy Brute.  For any smaller race or race series, it is going to be difficult to get broad support from the OCR community, simply because of the basics of size and geography. Maybe this means that Muddy Brute is ready to move up to the next level?

Best "Mom and Pop" Race (3 races or fewer)

Was the “trifecta” concept one of the best marketing ploys in the industry? I think so.

Additional Spartan finisher medals

Best Swag

Spartan also seems to be winning the family market, too.

Best Event For Kids

Lots of you are doing lots of races, at least one a month on average. This bodes well for the long term growth of the sport.

How Many Races Did You Do in 2015?

You want to race more. Again, this looks good for the future of OCR.

Will you do more/less/same number of races in 2016?

These statistics really set the OCR community apart from any other sport I can think of. A significant portion of you will give up a chunk of your weekend in order to race later on. In other words, you’re willing to spend a full day out in the elements handing out water, checking people in and other necessary (if not entertaining) tasks in order to take part in the sport. Can you imagine triathletes doing this (and I’m an Ironman, so I can say that)? I’m sure it happens, but I don’t see golfers volunteering for a Saturday morning so they can play 18 holes on a Sunday.

The Ft. Bragg Spartan Sprint venue before and after volunteer work
The Ft. Bragg Spartan Sprint venue before and after volunteer work

Of the races you did in 2015, what percentage did you pay for, what percentage were "earned" as volunteer/blogger/barter.

Some might say that there are too many people who aren’t actually elite signing up for elite waves. These numbers support that claim.

Spartan Race LA Sprint - Elite F Start


Do you run first heat/elite or do you run for fun?

The evil geniuses who design Tough Mudder’s obstacles clearly deserved to win this category.

Most Innovative Obstacle

Have you seen the video of Dustin dancing to “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go”? He clearly deserved to win for that performance alone.

Favorite Dude To Send You Off

Well, who wouldn’t want to spend time with Amelia Boone?

Amelia Boone Gutting It Out


Athlete You Would Most Like To Train With

It seems like we don’t want to be tied down to a specific training regimen. That’s cool, too.

Best Way To Train For An Obstacle Course Race

Ultra Beast? World’s Toughest Mudder? Why choose?

Which Event Is Your Number One Bucket List Item?

Will the Death Race make a comeback?


Race You Wish Would Come Back?

You are much more confident than I am that OCR will make it to the Olympics.

Will Obstacle Course Racing make the Olympics?

Clearly Ryan Atkins has his fans. Now that you think he’ll win the OCRWC next year, maybe he can finally do something about his hair?

Ryan Atkins Leaping Logs


Who Will Win the 2016 OCR World Championships for the men?

… as does Amelia Boone. Does it help that she’s American?

Who Will Win the 2016 OCR World Championships for the women?

More 24-hour races? I get tired just thinking about it.

World's Toughest Killian


What Trend Will We See More of in 2016

Astute readers will note that the original poll had a question about your favorite shoes for OCR. The data for that poll may or may not have been deleted accidentally. Or maybe we’re being blackmailed by the barefoot running movement. I won’t say, but feel free to speculate in the comments.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to vote. See you out on the course in 2016.

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Christopher Stephens

Christopher is an attorney, a middle-of-the-pack triathlete, a marathoner, an open water swimmer, and a recovering Jeopardy contestant. A native New Yorker, he trains in the rugged wilderness of Central Park and can sometimes be found swimming in the Hudson. He also bakes pies. Delicious pies.
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