OCRWC Review

They Battled. They Conquered.

Our Battle Corps team took to Ontario, Canada last weekend for the OCR World Championship! Five team members, five different perspectives of this international event. Read about their experiences below!


Chris’ Experience

What moment was the most impactful to you at OCR World Championships?
There is one overlying aspect of OCR World Championships that always stick with me. Last year there were 44 countries represented; this year it increased to 67 countries. It is incredible to be out there on the course with athletes from all over the world, cheering each other on, and speaking multiple languages all in earshot of you. You see the teams chasing their teammates around the course, coaching and supporting them as they battle to keep their band and perform to their maximum. It’s a clear indication that our world is much more unified than it sometimes seems.

Describe your favorite on-course element.
At Blue Mountain Resort there is nothing better than the view from the top of that mountain! I had to pause a couple times during my race just to soak in the beauty of the landscape. It momentarily washes away the pain in your legs and the burning in your lungs.

Has your view of “Life’s Better When Battled” been affected by this experience?
The deep meaning to me has not changed, but I definitely added another true battle to my long list of life experiences. I’ve had the pleasure of dealing with some terrible patella tendinitis the last couple months, and it reared its ugly head during the 15k race on Saturday. At 2 miles in, I seriously considered dropping out of the race. However, I had at least another 2 miles to go before I would return to a part of the course where I could realistically make that decision. I switched over to exclusively hiking and had a lot of time to reflect on why I was there, as well as what others were probably battling. So at 4.5 miles in, I decided I would just deal with the pain for a couple of hours and finish what I started. I am glad I did.

What advice would you give to others wanting to compete next year?
Recover this winter and train progressively, all year long. What you do during this winter will create a foundation for championship season. Then once you qualify and get to the OCRWC take the time to really soak it in. Don’t let your performance take away from what you are part of there. This year’s 15K had a 50% completion rate for athletes keeping their band. So 50% of the people did not get to go home with that coveted prize. And yet, there were very few people that didn’t leave with a smile; no matter what, keep a smile on your face!

How does an International event like this compare to a typical weekend OCR event?
It doesn’t compare. It is a whole different level of camaraderie and support from athletes. My favorite part of this was how the athletes would joke with each other about things going on in the other countries and the stereotypes everyone knows exists. It was a pleasant experience sharing the joy of our sport and coming together with a similar goal for a weekend; and being truly happy for every other athletes accomplishments regardless of the flag printed on their bib.

Do you have a unique perspective that you took from this event that you would like to share?
This is the first time I have gone into the OCR World Championship with a lingering injury that I knew would affect my performance. So, I shifted my goals. Instead of trying to compete to my maximum in each event, I chose to really focus my energy on the 3K and the Team event. I knew my knee could hold up for under 2 miles, and there was no way I was going to let me team down in the Team event on Sunday. As a result, I conceded my 15K race to just soak everything in and not worry about pushing for a time. I stopped and chatted with racers from other countries when at water stations, I enjoyed the views, and I made sure I kept that obstacle completion wristband. It was very rewarding to kind of step back from the tunnel vision of racing, and just enjoy it.


Leah’s Experience

What moment was the most impactful to you at OCR World Championships?
I was most impacted and proud at the moment I learned our All-Female Open Division team placed 5th in the world! Competing alongside my teammates… giving our all paid off!

Describe your favorite on-course element.
My favorite obstacle was the low rig. Very often my height handicaps me on course, but this shorter rig was made for me! I breezed through it on the first try!

Has your view of “Life’s Better When Battled” been affected by this experience?
My belief of “Life’s Better When Battled” was intensified at OCRWC when I saw firsthand the success and improvements of myself and teammates on the unrelenting course. From coming back after injuries, improving previous years’ times, and witnessing the highs of accomplishments- this weekend was full of moments of pride and excitement.

