Strength & Speed


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S&S Articles

Welcome to the Strength & Speed articles section.  If you would like a specific topic to be covered send us a message and we will be sure to add it to the list of articles to be published.  For articles on a specific topic, click on the "Categories" to the right.  For all articles, continue to scroll down and click on "View Older Entries".

All articles are written by S&S owner Evan Perperis unless otherwise noted. 

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Gutter fighting Fairburn Knife Fighting Review

Posted by Evan Perperis on March 1, 2022 at 2:50 PM


Martial arts training in the military has evolved several times over the years. One of the most iconic knives from the military appeared in World War II, the Sykes-Fairburn knife. Usually sold as an all-black dagger, the outline is identifiable easily to anyone that likes knives. The knife was named after two men, one of them being British Lt Col William Ewart Fairburn, who made a knife fighting training video. Thanks to YouTube and someone uploading an old copy in Greek, you can now watch it.

 

Here’s a quick review of some of the more interesting takeaways from the 13 minute short training film.

 

1. Early Understanding of Relevance: The film is short and Fairburn understands his audience emphasizing that he’s not here to make you an expert just give you a small base of knowledge to get you out of jam. The same concept carries over to the Modern Army Combatives Course. The current Army’s combatives isn’t designed to make you a black belt or even a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu blue belt…it’s designed to teach you some basics to help get you out of a bad situation if required.


 

2. Relevance to Mixed Martial Arts (MMA): In the film he goes through a portion where he says things like “don’t wrestle a wrestler” and “don’t box a boxer”. Even today we see MMA fighters enter the ring and try to compete at their opponent’s specialty instead of forcing their opponent to fight their specialty. Was this revolutionary when the film was made? Maybe…either way it is a good reminder.


 

3. Use of Self-Defense Solid Techniques: The film shows some brief techniques that are still applicable and useful in self-defense today including aiming for the eyes or throat with your fingers. He also recommended the palm strike, a great tool that will virtually eliminate the change of you breaking a finger on someone’s skull unlike a closed fist. He also recommends the hands up/surprised/don’t hurt me stance, a common piece of advice for modern self-defense because this position is actually a ready position for striking and much better than your hands at your side.


 

It’s an interesting watch if you haven’t seen it. The film is not perfect and seeing some of the really dated stuff was funny like his tie tucked into his pants. It was also funny to hear him say things like “kicking is okay” the implication being that back in WW II, kicking someone was considered dirty or improper for fighting, a notion that is long gone. The only parts I disliked were some dubious claims about the effectiveness of his chop (i.e. will knock him out for 2-4 hours, a chop will break an arm and a throat chop will kill him). Based off what you can see on professional MMA every weekend, we know this is not the case even by trained athletes.

 

For a video that’s about 70 years old on fighting in the striking weapon range, it remains surprisingly relevant today. Head over and check out Fairburn’s video here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=65oVqhF773Y 

 

 

Ultra-OCR Man Documentary Update

Posted by Evan Perperis on February 15, 2022 at 2:30 PM


No doubt if you have been to this website before you have seen the teaser trailer for the Ultra-OCR Man documentary that is on our main landing page and is the banner of our Facebook page. After a slow 2020, shooting has finally concluded in 2021, so we wanted to share a quick update with you on the documentary filmed/edited and produced by Bobby Ross from Stoke Shed.


 

Initial Concept vs. Final Product (Story): A good chunk of the movie was filmed at 2020’s charity event OCR America 2, which produced daily 3 minute videos to raise money for Folds of Honor (scholarship money for kids whose parents were killed or wounded in US Military service). I was expecting Bobby to just cut/paste all the videos together and call it a day. However, that didn’t flow and tell a story like we wanted it to so lots of additional, unused and never before seen footage is now part of the documentary. For those who closely followed OCR America 2 as it was occurring, you’ll get a lot more out of this upcoming documentary and a look into the mindset of Ultra-OCR Man including dealing with training, injuries and failure.


 

Release Timeline: The current plan is to submit the completed documentary to film festivals, which typically occur in March/April. After the film festivals the plan is to release it to the public this coming summer in 2022. We will see how things pan out but the goal is to release it on a major streaming service like Amazon Prime or Netflix to give it the widest audience and exposure the weird world of Ultra-OCR.


 

Bottom line, is check back here for updates and links so you can see the documentary upon its completion. We saw an early draft of it and loved it, although our filmmaker, who has a more refined eye says it still needs a lot fine tuning. We are looking forward to sharing it publicly with everyone this summer!

 

10,000 Hours of Martial Arts

Posted by Evan Perperis on February 1, 2022 at 8:55 AM

According to journalist Malcolm Gladwell, it takes an average of 10,000 hours of practice to achieve mastery. Whether you are practicing for sports, music, Obstacle Course Racing or in this case, martial arts he believes this 10,000 hour rule applie.

