Writing this article almost seems ridiculous. The Obstacle Course Racing World Championships (OCRWC) is the greatest celebration our sport has, spanning multiple days, multiple race distances and involves participants from more than 60 countries! However, just in case you need help convincing someone else to come to the best Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) event in the world, read on for 9 reasons why we believe the OCR World Championships is the ONLY place to be on race weekend.
1. There’s a Race For Every Type of Athlete
Regardless of your desired distance or specialty, OCRWC has an event for you. There are 5 different races over the course of the weekend – 100M, 3K, 15K, 5K charity non-competitive event and a Team Relay. That gives you more events than days in the weekend. For those adventurous athletes who race multiple times, this isn’t a trip just for one journey across the finish line! You’ll get to experience that post-race high multiple times in one weekend. No other OCR event in the world offers an experience like that.
Let’s be real for a second. The main reason we all race is the obstacles. No other race brings in more obstacles from more brands than OCRWC. Do you want to tackle the same obstacles you’ve been completing all year or do you want something new? In addition to pulling in obstacles from other series, you get some one-of-a-kind creations that you literally can’t race on anywhere else in the world.
3. Altitude (or lack thereof) and Terrain
Stratton Mountain towers above the Village at 3,875 feet (1,181 meters) tall. While you will have to climb to the top of the mountain (probably more than once), you won’t have to worry about acclimatizing to a massive height above sea level. You can show up, race, spend time with the OCR community all weekend and go home without worrying about negative effects on race performance that can be caused by things like Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) associated with higher elevations.
4. Four Days of Fun for the Whole Family
This isn’t just a race, it’s an experience. The weekend kicks off with an opening ceremony complete with fireworks. Music will be playing all weekend in the lively festival area as athletes warm up, cool down, race through the festival, or just hang out. Thanks to the course layout your family can literally watch you cross exciting obstacles multiple times throughout the race, making it very spectator friendly. Stratton Village is complete with shops, restaurants, and bars that line the course, along with sponsors doing giveaways all weekend. Where else can your friends and family enjoy lunch and a beer while people watching world-class athletes on a championship course?
5. Festival Atmosphere
The OCR World Championships has the best start/finish line festival our sport has ever seen. Thanks to the partnership with Red Bull, the festival will offer a live DJ playing music all weekend, sponsors will be offering samples, giveaways, and activities, and there will be food, beverages, and merchandise available for purchase. The OCRWC is a celebration of our sport, and you’re going to want to be right in the center of it all.
6. International Flavor
We are all guilty of sometimes getting trapped in our own little OCR bubble. You’ll love the experience of walking around an athlete village with more than 5,000 athletes from 65 nations. There are so many languages being spoken and different accents overheard that you may forget for a moment you’re on U.S. soil. No other OCR event in the world draws such a diverse group of athletes. Multi-time World Champions and legends of our sport will be wandering around the festival area walking their dog. Say hi, grab a picture, get some training tips or maybe end up as new friends. The friendships you make and OCR related swag you can exchange with athletes from the other side of the globe will make this a truly unique race weekend.
Who doesn’t love a good race medal? OCRWC is known for its amazing bling. Each event has its own medal that is heavy duty, high quality and very different from the previous year’s medals. Each year a unique twist is added as an homage to the host country. Want to go home with all five race medals? You’ll have to race every event, but every year you’ll see those bold athletes walking (hobbling) through the village on Sunday evening with a pile of hardware around their neck.
OCRWC runs with one goal in mind, put #AthletesFirst. This means you get rewarded for earning your spot on the start line through personalized touches. Your race bib has your name on it. You get an athlete pass to get you into the warm up area and other places that spectators can’t access, as well as other special perks and discounts. For the final touch, each year a unique commemorative poster is available for purchase that includes the names of every athlete who raced. These sell out every single year, so make sure you snatch yours up right after you check in! You’ll love these little extra touches. Just be sure to save some room on your wall for your shadow box filled with all the unique OCRWC related memorabilia.
9. Represent Your Favorite
With so many countries and brands coming you’ll have a chance to represent what’s important to you. LegendBorne (OCRWC’s official race jersey) has an amazing lineup including country specific jerseys, your favorite race brands, charities, OCR clubs and more. With four days and five events, you may want to pick up a couple to create once in a lifetime pictures for your wall. Better yet – make friends over the course of the weekend and participate in our closing ceremonies’ jersey exchange for a unique memento unlike anything you could ever purchase.
Whatever YOUR reason, the OCRWC is the event of a lifetime. Historically the event has moved every two years, which makes this an opportunity you don’t want to pass up because you don’t know where it will happen next!
You have two options this fall, you either come to OCRWC or get ready to experience the worst FOMO in recent memory. Don’t just take my word for it though, come experience it for yourself. There is no other place you’ll want to be than on the sport’s biggest stage!