22/10/2015 at 11:30 am #25096
Writing up the World Champs observations made me think a little many people confessed that they felt slightly ill prepared for the format of no completion no band which suggests that whilst we in the UK put on testing events we dont really police them that strictly, if we did we would be creating a fairer event competition wise and be preparing our athletes for UK and Worlds so quick word in OCRAS ear and it’s all sorted right?
Well no. not really.
You see Race Directors and owners are not registered charities and they need to make a profit or at least break even on costs and time otherwise they go under. This format would be more costly to police and also would alienate the fun runners who just want to attempt obstacles, get muddy, have a run round and make friends.
So what’s the answer? Over to you….22/10/2015 at 1:34 pm #25099
Interesting point. I think our race directors are doing it the right way. We have the first few “more” competitive waves, and then the fun runners that make these OCR’s the great events they are, as well as the inbetweeners that competitively run for fun! It suits all abilities and capabilities and caters for what different groups want out of the races. I think there have been discussions about how to “police” obstacles for the different groups, but that really opens up a can of worms! You will alienate a large majority of people who enjoy OCR if you become too strict about obstacle completion and competing. I don’t know how other countries do their races? Is it that much different to how they do them in the UK?It would be interesting to hear what people have to add to this.
I think we have a good balance at the moment. It isn’t perfect, but with so many different people wanting different things, you will never please everyone, I suppose.26/10/2015 at 1:31 pm #25119
Its a hard one but the weighing scales are definitely tilted towards the fun-runners/easier obstacles so the RD’s can get the masses through the door and make a profit.
I guess apart from the more hardcore racers/elite guys no one else is really going to want super hard obstacles that are going to beat us so the RD’s won’t get enough people racing to make it worth while.
I would rather at least a few races a year doing the latter and hopefully Toughest in April will do just that.28/10/2015 at 9:19 pm #25148
I actually don’t think it is as tough as it sounds.
Pippingford was our qualifying race hence we introduced time penalties (Bordon wasn’t a qualifier so we didn’t) – there are some amendments that we’d like to make to how that system worked (for instance, instead of 2 minutes as the blanket penalty, different lengths for different obstacles and consideration of getting half the penalty if you make half the distance).
This has significantly less impact on the completors because it doesn’t mean you have to have a band cut off or stand still getting cold, you don’t feel so self-conscious.
Don’t get me wrong, there will still be room for improvement but it will get there to support both ends of the spectrum.30/10/2015 at 9:11 am #25164
I agree that Adam’s time penalties at JD Pip were a pretty perfect way of penalising the competitive whilst not interfering with the enjoyment of the fun runners – which has to be the holy grail in what we’re looking for.
The way that Spartan do it that they tell all racers that penalties are in place, but then brief their marshalls to only really pay attention to the ‘elite wave’ runners does work to an extent, but will always ALWAYS cause the competitive runners to get grumpy when they get overtaken by fun runners not doing their 30 burpees.
I’ve not done a ‘Toughest’ event yet, but their system of different graded difficulty lanes looks like a really interesting solution, although looking at it from a purely fun runner perspective it may be annoying that they’ll have to run extra distance / do extra obstacles just because they’re not able to do the difficult lanes
So the moral of the story is that everyone should try to be more like Adam!30/10/2015 at 1:53 pm #25168
…looking at it from a purely fun runner perspective it may be annoying that they’ll have to run extra distance / do extra obstacles just because they’re not able to do the difficult lanes…
When I’m in “fun” running mode, the more obstacles the better! If I could do a tough lane, I’d probably want to do the walls/crawl etc just because it’s there.30/10/2015 at 2:04 pm #25169
How difficult can it be to have two options to enter on the web-site – one for the first wave making it clear that there should be mandatory obstacle completion, and one for later waves where this isn’t the case.
Then on race day, the first waves have a different coloured number to make them more obvious to the marshalls, and are given a band that is cut off if an obstacle isn’t completed. Later waves have a different coloured number, and no band to cut off.
I know we need to keep the fun runners, as that is the lifeblood of the sport, but if we want to have people who are good enough to represent us and get results at World Champ level then we need harder obstacles (particularly rigs) and we need to be a bit tougher on making sure the people who want / need to be challenged, are challenged.
I’m guessing custom made rigs are expensive, but surely it’s not beyond the finances of Spartan or Nuclear to have two rigs assemble out of scaffold with rings / bars hanging down (one harder rig, one easier). You could put them side by side on the course. The first waves (identifiable by their red number, for example) HAVE to do the harder rig. Later waves (identifiable by a black number) can choose – people who want to be challenged can have a crack at the harder one, people who are purely out for fun can attempt the easier one, and hopefully manage it and get a sense of achievement and enjoy their day in the mud.
There’s no point putting obstacles on the course that are impossible for fun runners as if they go home pissed off and disappointed that they couldn’t do half of the course, they may well not come back to do another one. Having said that, as I mentioned earlier, we need to make sure that people who want to be challenged are so, to ensure that we have a high enough calibre of athlete to represent the UK at higher level events.04/11/2015 at 9:36 pm #25234
im gonna throw this out there,
The JD 2 min pen is one of my favorites out there … yes it can be harsh if you get almost to the end and fall off however
if your a fun runner and get a two min pen added to your overall time …. you dont give a shit – however are still penilised the same way (therefore not messing with % of positions for stuff like the mudstacle league etc09/11/2015 at 7:23 pm #25283
I don’t think there is one solution.
I like where you went with your idea however keeping bib numbers on is a problem (you’ve probably seen loads on the ground on any race you’ve been to). The next suggestion is wrist bands but they get caught beneath clothing and mud.
I honestly don’t know what the answer is. They all have their merits and they all have their issues. Many of the races are working hard at getting it right. One day we might hit the Holy Grail but, until then, we will just do the best we can.
Although I do like Phil’s philosophy….everyone should be like me…..
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