The Obstacle Course Racing World Championships will return to Blue Mountain, Ontario for the second consecutive year on October 13-15, 2017. The 2016 edition of OCRWC saw considerable improvements to the overall quality of obstacles featured on course, including bigger and more impressive structures, many of which were contributed by race series throughout Canada (Dead End Race), the US and Europe. Platinum Rig was also out in full force with four obstacles which included: two platinum Rigs, an Irish Table and the Samurai, which proved to be perhaps too complex for many 3km short course athletes. Considering the substantial improvements in event quality from year to year, OCR athletes should expect an even better race experience than that of 2016 and hopefully more Canadian OCR sponsored obstacles.
But don’t get too attached to the Blue Mountain venue, as “It’s our intention that this will be the last time the event is in North America for some time,” expressed Adrian Bijinada; CEO & Founder of Adventurey LLC, the company that organizes the OCR World Championships. “While we are very proud of the quality of our event, we feel we still have a lot to learn and improve on.”
Additions to the OCR World Championships in 2017 will include:
• More strict qualifying standards, especially for the pro division.
• Cash prizes for the 3k short course age category podium finishers (amounts TBD).
• Gold, silver and bronze medals for all podium finishers, age group and overall including the 3km short course.
• Different wristbands for all distances.
• A ban on studded footwear.
Given the increase in registered athletes from 1400 at the 2015 venue located near Cincinnati, Ohio to 3000 athletes in 2016, it will be interesting to see whether this registration trend continues given the cult-like following of OCRWC in the global OCR community. The OCR World Championships is arguably the most highly talked-about OCRs in North America, featuring 4 races in a 3 day weekend; the 3km short course, 15km standard distance, team relay race and charity race which benefitted Make-A-Wish Canada.
Watch the 2017 OCR World Championships promo video here.
By : Adam Kwitko | Is an endurance sports journalist and race operations professional. He is an avid OCR racer, trail runner who gravitates to the longer distances. He also consumes large amounts of honey and maple syrup.