Where Are You Racing this Weekend?
The question floating around for many this week in the OCR community is “Where are you racing this weekend?” The answer can be a hot button item while it’s a seemingly simple question. In the wake of a string of championship races in the obstacle racing community this weekend caps off much of the championship fever with OCR World Championships. However, it’s not the only big event of the weekend.
There are three major races in the OCR World this weekend and your choice may say a great deal about you and what you think of the OCR industry as a whole. With more and more people willing to open their wallets and travel to great lengths to a single race the choice this weekend becomes more important.
The three major races in question are the OCR World Championships in Ohio, Spartan Race Beast in Sacramento, and Spartan Race Carolinas in South Carolina. The two Spartan Races mark the second stage of the Spartan Race Series Triple Crown with age group championships happening on both the east and west coast this weekend.
The majority of people (like 90%) in the obstacle racing world will just go to whatever is close – be it a local OCR, local trail race, or live near one of the three listed above. To them the choice is a no brainer. As well those racing for the Spartan Race Pro Team it makes the most sense for them financially to be at the race they race for (Spartan). Many feed their families with prize winnings so it makes the most sense for their families. But then there are the rest of us, those of us willing to travel great distances to race, competitive but not likely to see a podium, and live near none of the three races above. These are the core group of the sport, the fanatics, the OCR Freaks, the diehards, and it’s there choice that says a lot about where they toe the line on Saturday.
Questions to Ask Yourself
The question comes down to who do I support?
Do I support a race series or the OCR industry as a whole?
Am I a brand?
Is Obstacle Racing a sport or a fad for the weekend warrior?
Is money the only driving force in the sport or is there something else?
Who is doing the most for the average age group racer?
Where do I see the future of the sport?
The answers to the questions are personal and depending on where you fall in the OCR spectrum the answers are all over the place. Each person has the right to the race they want to be at and everyone has a reason for picking one over the other. With possible Spartan Pro Team spots up for grabs for age groupers Spartan might be the right choice for others being an Age Group World Champion against people from all around the world holds more merit. It’s a personal choice and one that is not easy for all.
Where Am I on Saturday
But at the end of the day in my eyes, if you are going to travel, the choice is easy – pick the race that furthers the industry as a whole. My journey started with Spartan in 2010, it got me into this OCR thing and my heart will always be with Spartan, however over the last year I have spent more and more time looking at the industry as a whole. Spartan and the other big names come through a market maybe once a year twice if you live in California or another large market.
They are a leader in the industry for sure, but who is there to fill the gaps after they leave? Who is there to keep our fire ignited for OCR? It’s the other guys, the local and medium races that are there to fill our need to race. OCR World Championships is the first real attempt in the USA and really internationally to bring all the different companies together. It’s cute the hashtag we have been using all year #OCRUnited but it’s more than that. We need variety in the industry, we need those constantly looking to innovate, and it seems OCR World Championships is the first and only real organization looking to make a race that brings us all together, a true race, and a true festival of all things OCR. I have no doubt the races will be great for Spartan Race this weekend it’s saddening as a community we are forced to choose. But this is the nature of the sport and for me I am toeing the line in Ohio on Saturday.
Where are you racing this weekend?