OCR World Championchips London 2018
The OCR World Championchips were highly expected. After the Esbjerg Massacre we had a wide discussion in the Worldchampionchip Athletes Facebook Group. Would OCR become an extreme Ninjawarrior sport? When in Esbjerg the Sprint Winner had to use his elbows to complete the finalobstacles because his hands were numb it seemed like it. After my last post Adrian Bijanada did promise that this would not happen in London. Did he keep his word? That will be discusses in this article.
Prior to the OCR WC in London the organizers released a coursemap. It showed 100 Obstacles and a severe amount of rigs, of different kind. I must say i was afraid. I knew that this course would be a tough test for me. I know I am more of a long distance runner than a monkey guy. So i knew this would mean hell to me. After a first glance at the Coursemap I was afraid this could be another Monkeymassacre. Speaking to other athletes who have been to Canada, they where expecting a much tougher race than last year. Expectations were, that the course would compensate the missing climbs through other things. The weekend was split up like the OCREC in three different races Sprint, Standard and Team. So I will discuss the three formats separate and sum up an overall impression of the weekend in the end.
I followed the sprint as a spectator. The Racemodus was clear and the Athletes were sent of in groups of 10. So the possibility of a real race was given. The first half of the day was a different race then the second half. After the sun came up over the trees and the riggs got warm and dry. The times became much faster. I followed some of the german athlethes with the camera. Overall it was a very fast race. The carries where shortenend and you could see the athletes struggle to keep up the pace throughout running and the obstacles. If someone struggled then because he was completely exhausted and needed to catch his breath. You could see that the riggs in London where not as hard as in Esbjerg.
Less jumping, long lowrigs and other things, but still you could increase your speed with good technique and courage.
As Rick Urban shows in some impressing attemps on his Instagram account. So in the sprint the technical part was important. But if the Carrys didn’t slow you down and you where a could runner, you could save energy for the rigs: The Focus was on speed and agility and it was a well balanced sprint race! The eliteathletes started as last group, but this resulted in a later start then scheduled because there were still Agegroupers outthere struggling with the obstacles.
The Standard Course was a lot more running. But not only running also the carries where increased and a lot more water and mud where part of the course. With the nuclear race location close to London OCR WC chose a great location for the 2018 Worldchampionchips. It felt like OCR was coming home. The only thing that was missing were the absurd constructions Mr. Mouse has on his mansion and the cold of january. But still we had a little taste of the cold when we jumped into the first little river. The air had around 7 degrees and the water felt like less. The first waves had to deal with wet and cold obstacles. The later Agegroups had less struggle with wet obstacles in the beginning but with muddy obstacles in the end. The puddles became deeper and the people got muddier. So like day one we had two different races in one day and the times are not really comparable if you did’t not start in the same wave.
The course was really challenging and you had to do a lot of carring, crawling, climbing and a lot of fun stuff to.
I knew I had to save my forearmstrenght because this is my personal weakness and my struggle started with my personal nightmare the stairways to heaven. I had only met them in training and never in a race. Unfortunately except for the OCR Series races we have no races in Germany that really meet the level of a World or European Championchips. So I failed the traverse, and failed again, before I somehow managed to do it with brute force and horrible technique. I lost my wristband shortly after at the Platinum Rigg. Why? Stupidity, and lack of force and knowlegde.
I failed and from thereon it was the hardest race of my life.
In the end I reached the finishline, completly exhausted. Still I tried every obstacle, failed at some of the technicals but somehow made it through. I was disappointed by my perfomance, but happy with the course. It showed me, my limitations in comparison to the best athletes in the world. But it also showed me what is possible and where our sport should go to! It was not only my hardest, but also my favorite race! A true challenge and a well balanced OCR-Race.
The team Race was clearly separated in a four parts: Running, Strength, Technical and Team Obstacles. In comparison to the OCREC the Individual parts really requiered Specialists in there categories and you could see that the overall level in the team competitions was really high. Some athletes even saved themselfes for this part of OCRWC. And did not race the days before. Some superhumas race all weekend and perfomed incredly good. Ryan Atkins even raced twice in the teamevent. Men and Mixed and won in the second race. The Teamevent clearly is the highlight of weekend because it makes athletes push themselfs even a little harder to not let there teammates down. The athmosphere at the teamevent is allways a highlight and I was sad i didn’t sign up for it. The Strenghpart would have been be just my race. What i heard from all participating athlethes was, that they would have wished for some more real team obstacles, the team part was really short, compared to the other parts. For next year this would be a real improvement to introduce some more obstacles you can only manage together.
The OCR-WC London provided everything needed. The Organisation was as good as in Sydney and the Organizers where allways present! Even though it was a much bigger event then Sydney it still felt as familiar as Sydney. On the whole it was a very good and very well organized events with just some minor critiquepoints I will some up in the following:
The whole event was a little scattered. Event though most of the interesting Obstacles were close together, the finishline and the startline where far apart, so that you allways needed to run around. The center of the OCRWC Village was formed by the commercial area and food part. Not by start, finish and some of the key obstacles. Eventhough it would have been easily possible. If the foodcourt would have formed the entrance to the whole village rather then the center so the big tent would more of a center and you could see Start and Finish at the same time. I missed a lot of finishes, because I need to be at the startline supporting befriended athletes. Another thing is the coverage of the races. I think on major thing that went a lot better in Esbjerg was a big screen and a coverage of the races. On the whole sometimes I felt a bit lost. A big screen like in Esbjerg and a good moderation would have increased the experience a lot!
Marshalling and Wristbands in London
The most important critiquepoint I have is the wristbandsystem and the marshalling. The plastic wristbands were given out from the beginning which makes it ridiculosly easy to hide it! And some people did it. Even if you did not, you could just run through! One Marshall per obstacle was ridiculously low and if I would not have handed out my band, he would not even have realized that I failed the obstacle. So many people where able to cheat. NEXT YEAR THE WRISTBANDSYSTEM HAS TO CHANGE! The paperwristbandsystem and the marshalling in Esbjerg were clearly better!
Some obstacles where placed not really well so i hat to queue up at some of the first obstacles waiting for other athletes to grab a Sandbag or crawl under something. Some obstacles did not work out as planned and dissappeared throughout the day, unfortunate but reasonable.
Nevertheless the OCRWC 2018 in London was one of the best experiences in my Life and I am very thankful to the organizers to set up such a great event. PS: Dont forget to like my Facebookpage and let my know your opinion on the event!