What advice would you give to others wanting to compete next year?
Be focused and goal minded with your training. It isn’t enough just to run 5x a week or lifting the heaviest weight possible – it’s about purposeful and intentional training. Identify your shortcomings and weaknesses, leave the excuses at the door, and put in the work to get better. Do those things you fear or cannot do right now. Whether that be pull-ups, heavy carries, rig work, or speed intervals.

How does an International event like this compare to a typical weekend OCR event?
There is no comparison to the amazing environment of an international event like this. Seeing the different country flags, hearing the multitude of languages, the universal expressions of excitement and pride, the encouraging cheers and praise, exposure to obstacles we would never see at a local event, and being surrounded with like-minded and goal-driven athletes. There is nothing more better.

Do you have a unique perspective that you took from this event that you would like to share?
As a member of BROCR media, I was fortunate to be granted full access with my press pass. This allowed me to get right up next to and film the pros. It also made me More recognizable to fellow competitors, which provided me the opportunity to meet and speak with so many inspiring athletes! I witnessed many game changing race moments first hand and was able to capture incredible footage of some of my personal heroes!


Scott’s Experience

What moment was the most impactful to you at OCR World Championships?
Crossing the finishing line with my Battle Corps teammates during the team race was one of the highlights and a great way to cap off the weekend.

Describe your favorite on-course element.
I really enjoyed the last few miles of the 15k course. After sending us up and down the mountain numerous times, they gave us a fast and long section of winding downhill and then a gauntlet of grip intense obstacles in front of all of the spectators as they cheered us on.

Has your view of “Life’s Better When Battled” been affected by this experience?
The rain added an extra challenge that had us literally crawling up the mountain at points to keep from sliding back down. It made for one of the toughest obstacle course races that I’ve done, but it always makes the finish line so much sweeter.

What advice would you give to others wanting to compete next year?
Make the commitment and get it done. Consistency in your training and a good training program will make all the difference in getting you ready.

How does an International event like this compare to a typical weekend OCR event?
The international feel always makes it such a unique experience compared to others. All the different flags, different languages, new obstacles from other countries. etc. It has almost an Olympic like atmosphere to it and it’s amazing to see and run along the same course as some of the best obstacle course racer’s in the world.

Do you have a unique perspective that you took from this event that you would like to share?
Besides the amazing course that I was able to compete on, I was also able to participate in a rig competition on Saturday against some of the better international rig masters and even a few American Ninja Warrior athletes. On a cool evening out in the rain, lighted by just a few surrounding cars, we went head to head on different sections that were setup for the competition. It was a very unique event and a lot of fun.


Jason’s Experience

What moment was the most impactful to you at OCR World Championships?

The most memorable moment for me at this year’s OCRWC was actually not even in my own events. It was going out there and watching the girls team made up of Kelly Dzierzynski, Leah Hensley, and Alicia Kueker from KOR Komplex (Team Phoenix) go out and crush the team open wave female race. All three of them had tough days on Saturday, but they all bounced back on Sunday with a basically flawless performance and 5th place finish.

Describe your favorite on-course element.
My favorite course element was the Platinum Rigs. These obstacles are like puzzles especially when they are wet. You have to figure out the best way for you to traverse it and they can and were altered from day to day.

Has your view of “Life’s Better When Battled” been affected by this experience?
I am well aware of how your life is definitely better when battled, however, this course was a grind, but not all that difficult for me. There have been numerous races/events I’ve done where I learned something about myself but unfortunately this wasn’t one of them.

What advice would you give to others wanting to compete next year?
The OCRWC is an awesome experience, and one that I recommend to anyone who participates in the sport of obstacle racing. The organizers do a fabulous job of putting on a great weekend of events and fun experiences outside of the races that bring the athletes together.

How does an International event like this compare to a typical weekend OCR event?
There is nothing like a large international competition. So many athletes sporting their country’s colors and speaking a variety of languages. No where else can you learn so much about how the sport differs around the world. You also get to meet so many great people from all over the globe. It truly has an “Olympic feel” to it.

