In early 2019 OCRWC launched a unique worldwide athlete ranking system. Using a committee of independent prominent members of the OCR community, the goal was to create an opinion based system, which takes into account all athletes across the globe, across every race brand.
To be a member of the panel required a huge knowledge of OCR, the athletes, and different events, and each voter had their own in-depth system of scoring performances.
Each month they were provided with a list of athletes, with the option to add up to five of their own wildcard entries. Although it initially faced some criticism, the initiative proved to be wildly successful, as proven by the final results and performances at OCRWC 2019.
At the end of the season, before OCRWC we collated all results to create a yearly ranking which can be found here.
Without a doubt, our most successful event in terms of rankings and podiums was the 15km, the “classic” event of the Obstacle Course Racing World Championships.
Within the males, the podiums were Jon Albon UK, 1st, Ryan Atkins CAN 2nd, Thomas Buyle BEL 3rd. After ranking across the year, our committee placed the following: Atkins (CAN, 1), Albon (UK,2), Woods (USA, 3), Buyle (BEL, 4). Whilst Ryan Woods lost his band and did not complete, the next on our list, Buyle was the 3rd place which I think few would have called. Coming in only 20 points behind Woods for the year, it was a close 4th, especially after Woods’ epic victory at Tahoe.
Whilst we would be surprised to not see Albon at the top of the men, the women’s event is always a lot harder to call. Our women’s event saw Karin Karlsson SWE in 1st, followed by Katja K. Christensen DEN in 2nd, and Ida Mathilde Steensgaard DEN in 3rd.
These are 3 names that have repeatedly popped up throughout the year. Christensen (DEN, 15) first entering as wildcard nominated by our panel back in May, before breaking into the top ten in July after an incredible weekend at OCREC where she took home two golds and two silvers. First place at the OCREC standard course and ninja track event, and second on the short course and team relay.
Karlsson (SWE, 3) fought an epic battle to claim first place at OCRWC, and she was there to win. After taking 4th at her first OCRWC in 2015, she has worked tirelessly to achieve her goal, and this year she did it. With Webster (CA, 1) not racing due to injury, and Mericle (USA, 2) dropping out also due to injury, Karlsson (SWE, 3) was the first female on our overall rankings who completed the course, and so it is fitting that she came in first.
Christensen (DEN, 15) was a “surprise” 2nd place, with everyone expecting to see Steensgaard (DEN, 3) crossing the line in second. However, her success should come as no surprise when people know her previous victories at championship events in 2019. This was one of the purposes of our system, to highlight athletes which otherwise could be overlooked.
In our overall yearly rankings Steensgaard (DEN, 4) placed 4th behind Karlsson (SWE,3). Whilst she was expected to take 2nd at OCRWC up until the final moments, she is a very worthy candidate for the bronze medal.
3km Short & 100m
Looking at the top ten finishers of the female 3km, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were looking at the rankings from a particularly busy month of racing. All of the top 3 females, Mericle (USA, 2), Steensgaard (DEN,4), and Hammond (USA, 6), finished the year at the top end of our top ten. Hammond only finishing lower due to missing several races because of injury.
The 100m male results threw up some surprising successes from largely European athletes, however, the women’s event again showed us the same names we’ve been seeing all year. Firstly Karlsson (SWE, 3), taking her 3rd podium; Gold in 15km, Gold in 100m, and Silver in the Mixed Team event. Katja K. Christensen (DEN, 15) Also taking 3 podiums; Silver in 15km, Silver in the 100m, and Gold in the Female Team event. Coming in 3rd was, Steensgaard (DEN, 4) taking an impressive four podiums, for the first time in 4 separate events; Bronze in the 100m, Bronze in 15km, silver in the 3km, and Gold in the Mixed Team event).
Join us next year
The OCRWC ranking system will return in 2020. If you would like to be considered as a member of our panel, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.