Critics like to point out examples where people achieve mastery with less practice. However, looking into the theory you’ll notice it states “on average 10,000 hours of deliberate practice”. As an average there will be people who are both above and below that benchmark. Furthermore, if you are just going through the motions (like my sensei calls “traffic copping” ) and not trying to get better that doesn’t count towards the 10,000 hours.


 

Let’s look at how this applies to martial arts:

1. Even the basics need repetition: How many punches have you thrown in your lifetime? How many front kicks? How many side blade kicks? How many spinning back fists? The point is just because you know the movement, doesn’t make you a master of it. Practice needs to be done to the point not to where you can do it right, but until you can’t do it wrong. During a tournament or a street fight you won’t have time to think. Your body will operate off muscle memory so practice until you can’t do it wrong.


 

2. Improvement takes time, don’t get discouraged: If you are trying to earn your black belt in as short of a time as possible, remember to be patient and enjoy the journey of learning. Like we said in bullet point one, even the basics need repetition. If you tried to achieve the 10,000 hour rule in a year, you would have to practice more than 27 hours a day…as in…it is impossible. If you train for an hour a day, which seems like a reasonable amount, and never take rest days you’ll hit 10,000 hours in 27 years. Check back here later for how we can leverage mental training to reduce the 10,000 hour requirement. Even the highest degree black belt once started as a beginner. As you stay in a dojo you may find that the appearance of success is simply those that didn’t give up, so stick with it.


 

3. Improvement takes time and the longer your race the smaller the gains: The longer you do something the harder it becomes to see improvement. Whether you are lifting weights, running or practicing martial arts, you can often see beginners improving every time they step into the gym or dojo. Remember the 10,000 hour rule and bullet points one and two. You are improving, you may just not realize it. There is a reason that dojos have a sensei to guide your instruction. They are helping you along the path in an organized manner providing critique and improvement from an unbiased source.


As with any hobby, skill or job, practice is essential and lots of practice is required to achieve mastery. Work hard, but more importantly be consistent. You’ll find that consistency and time brings the success you are looking for, just remember to be patient.

 

Run Endurance For Charity like Ultra-OCR Man

Posted by Evan Perperis on January 21, 2022 at 11:30 AM


If you’ve been following Strength & Speed for any amount of time you are likely familiar with owner, Evan “Ultra-OCR Man” Perperis’ charity events. Each year since 2016 he’s done a self-created endurance event for charity to raise money for Folds of Honor (scholarship money for kids whose parents were killed or wounded in US Military service). He’s done things like an Ultra-OCR at 21,000 feet of elevation, 24 hour treadmill OCR, 48 hour multi-lap and 8 days of OCR marathons in the winter. If you like the concept but things like that sound too daunting, here’s your chance to do endurance for charity thanks to Tough Mudder’s Infinite Hero Honor Challenge.


 

Tough Mudder’s new endurance event is a 10 hour team building challenge that takes place at three different venues in the 2022 season (California, Georgia and Texas). Groups of participants are organized into platoons, provided a scenario and then proceed to do (easy) land navigation between points. When you get to each point you’ll be required to do a task or complete a Tough Mudder obstacle in a non-conventional manner (think blindfolded, tied together, backwards, carrying something heavy, using a different set of rules, etc.). You don’t follow the Tough Mudder course but make your own path. It’s not a race, it’s a challenge.


 

The event also has a fundraising goal tied to it. When you sign up you’ll be required to either make a donation or fundraise for Infinite Hero Foundation, a group that provides mental and physical support to military veterans. My recommendation is to pay the charity amount up front and then hit up some family and friends for some small donations to recoup your cost.


The event takes inspiration from Tough Mudder’s fun virtual events but combines them with more physically taxing events (some influenced from Army Special Forces Assessment and Selection). Your guide during the event will be none other than Ultra-OCR Man himself as he provides these tasks that are part of an immersive experience operating behind enemy lines and occasionally shares some real world war stories (like those told in the book Ultra-OCR Man: From Special Forces Soldier to Record Setting OCR Athlete).

If you are looking for a new type of challenge, looking to raise money for a good cause or want to experience Tough Mudder in a new format, check out Infinite Hero Honor Challenge. All skill levels welcome since sometimes the tasks are physical while other times they are mental. Sometimes it’s in your benefit to be big and strong and other times it is better to be small and nimble. You’ll find that everyone has a unique skill they bring to the table to make the team succeed.

 

Sign up for Infinite Hero Honor Challenge at the Tough Mudder website www.toughmudder.com


 

Mental Training for Better Marital Arts

Posted by Evan Perperis on January 15, 2022 at 9:25 AM

Daily life isn’t always conducive for martial arts training. I can’t get up in the middle of my office and start spinning the broom in the corner to practice my bo staff training. I also can’t train all day because I have other things to do and because honestly, it can be tiring. However, there are other options to make you a better martial artist that are available that can build upon physical practice. Let’s dive into mental training:


 

1. Visualization: Psychologist Alan Richardson did a famous study about training people for shooting basketball free throws. The abbreviated version of the experiment is he made three groups. One group practiced free throws, one group didn’t touch a basketball but visualized practicing free throws and the third group did neither. As expected the last group didn’t get better. What may surprise you is the visualization group improved almost as much as the actual practice group. This means using visualization plus training can help take your training to the next level. It is a way of adding additional repetitions when you don’t have time, access or ability to do more. This can help us put a dent in our 10,000 hours quicker.


