With all the excitement of the Obstacle Course Racing World Championships, there’s one event that’s often overlooked, and that’s the Sunday 7km open event.
Rather than being an aside, this is a major part of the weekend and I’m here to tell you why we should all be taking part.
If you’re a racer
OK, yes, you’re most likely exhausted, you’ve run anything from 1-5 races over the weekend (yep some people double up on the team event, and this year don’t forget about the 100m sprint) and after all of that, you want to put your feet up and soak your aching muscles in a delicious salts bath. Why would you do the open event?
How often do you run for fun anymore? When was the last time you took part in an event where you weren’t concerned about timings or placings, and you just played like the big kid we all are?
Think of it as an opportunity to run with your teammates or rivals, or even your family. Show them what OCR is all about. Take your mum round and let her be proud of you whilst you teach her about this sport you love.
If you’ve not qualified
I rarely run OCR anymore, and I’m not at a level where I would feel confident in taking on the OCRWC, but I would love to try the open event. I’m always there supporting my partner and friends and let’s be honest, I get a bit jealous as I’m sure we all do. Rules are strict over race weekend, and understandably no one is allowed on course, but sometimes we all just want to have a play and see if the obstacles are really as hard as they seem.
The open event gives a chance to those of us – who like myself- haven’t been able to qualify, or want to test the water before we jump into competing. Or even if you have zero interest in competing. Yes the journeyman wave exists, but the open event is there for those people who won’t complete 3+ races in a year, or don’t want to take on 15km. If there’s one event I would recommend people take part in who are not looking to compete, it would be the OCRWC Open wave.
An event is worthy even without competition and here are the reasons why:
For the training
When else are you allowed free reign to play on a massive chunk of a World Championship course? (hint: never) Yes the courses change each year, in fact some elements like the Platinum Rig change each day, but it’s still an amazing opportunity to try out a course and obstacles without the pressure of failing/wearing yourself out.
You can give Force Five as many attempts as you like, without worrying about the outcome. You can do Skitch with others around you, sharing tips and having fun whilst you play. Think of it as the perfect training exercise!
For the experience
If you’re UK based you’ll know the opportunity to try different races gets less with every year as more brands sadly disappear. This course is a beautiful combination of the epic OCRWC, with the ingenuity of Nuclear thrown in. A mix of obstacles from carries, climbs, and technical, to some outright unusual ones you just won’t believe until you see.
At roughly 7km it’s a great length whatever your fitness level, and perfect for you to do in a big group of friends, it’s a great taster of what Obstacle Course Racing is all about.
It could be your last chance
The location of subsequent Championships is kept under lock and key, but if we’re going to be logical about it, each location has lasted for two years. Perhaps London will be different, but following these rules this could be the last UK based OCRWC event for quite a while.
Who knows how far away it will be next year? It’s easy to say no to something when the option is there, but when it’s taken away we often regret it. Personally I’ll be finding a way to squeeze in the open event, and the 100m course this year!
The 7km open event is there just to have fun, and get involved. It’s a great way to wind up what we all know is an epic weekend, to run with your friends and family who have supported you, to run with your team mates or community members, or to introduce OCR to total newbies, and of course, there’s always epic bling and a great finisher shirt.
No bands, no stress, no pressure.