READING ROUNDUP: OCRWC coming to Canada, Tough Mudder Half, and BF’s new sponsor


Dear obstacle racing peeps,

Somehow,  I am not sure how… it is already November. That means Halloween candy has been packed away (or eaten), and the coffeeshops are getting dangerously close to selling peppermint mochas and playing Christmas jingles.

For yours truly, that is a sure sign to start packing bags and head somewhere warm. Few more weeks until beach!

Meanwhile, grab a coffee, your Sunday newspaper is here!


Blue Mountain Resort Selected As Site Of The 2016 Obstacle Course Racing World Championships // OCRWC

The big news of the last week is without a doubt the announcement of OCRWC 2016 venue. In the words of Ryan Atkins: “Welcome to Canada, bitches!”.

The guessing game was on, and Tahoe, Colorado, and Sun Peaks were some of the other locations racers expected to see. Russia was a top contender, I am sure. Oh, the frosty fields of Mongolia.

I’ll see y’all at the Blue Mountain Resort in Ontario, Canada (see my blog post on 9 things you must know, now that OCRWC is happening in Canada). That’s a whopping 45min drive from where I live.

Closest race commute e-var!

What Is Tough Mudder Half? // Tough Mudder

Tough Mudder has announced a shorter distance event – five miles of obstacles, excluding some signature ones that tend to scare people off – the Arctic enema, the Electroshock Therapy, etc. Most of the conversations regarding the announcement center around whether the Tough Mudder is losing its edge, by adding events that are easier and shorter.

Of course, let’s not forget that MOST race series already have a shorter distance event, and those events are usually the most popular. For example, Spartan Sprints attract more people than Supers, which in turn attract more people than Beasts, which in turn attract more people than Ultra Beasts. A move like that will allow friends and spouses of those who have already done Tough Mudder to get their feet muddy, thus, tapping into an entirely new demographic.

Best Places To Test Your Survival Skills // Lonely Planet

Fuego y Agua Survival Run in Nicaragua has been (rightly) named one of the best places to test your survival skills by the Lonely Planet. The word is out!

After this year’s inaugural Survival Run in Australia, some athletes will be travelling to Ometepe Island in Nicaragua from down under. This well-deserved nod from a more mainstream publication/source will further increase the event’s visibility to non-racer adrenaline junkie crowd.

World’s Toughest Mudder Thermoregulation Hack // MudRunGuide

WTM is the second last championship of the year (with BattleFrog taking place in December), and it’s coming up fast. Year after the year, the main obstacle is… the cold! The unique difficulty of managing gear at the Vegas venue is that it gets really cold at night and really hot during the day. I call this the Burning Man phenomenon.

The article discusses radiation, convection and evaporation, and suggests best strategies for gear, depending on time of day. While most already knew that wetsuit is crucial, the author suggests wearing both windbreaker jacket and pants, while out of the water to preserve warmth (as wetsuits are only designed to keep the body warm while submerged). On that note, would someone design a wetsuit specifically for WTM already?

Extra OCR Fees: Revenue Stream Or Freedom Of  Choice? // Obstacle Racing Media

I didn’t realize that there was ambiguity around extra fees in the sport – of course, it is an extra revenue stream. It is unheard of for a trail race, or a triathlon to charge for parking and the bag drop (let alone spectators. Hey, mom! Wanna come watch me pound the pavement for four hours? It’ll only cost you $25!). Notable exceptions include road races in downtown core, where racers are left to fend for themselves to find parking – hardly an unexpected decision on the part of race organizers.

So, why do some obstacle races charge for parking and bag drops? Because they can. The racers are captive audience – there is rarely an option to walk to the race venue, and you are required to bring ID documentation in order to pick up our packet, and of course, you cannot race with those. Oh, look – a bag check! Damn it, it’s $5.

And, as pointed out in the article, there are “tangible benefits of enabling participants to ‘control’ some of their costs by being transparent in pricing and price increases and urging behaviors which have a positive impact on the experience (such as carpooling)”. Just like with cheaper airplane tickets, you CAN choose not to check the bag, and save yourself some cash – learn to pack light, y’all.

EliteOps Energy Strips Announces Sponsorship Deal with BattleFrog Obstacle Race Series // PR Web

Three days ago BattleFrog announced a sponsorship deal with EliteOps Energy Strips for the remainder of 2015 season (two remaining races, including the championship). Is it just me, or did the entire thing kinda fly under the radar?

EliteOps Energy Strips are “an innovative energy and focus supplement that dissolves on your tongue, requiring no liquid consumption whatsoever”. Also, “unlike energy “shots” or drinks, EliteOps Energy Strips don’t require carrying bulky, heavy bottles of liquid. The individually wrapped strips are virtually weightless and take up no space, making them ideal for athletes of all types”. So, think Listerine strips.

Of course, unlike energy shots or drinks, the strips are also calorie-free, sooooo…. I don’t know how much energy 100mg of caffeine and some B vitamins will truly give ya on one of Christopher Acord‘s courses. Grab some sugar also, will you?

Whatcha doing tomorrow morning?

I will be discussing the latest Reading Roundup blog post on Periscope tomorrow (Monday) at 8am EST. Join me @k_solovieva.


See ya there?


Posted November 8, 2015

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