2017 OCR World Championships race report

We were up early on Thursday morning and off to the airport with a direct flight to Toronto. From Toronto we rented a car and drove to blue Mountains, Ontario which is a few minutes outside of Collingwood. This was the site of the 2017 obstacle course racing world championships! Over 4000 Athletes from 67 countries competed this year. On Friday, October 13th OCRWC began with the 3K short course. Athletes would cruise along the course with minimal elevation gain and an obstacle heavy course that included 18 obstacles. many of them being slip walls and grip strength dominate obstacles like the rig, rope climb and skull valley. Mike and I volunteered at the very last obstacle, the KNOT WALL! This was a tough obstacle for many. where strategy and speed were critical factors. In the morning the ropes were only sticking out by the knots and the other end was weighted with a brick so when you grabbed it the rope dropped down about a foot.

By midmorning most of the bricks had fallen off making the ropes reach a little further down the wall and making the completion rate much higher. That is until it started raining. We watched athletes of all ages and backgrounds trying to get over this 15 ft wall that was at times wet and slicked with mud. Best moments were seeing all my friends zooming through, giving out tips, pep talks(Tara❤️), hugs and fist bumps to everyone. cheering in victory(until I literally lost my voice) for those who had struggled, finally conquering the Knot and running to the finish line. It fills my heart to see you all doing what you love and overcoming things you thought were impossible. I celebrated every victory alongside you and I will always cherish those moments.

After a long day of volunteering on Friday it was time to switch gears into athlete mode and prepare for my own race.

Saturday morning Mike and I were up early again to go down and watch the pros start the 15 K World championship race. To my surprise there weren’t a ton of people down there when we arrived Ryan Atkins and Hunter McIntyre we’re just chilling outside the corral in front of the start area. After a brief fan girl moment I decided to go wish them luck and of course get a selfie. They were incredibly nice and obliged. Then the call for all the male pro athletes to enter the corral and after some inspiring words from Coach pain the men were off.

We cheered the male athletes out and decided to wait around for the pro women’s start about 20 minutes later. I wanted to get a photo in front of the big arch with all of the flags so we walk down there and we saw Lindsay Webster getting warmed up for race. We wished her good luck and I’m sure that’s why she won the race lmao all joking aside she was very nice and she’s an incredibly talented athlete who was surprising smaller than I thought she’d be.

We watched as the pro ladies hit the course and then my prerace butterflies set in. We headed back to the hotel to get geared for my big race.

We could tell it had rained over night and I prayed the rain would hold off until my race was over but no such luck. My age group started at 10:35am we had our bands on and we didn’t want to let them go. We started the race with a few hurdles and then a very slick, muddy hill that wasn’t supposed to be an obstacle but it became a hard one due to the rain.

There were 3 muddy barbed wire crawls, several walls, so many walls!! 4ft, 6ft, 8ft, 10ft, 12ft, 14ft, slip wall, under wall, inverted wall, Z wall, warped wall & floating walls and of course the KNOT WALL. Monkey bars, rope climb, 2 rigs, skull valley and more for a total of 43 obstacles on the 15km course. Many of the obstacles were covered in mud and we were covered in mud making many usually easy obstacles very tough.

I’ve since learned only 17% of woman actually kept there band this year so I feel a bit better knowing I wasn’t the only one affected by the weather conditions.

Unfortunately my band was lost way too early this year. My own personal struggle was getting to the top of the slip wall but not being able to get over ARGH!! the most frustrating thing and also most painful is when you fall off the top of the wall. I’ve got some good rope burn to prove it. Myself and a few other ladies in my group lost our bands on that darn wall. I’m normally awesome at slip walls so this one hurt even more to give it up. My fingers were sore from all the attempts on this particular wall. I did however impress myself on other obstacles and by making it the furthest through a rig I’ve ever been and I’m now getting much better at the rings. That being said I still have a long way to go and wish I would have actually trained for obstacles this year as my main focus had been Ultra running. My grip strength did surprise me somewhat but wasn’t enough to keep me from failing a few obstacles. I was nervous about the Knot wall since I had volunteered on it yesterday and the slip walls had been giving me a hard time all day. I gave it a go and if my second run of the wall I was able to get a hold of it and pull myself up over the wall to victory and completing my second year at obstacle course racing world championships.

On Sunday morning it was the team relay race. We had so many friends in the team relay that we wanted to go down and cheer them on before Mike and I raced together in the afternoon. Kyla, Joe and Rueben our other roommates were all on teams. The team event is comprised of three different athletes as speed, strength and technique. We followed Kyla’s team the sexy momster beasts. Heidi was speed flying through the first 5K of the course. Kyla was strength doing both the yolk carry and the wreck bag carry. Then she passed up to Randy who was technique doing the battle frog and platinum Rigs, rope climb, skull Valley, skyline, floating walls and the whole team working together to get over the knot wall. It was so fun to chase them through the course and cheer them on watching them victoriously finishing with their bands.

After the team race was over it was time for the Make-A-Wish charity race this race is open to anybody who wants to register. there is no pre-qualification status it’s just a fun lap. Many people do this with their loved ones that have come with them. I am lucky enough that this year my husband came with me and I was very excited to do this fun race with him. As we knelt down in the corral next to many of our Hurtin Albertan friends listening to coach pain’s motivational words The sky began to cry and as Coach Pain said tears from the heavens fell down. We knew we were in for a wet and muddy race.

The Hillclimbs were so muddy, ropes were installed in sections to help everyone climb up. The down hills were just as slippery. so many people would just toboggan down on their behinds, myself included! Muddy butt Slides could be seen all the way down the yolk carry and sandbag carry hills. When we got to the top of the mountain the skies really opened up and a torrential down pour ensued. It was raining so hard that streams and rivers begin forming down the trail. I saw a mud waterfall. All the obstacles were muddy and wet making grip strength extra challenging although since it was a fun run we could help each other get over the walls and it was almost ‘anything goes’ on the course to get through it lol. I had a great time taking pictures and video of my husband doing all the obstacles. he did great on those grip strength obstacles, nailing skull valley on the first try. He had lots of fun trying new obstacles and really pushing his limits to see how well he could do.

We completed obstacles together and cheered each other on. We had lots of fun playing in the mud and didn’t care about our time or how many tries it took to complete an obstacle, we just had fun and ran it together. I had an amazing time in Blue Mountains. OCRWC is top notch. The race was really well run. they were honest when stuff wasn’t going right. They had a safety plan in case of lightning during bad weather.

The athletes that I met were awesome everyone cheering for each other no matter what country your jersey said. It was a very challenging course with added weather elements to make you push even harder. I’m so thankful to run 2 races this year.

To everyone who volunteered and worked the race in any capacity build crew, media, security, volunteers, etc. The race doesn’t happen without you! so thank you for volunteering your time to make sure I can run a well organized and safe race.

Memories to last a lifetime. Thank you to everyone who cheered for me, supported me and to all my sponsors WEphysio Performance and Wellness and BodyTech Therapeutic for taking care of my body so I could race injury free and to make my dream of racing at the world championships this year come true. #conductyourbusiness


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