Big news out of the independent Obstacle Course Racing World Championships HQ: OCRWC 2016 will take place at Blue Mountain Ski Resort, located two hours north-west of Toronto, Canada. “As obstacle racing grows worldwide, as we saw just in the growth of the numbers of countries represented from year 1 to year 2, having a truly international destination city was key.” Said OCRWC COO Brad Kloha, The 3rd annual event will take place on the weekend of October 15 & 16, 2016, partnering with Canadian event production company 365 Sports who have 5k Foam Fest Canada and Mustache Dash among other participant sporting events in their portfolio.
Canadians took exactly half the podium spots at the 2015 Spartan Race World Championships (Beast and Ultra Beast) and OCRWC, which likely contributed to the decision to select Canada as the host country in 2016. Canadian owned race series attracting large numbers in Eastern Canada include: XMan Race, Dead End Race and Mud Hero. The Spartan Race Franchise in eastern Canada consistently draws 15,000 registrations at their Montreal event and BattleFrog recently announced 3 Canadian events in 2016. While attendance at Toronto OCRs is significantly lower than those held near Ottawa and Montreal, OCRWC’s appeal to international markets sets this event apart from local OCRs.
As we are still nearly one year from the event, many operational details are still in the works, including which Canadian OCRs will contribute obstacles to OCRWC and who will be the beer sponsor. Registration, which currently is in pre-registration phase, is in US currency, despite the event being held in Canada. Note this is also the case with Canadian BattleFrog events. The current Canadian currency value ($1 CAD costs $0.77 USD) benefits everyone when compared to an event in the USA, especially Canadians, which all can benefit from on their travel, accommodation, shopping and food expenses.
One operational detail that we can share is the course will include the Blue Mountain ski hill which features a base elevation of 226 meters (741ft), a total elevation of 452 meters (1,483ft) and a vertical of 219 meters (720ft), so expect climbs but nothing longer than 219 meters in one go. Blue Mountain hosts a number of races including the local Met Con Blue OCR and the only Canadian stop on The North Face Endurance Challenge Ultra Marathon tour, which was designed by Greater Toronto Area local and OCRWC two time 2nd place finisher Ryan Atkins. There is potential for technical single-track and water, Ryan describes the mountain as “pretty steep, with a fair amount of rockyness“. The average high and low in the month of October at Blue Mountain is 10C (50F) and 0.3C (32.5F) respectively with the “normal” temperature being 5.2C (41.4F).
“We thought about what Blue Mountain has to offer and Toronto as a major destination for all of those athletes who are traveling a significant distance and will make this much more than a weekend trip. All of that came into consideration for the selection of this specific venue for our first move,” says Brad. OCRWC sets another precedent by becoming the first of five world championship events in this sport to hold a race outside the United States. Registrants are encouraged to consult the official OCRWC travel link for relevant information: http://ocrworldchampionships.com/travel.
About the Obstacle Course Racing World Championships
Created by Adventurey, LLC, the Obstacle Course Racing World Championships is the fi¬rst and only independent championship event in Obstacle Course Racing and
requires athletes to qualify for a limited number of spots through a network of qualifying events. Designed to celebrate the athletes within the sport, the 2015
competition drew nearly 2,000 athletes from over 25 countries to compete for cash prizes in individual Elite, Age Group, and Team competitions, making it one of
the broadest and most diverse races in obstacle course racing history. For more information, visit www.OCRWC.com.
Adam Kwitko | Is an endurance sports journalist, producer and race operations professional. He is an avid OCR racer, trail runner and honey addict.