OCR World Championships 

September 24-26, 2021, Vermont
So, how did your favorite Dane (you heard it, Ida) handle being back competing with the best in the world? Read along, sweet people ⤵

I’m 95% back, and feeling good!

Preparations for this race have been a little weird, and I think addressing the process can help you see how and why the training of “pro” athletes functions leading into big events. Had it been perfect – then great! But it wasn’t and that meant I had a lot of mental work to do before stepping on the start line.

 We all experience pain and frustration in our training. We can’t follow the perfect plan, and that annoying – but I don’t necessarily believe in the perfect plan. I believe more in consistency! And that has been taken away from me the past 3-4 months. I’ve had a series of issues related to the fracture, which have been quite demoralizing. I’ve had ankle pain, tibia/knee issues, tons of hip and lower back issues. Instead of feeling sorry for myself all the time, I’ve made sure to have fun as well to put smiles on my face. I’ve had a few more drinks, lots of parties and social fun times. Actually doing that helped me mentally prepare, as I could distance myself from the (lack of) training. 

My mantra going into the race was simply; ‘I Belong!’. I belong at the race, I belong on the start line, I belong in this sport, I belong in this community, I belong in my perception of myself. I repeated this mantra continuously leading into the race. 

But let’s get to the race experience! I would participate in the 3k, 2 team relay events and luckily not the 100m OCR Championships. Here’s the 3k route map, which doesn’t have any phallological signs at all:  

 That OCRWC feeling. This is my 7th OCRWC and my 4th racing competitively. Besides my titles from the European Championships, the OCRWC weekend is my absolute highlight of the year. It’s a great obstacle course, the festival feeling is unreal and the community unites so powerfully it’s actually hard to describe it, and I hope you (yeah YOU) get to experience it as well. 

3-2-1 and we’re off! I’m one of the first 10 athletes to start the course due to last years top 10 finish. On the start line you also have Veejay Jones, Ryan Atkins, Ryan Kempson, Rylan Shadegg, Shawn Roberts, Jesse De Heer, Ryan Brizzolara, Jaret Newby and fellow Dane Jonas Drescher. What a line-up! 

I planned the race in 3 phases and rolling into phase 1, my plan was struggling. I’m not in 7th place, I’m all the way in the back up the first hill and over the walls. To my luck there’s a few rigs (pendulum and stairway 3.0) on which I move into 8th place. Pushing up the hill (phase 2) and through the F5rce rig, I’m next to Jonas and we start the ‘big climb’ up to La Gaffe. On this I pass Jonas and start battling Shawn for 6th place. We battle all the way up and once levelling out, Shawn has more speed than me and I can’t catch him on the obstacles. I keep chasing all the way down the hill and fly straight into Valkyrie! I swing like a king, hit the bill and enjoy that I survived the scary downhill, which finished phase 2 of the race. I’m in 7th place and I can see the front pack leaving us in the DUST!

I swipe through skitch and hammer straight into Canyon. Making easy work of it and grazing my little butt cheek on the grass, I shoot into the carry. FitFigther was the new carry sponsor and I pick up the 25lbs straw and climb up and down, heading into the new obstacle of the year: Drop Zone. 

You all know I’m a huge fan of technical rigs. I like to risk it to get the biscuit – and this was an ideal time to do so! I double lache towards the last grip, but fail to get a hold of it… Re-trying it, Jonas catches up with me and through phase 3 (final 1km) I chase him through the town. I’m close and I leave it all out there, climbing walls, traversing obstacles and swinging towards the finish of the race. But to no avail! I finish 8th, but an 8th place I’m MUCH more proud about than last year. 

The important mental takeaway: I am a very good obstacle course racer. This is not a statement nor me being braggadocios, but a reminder – because I’ve had to battle limited training and much more limited confidence going into this race than I had expected. I hope you also do positive mental takeaways from races.

A massive shout out to my fellow Danes who made it over. Of the +30 people we had several AG podium positions and even a WORLD CHAMPION in Ida Mathilde, who finally got to embrace that gold medal. 

Men’s Podium:
1st – Veejay Jones
2nd – Ryan Kempson
3rd – Ryan Atkins

Women’s Podium:
1st – Ida Mathilde R. Steensgaard
2nd – Lindsay Webster
3rd – Kris Rugloski

I can’t thank the OCR community enough for being as awesome as you are. Hundreds came over to say hi, get a photo and chat about my comeback, about cancer or OCR and grip- & pull power training. I appreciate you, the organizers, the volunteers, the build crew and I look forward to seeing you in 2022! 

P.s. I really enjoyed running the men’s team relay with Veejay Jones and Rylan Schadegg! We took a solid win and a championship title – and it got me super warm for the co-ed team relay with Ida Mathilde and Jonas Drescher. We took a bronze medal and I got to visit the podium twice! 🎉

Photos by The OCR Report / Jack Goras

Feel free to read my other race reviews and experiences.

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