2022 saw Obstacle Course Racing deliver one of the most impressive years yet. Bouncing back from years of limitations on travel and events, the athletes and supporters embraced the return of the support with gusto.
Throughout the year we documented the successes of the elite men and women, culminating in our top 5 picks for OCRWC 2022, with great success.
The final few months of 2022 saw a flurry of incredible feats and championship events, and here we recognize all the achievements we saw with our pre-season rankings, a committee led choice of the top ten male and female athletes coming into 2023.
Leading the men’s leaderboard we see Tyler Veerman (USA, 1) with 13.5 points. After taking the win at the OCR World Championships 15k event, and securing the top podium spot with Team USA, he continued his season of racing with performances at Spartan Canada, and 3rd place at World’s Toughest Mudder with 100 miles, proving his adaptability at multi disciplines and distances.
We cannot mention World’s Toughest Mudder without talking about Kris Rugloski (USA, 2). Narrowly missing out to Lindsay Webster (CAN, 1), for the top spot, Rugloski had one of the most impressive seasons in OCR history. After taking 2nd on the 15k, 3rd on the 3k, and 1st on both the women’s and co-ed team events, with teammates Veerman, and Schadegg (USA, 6), she then went on to take 3rd at the Spartan Trifecta World Champs, followed by her record breaking performance at WTM. Rugloski is known for her ability to take on longer distances, having completed 7 100 milers in 2022, but at WTM she was the first woman ever to take 100 miles in the 24 hour event, making history. She followed this up with a 1st place team win and 8th place at Spartan World Champs in Abu Dhabi in December.
Speaking of making history, Webster now holds the Spartan record for most consecutive wins (17) after the WC, and took her 4th WC title. She also takes the record for most individual podium appearances at OCRWC with 11, after taking 1st at the 15k and 2nd at the 3k. Although officially retired she seems unstoppable, and one more win at OCRWC will see her match UK’s Jon Albon at a total of 9 individual gold medals.
Competitors from across the pond also had a successful championship season, a last minute entry from Eszter Hortobagyiova (CZ, 3) at the Spartan European Championship saw her bag the top spot followed in 2nd place by Ida Mathilde Steensgaard (DEN, 4). She followed this up with a win at Spartan TWC and 2nd place at Spartan WC.
Ryan Atkins (CAN, 2) and Sergei Perelygin (RUS, 3) round off the top 3 on the men’s leaderboard. Perelygin taking the win at the Spartan WC with Atkins in 2nd place.
After an intense and varied 2022 with athletes breaking records and continuing to perform at the top of their game, we’re not sure how they can top in 2023, but if we know one thing, it’s that they will continue to surprise us and take the sport to new and unprecedented levels, and we can’t wait to see it.