“OCR’ing is soon to be an official sport and now we have OCR athletes training 6-days a week and racing a hard OCR season.” explains Michael who coaches 2013 Spartan Race leader Thomas Blanc.
“The athletes need need to be rewarded for their commitment and help to drive their performances further. Now that there are so many races in the UK OCR series the athletes can be selective as to which ones to race at, and one of the criteria will be prize money.”
Cohen coaches UK Spartan Champ Thomas Blanc
Cohen, an Obstacle Race enthusiast himself, intends to create the first Elite OCR team called TEAM Wild Forest Gym building on the success of Thomas Blanc’s Spartan Race performances with the sole objective to turn contenders into OCR athletes by providing: coaching, mentoring and management.
In the UK there are few races that offer monetary prizes at the moment – Rat Race Dirty Weekend offered £1,500 last year as well as sponsor’s gifts at their Men’s Health Survival of the Fittest, Warrior Adrenaline Race had over £800 and Nuts Challenge have recently announced they will have 1st prize money for both male & female winners.
Wayne Monkman of Nuts Challenge commented his reasons for doing so is to encourage new up and coming OCR runners to compete against some of the top names in the country. ”By offering the incentive we hope to increase the challenge for the top places and to enhance the quality of runners representing the UK in future international events.”
Rat Race Offered £1500 to the Winner of their Dirty Weekend Event
Wayne added “We are setting prize money at £1500 to be divided between male and female first second and third placed runners however these runners will be closely monitored by our stewards to ensure there isn’t any cheating”
So what’s happening in the US? There is a bit more activity in the US and Cohen talks of Spartan Race’s recent prize announcements.
“Spartan Race Mexico put £5000 on the table and tickets sold out in 72 hrs. Spartan Race US put £25k on the table for the World Championship.”
The UK Obstacle Racing industry is now predicted to be worth over £10m for 2013 with more events than ever before and Cohen states that athletes don’t want gifts or merchandise as it doesn’t pay for their coaching, travel and other expenses.
If you have that aspiration or want to be on top of the podium Team Wild Forest Gym are looking for candidates. Contact the team here
What’s your thoughts? Do you think prize money would help improve the performances and raise the profile of Obstacle Racing in the UK?