After each mud run or obstacle race I compete in, you'll get my review and grades for each event to help you decide which ones you might want to sign up for. The following categories will be discussed:

1. COURSE- the design, venue, and setup of the race itself- how creative/ adventurous/ difficult the obstacles were, and obviously... how was the MUD?!?

2. FESTIVAL- all the fun beyond the actual race- the social atmosphere which usually includes food, beer garden, dj/ music/ concert, contests, vendors, and more during the after-party

3. SWAG- the included goodie bag and prizes up for grabs- all the "free" stuff that comes with price of entry and the quality of awards, shirts, and other giveaways

Feel free to use the search box to read up on any past topics you might be looking for.


With so many raving reviews from race pals who went to Blue Mountain last October, this became one of my absolute must-do races for 2017.  And gladly so, as you'll read below, this was one of the best overall OCR experiences I've had to date.  I'm selfishly hoping it may return to my nearby Toronto area (and not a much longer plane trip to Europe or even further away) to do this again, but no matter where it ends up I'll be unable to resist at least considering going back for it again.

1. COURSE-  Easily the main reason I was sold on doing OCRWC (and also regret missing last month's "American version" USOCRC) was the general premise that this event would be comprised of many of the world's best races, who would contribute their most popular/ interesting/ difficult obstacles and work together to all be part of the same course.  Definitely a format I'd never experienced, and certainly intriguing due to the unknown possible offerings from some of the UK's or Canada's widely known OCR events, which I had never done before.  I'm also a huge proponent of the mandatory obstacle completion style of competition, by which every obstacle must be done (with unlimited retries allowed) in order to qualify for rankings.  Here, wristbands were on the line for surrender if injury or inability prevented ultimate incompletion at any stage of the race.  Being somewhat of a ninja warrior wannabe (insert shameless plug for my Long Island-based gym Obstacle Athletics!), I loved the multiple rig type obstacles that used all kinds of grips, holds, and attachments including some from our good friends at Force5.  There was even a solid rig taken literally from the grave of the defunct BattleFrog Series that brought back great memories of 2014-15.  Among my favorite other obstacles was the Urban Sky, though I wish it had not been broken up into three separate stages and rather been one long continuous rig.  I loved the two-floor Floating Walls from Indian Mud Run, which was a solid combo of the staple ANW obstacle with a couple cargo net climbs mixed in, leading right into "the best finish line in OCR".  The unpredictable factor on course was the frequent rain we had throughout the weekend, which made every uphill climb and heavy carry that much more difficult and slippery.  Either way, and even though it might have made hanging grip tough, it added more of a challenge and also an ode to the days when we called these events "mud runs."  So, with a supposed 46 obstacles over the full 15k course (there was also a shorter 3k version on Friday), it's hard to beat a stat like that, truly keeping the "O" in OCR.  GRADE = A

2. FESTIVAL-  And with all the talk of the amazing race course design and layout on this beautiful Canadian ski resort, we also need to include the rest of weekend atmosphere, which of course was thrilling to have the top OCR athletes on the planet all converging on the same place at once.  The energy was as close to an Olympic village feel as I could imagine, with strong pride felt no matter which of the 67 represented nations you were from.  So cool to see the foreign (to me) flags and jerseys constantly passing at every step you took, and the friendly camaraderie that followed despite the culture and language differences.  One of my favorite things about the festival was the tshirt trade area, where anyone as able to submit a race shirt or other OCR swag for a credit to then use for one that someone else gave in- a great way to pick up souvenirs from events around the globe (and get rid of extras you had from your own collection).  GRADE = A

3. SWAG-  I know I'm gonna take some heat for this grade, but hear me out first.  This was my first time at OCRWC, and yes the giveaways were indeed solid offerings.  But there are some important comparisons I want to bring up.  I do like the black triblend finisher shirts, but they look almost identical to last year's, just with a bigger logo and wording.  I suppose I was expecting something different to "wow" us (especially if this might be the last year here in Canada?).  On the other side of the coin (play on words forthcoming here), the medals were something I hope they actually might have replicated from last year, or from the related USOCRC in September.  Those versions looked like true Olympic quality souvenirs, and these rather plain designs were IMO a step down from those.  Plus, the spinner-style insert can be a hit or miss, and when many racers had to exchange for a new one the next day because their maple leaf pieces were missing or fell out, it clearly wasn't the best choice.  My favorite take home was the personalized athlete ID badge, which wasn't a guarantee unless you registered early enough.  Besides that, as mentioned before, the wristbands kept for 100% full-course obstacle completion were a great trophy to show off if you performed well enough to keep them, and meant the most.  Not shown (yes, because I still have them on!), but I was able to keep the bands from both the 3k and 15k races I did, something that only about half of racers were able to do.  GRADE = B