Do you have a unique perspective that you took from this event that you would like to share?
I love how the athletes can be friends at every other time but then hardcore competitors during the race. The vast majority of the pros are just regular people even though they are superhuman on course. They are awesome to get to know off the course. There is really nothing like the OCR Community which is one of the reasons that I love racing so much!


Kelly’s Experience

What moment was the most impactful to you at OCR World Championships?
The impact moment of the weekend was the love and support my teammates showed me every step of the way. They all stood in the rain, and cold for hours after they were finished with their race and gave me direction and support on the obstacles that I was struggling with. I have never felt such love from people in my life. No one has ever given me so much as the team has this weekend. I am truly grateful for this experience and to be part of this team. The team experience this whole season has impacted my life in a positive way every day.

Describe your favorite on-course element.
My favorite on course element was the terrain. I absolutely loved the 3500 ft elevation gain and loss that made up the course. The rugged and muddy terrain made it so challenging. Any one not used to climbing hills a distinct disadvantage. My favorite obstacle was the Stairway to Heaven. It is basically a series of ascending stairs that require you to do pull ups and you have to do then traverse across a wide span and go back down without using your feet.

Has your view of “Life’s Better When Battled” been affected by this experience?

I had a serious injury about 14 weeks ago at an Obstacle course race in Chicago which required that I have a surgery where they put a 6 inch Titanium Plate and 7 screws in my left collar bone. I could have just given up the rest of the season at that point because it was a grueling recovery. I chose to push on and stay positive. I worked hard at the things I could during my rehabilitation and never gave up hope that I could still participate at the OCRWC. My surgeon advised against it as did everyone else. I am a sports medicine physical therapist and I knew how far along my healing was and truly believe that opportunities are put in front of us but it is up to us to to accept and take on the challenge . I decided to give it my all even though I hadn’t done any pull ups or strength work with my left shoulder in 14 weeks. I did two events at OCRWC, the 15k individual event and the 7k Team relay. The 15 k was going awesome until the very last three obstacles that were very upper body intensive. I has already been on course for 2.5 hours and used all my grip strength up. I stayed at the three last rigs for over an hour with the advice and encouragement of my teammate Jason. He never gave up on me but let me know that I would DQ if I didn’t move on within the allotted time I was given to complete the race.. I was heartbroken to have made it so far in the race with completing all of the obstacles so far to have to surrender my band and take the time penalties. So after 5 hours I finished disappointed in my performance at the end but I knew I gave it 100%.
I could have cried all night and felt sorry for myself but I chose to rise up and give 110%. The next day I woke up with even more passion and energy to take on the team event. I was the endurance portion of the event and had to have to again take on all of the elevation with and about 12 upper body obstacles again. This time I kept my band as did my teammates Leah and Alicia. We proceeded to finish in 5th Place in the women’s open division. So the moral of the story is you have ten times more in you than you could ever imagine if you believe in yourself and have the support of truly caring people like I do with my team the Battle Corps.

What advice would you give to others wanting to compete next year?
Training is like a second job. You have to be committed and consistent and never settle, never give excuses. Get up early, stay up late, get it done. I often train in the middle of the night or early morning so I can do the rest of my life as well. There is always enough time in the day to get it all done, it’s about priorities really. If you believe you can you will. No excuses, no quitting, that’s what it takes. You also have to have mental grit. When things start to go sideways you better have enough mental fortitude to prevail or you will continue to be disappointed in yourself and the outcomes in your life and sport.

How does an International event like this compare to a typical weekend OCR event?
There is even more camaraderie and support. Even though there were 67 different countries represented, we all spoke the same language – OCR.

Do you have a unique perspective that you took from this event that you would like to share?
I was able to meet many of the pro women in the sport and it was amazing how down to earth and friendly they really are.


Posted in OCR Industry News