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July 31, 2018 Comments (0) All Posts, Tips & Inspiration

The A-Z of Obstacle Course Racing

inov-8 OCR A-Z

Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) is a sport that has witnessed a huge surge in popularity over the last decade. Attracting competitors of all abilities, OCR events are not only a test of running speed and endurance but also physical and mental strength. Courses vary in length and obstacles range in difficulty, but hills, thrills and a generous serving of mud are guaranteed.

Here’s our A-Z of obstacle course racing, with contributions from Total Warrior, Obstacle Race Magazine, 2018 OCR Short Course European Champion Leon Kofoed Andersen and top UK OCR racer Becky Rendell.

A is for Atmosphere

OCR’s are great for atmosphere; mixing really tough races with music, beer, vibrant event villages and cracking volunteer teams. Many weekend volunteers help on one day in exchange for taking part the other day, so they know what you’re going through, or want to be you! (Total Warrior)

B is for Bars

Not your inner-city type wine bars, but the sort you hang onto for dear life just hoping your grip strength holds out until the other end. Monkey bars are a favourite at most races. (Obstacle Race Magazine)

C is for Carries

There’s nothing quite like taking a log for a walk in the woods! Race directors love to throw in a sandbag carry or two to test racers around the course. (Obstacle Race Magazine)

inov-8 OCR A-Z

D is for Dirty

Yes you are. In places you shouldn’t be. And you will be for days (see photo above). (Total Warrior)

E is for Exhilarating

If you don’t already do OCRs, then when was the last time you went full-throttle down a 50ft slip and slide, fully submerged yourself in a swamp or dunked in an ice bath? It’s all the stuff you did, or wanted to do, as kids. (Total Warrior)

F is for Fear

Most people will have a fear on the start line. There’s nothing better than crossing the finish line having conquered this fear. (Obstacle Race Magazine)

inov-8 OCR A-Z

G is for Grip

Essential for your feet and fingers. Hello X-TALON footwear (see photo above). Consider gloves too. (Becky Rendell)

H is for Hills

All obstacle races should make use of naturals obstacles. Road running races pride themselves on being flat and fast. OCRs are the opposite. If there’s a hill and it’s safe to do so, you’re going up it, and often there will be an obstacle at the top of it! (Total Warrior)

I is for Ice

Some ice obstacles use up to 10 tonnes of ice per day! If you’re going for a dunk, just beware of the initial shock, and give your legs a few seconds to come back to life on the other side! (Total Warrior)

inov-8 ocr

J is for Jelly legs

Those hills and all that energy-sapping mud will leave your pins feeling a little wobbly (see photo above). (Becky Rendell)

K is for Kid-friendly

Some OCR events offer junior versions, incorporating all the same thrills, just on a more manageable scale. Getting kids out in nature and engaging in their surroundings is a good thing. Starting them young does however mean that they will soon be ready to take down us oldies! (Total Warrior)

L is for Low rig

A glorious way to see well-functioning adults crawl around a kid-sized obstacle, trying to levitate horizontally in the air. It’s beautiful. (Leon Kofoed Andersen)

inov-8 OCR A-Z

M is for Mud

No obstacle race is complete without a generous helping of mud (see photo above). It can make even the grumpiest of racer smile and the simplest of obstacles suddenly seem impossible. (Obstacle Race Magazine)

N is for Nunchucks

Everyone’s favourite obstacle. Kind of! No idea what this is? Search for videos online. (Becky Rendell)

O is for Obsessed

Medals all over the house, muddy social media photos galore, and we pay whatever-the-price for a ticket to do another race! (Leon Kofoed Andersen)

P is for Profile picture

There’s nothing better than bragging rights – and good race photography ensures you get this on a Monday morning. The epic fire jump profile picture is a favourite. (Obstacle Race Magazine)

Q is for Questions

Don’t know how to overcome an obstacle and where to begin? The OCR community is super-friendly so don’t be afraid to ask what may seem like a silly question. (Becky Rendell)

R is for Rivers

Rivers make fantastic natural obstacles and, depending on the levels, offer many options. There will always be shallow options for non-swimmers, so don’t let water obstacles (natural or otherwise) put you off. (Total Warrior)

inov-8 OCR A-Z

S is for Smile

Don’t miss the on-course photographers and your chance to smile while caked in mud (see above photo). Makes for the perfect social media profile picture. (Leon Kofoed Andersen)

T is for Tough Guy

The original OCR event, known for its brutally-cold 15km course and the feared ‘Killing Fields’. When was the last time you signed a ‘death warrant’ before a race?! (Leon Kofoed Andersen)

U is for Undulations

Those gruelling ups and downs, often upgraded with a sneaky carry. See H and C. (Becky Rendell)

V is for Volunteering

Let’s just say it as it is. OCR wouldn’t exist without the amazing volunteers. Nothing but love for everyone who volunteers at events. (Leon Kofoed Andersen)

inov-8 OCR A-Z

W is for Walls

Real 12ft high ones and the ones in your head – get over them all, and don’t be afraid to ask a fellow racer for a hand (see photo above). (Becky Rendell)

X is for X-ray

Keep your fingers crossed (and unbroken) that you won’t be needing one of these post-event! (Becky Rendell)

Y is for Young (at heart)

OCR keeps you young, fun and fit. (Becky Rendell)

Z is for Zip wire

Who doesn’t love to put their feet up at weekends… and enjoy whizzing through the air before making a splash landing! (Obstacle Race Magazine)

* We’re supporting Total Warrior events in 2018. You ready to accept the challenge? More details here.

* Best shoes for obstacle course racing: Ditch the road running shoes… You need underfoot grip! It’s no fun slipping and sliding around on the mud, unable to make progress through trenches and watching others swiftly move past you. Grab a pair of shoes with an aggressive rubber stud pattern on the outsole to make sure you get the best grip possible. Our recommendations are the X-TALON 230 for narrower feet and the X-TALON 200 for wider feet. We will have our demo fleet of X-TALON 230 shoes at Total Warrior events in 2018, which competitors can test on the course.

* Related links: Top-10 Tips For Obstacle Course Racing | Top-10 Ways To Beat The Mud


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