 

2. Mirror Neurons: A second way to work on visualization is through mirror neurons. Scientists have discovered when you focus your attention and watch someone perform an activity, you brain actually fires in a way that looks like you are performing the activity. Again, we can use this to our advantage by watching highly trained martial artists perform the activity on YouTube or via the DVDs sold online. I use a mix of both, I like the DVDs because they are longer, usually have more production value and the teaching is organized in a logical manner as opposed to randomly watching YouTube clips.


 

3. Reading/Listening: I’ve heard that if you want to learn a lifetime of lessons in a day, you should read someone’s biography. There have been a lot of famous and successful martial artists from those featured in movies to those that step into the UFC octagon that have written books. Reading or listening to these can help get your mindset in the right place for both training and real world application. Choose an author that interests you and is closer aligned with your goals for best results. Interested in competing and tournament fighting? Read UFC fighters. Interested in more WuShu or performance based competition? Listen to martial artists from movies. Interested in just being in better shape? Try athletes who are also martial artists. I say listen or read because using audiobooks is a great way to consume more written content whether you do so on your drive to work or a conditioning run.


 

Overall, there are more ways to practice than just in the dojo. You can use some of the above opportunities to improve but this is just the tip of the iceberg. Being at to perform whether in a competition, a belt test or in a real life situation requires mental fortitude and confidence that is built upon through training. Train hard, but more importantly be consistent and you’ll find your improvement is consistent that will bring you to a level you once thought was impossible.

 

Off Season Strength: Weight Belts for Obstacle Course Race Training?

Posted by Evan Perperis on January 1, 2022 at 4:45 PM

I fully expect a string of “No” in the Facebook comments of this article without them reading beyond the headline.  That’s fine, they can go back and read it after they hurt their lower back.  Weight belts are typically associated with bodybuilders, strongmen, Crossfit athletes or powerlifters.  However, they do have a place in Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) training when used appropriately in a training environment and here’s how...


I’ll start off with a case study of myself.  Personally, as an OCR athlete on most days I separate my endurance and strength training, only combining them once or twice a week.  This allows for my strength to develop without interference of an elevated heartrate and my running systems to develop without constantly stopping to do exercises.  Think of it like how a baseball player does batting practice and doesn’t run around the bases after each swing or a triathlete doesn’t do a swim/bike/run workout every time.  Due to this, I often endurance train in the morning and strength train in the evenings.  Which means my body is already fatigued in the evenings, which increases the probability of my form slipping when doing heavier compound movement exercises.  So, I wear a weight belt if I’m going heavy on a compound movement to avoid possible injury.

 

I’m not suggesting you put a weight belt on for every set, nor for every exercise.  Nor am I suggesting you put one on for crossing a rig.  I’m suggesting when you do heavy sets (think five or below repetitions) or plan on doing compound movements after another workout, it is probably a good idea to play it safe.  After all, over the last 15 years I have seen plenty of athletes leave their chosen sport due to injury and not by voluntary choice.  Out of the people I serve with in the military and train with for sports the two most common injuries I see are lower back problems and knee injuries (RockTape has Assassin knee sleeves if anyone has the latter concern).  Having a strong back will make you more resilient to injury and building that strong back safely is where the weight belt comes to play.


Here’s an OCR specific example:  If you have trouble with the tire flip, then you should probably be practicing deadlifts.  Deadlifts will give you the strength you need to successfully complete the tire flip every time.  Deadlifts provide the foundation of strength providing an easy method for progressive training (it’s easy to add weights to the bar but not easy to constantly find heavier tires as you improve).  Build the strength with deadlifts, then work on technique with the actual tire and do it safely by incorporating a weight belt when you are approaching your max effort.


Using a weight belt on your heavier sets of compound lifting exercises (like deadlifts or squats) can help keep your form tighter and lowers the possibility of injury.  The heavier your go (which is a relative term), the more likely you should put a belt on.  Your lower back is used in almost every obstacle/exercise as a stabilization muscle but also gets specifically used during heavy carries.


So if you decide to invest in a weight belt to avoid future injury, the next question would be which brand should you buy?  A full answer would require another article, but I would recommend Harbinger Fitness.  Their products high quality and a staple of gym goers everywhere.  You get what you pay for with them and if they save you from an injury the belt will be an invaluable piece of your training gear.  Train hard and as always make sure you practice safe sets.

Gear Review: Harbinger Lifting Straps for OCR Training?

Posted by Evan Perperis on December 15, 2021 at 4:45 PM

Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) is so heavily focused on grip strength that the use of something like lifting straps seems to be the opposite of what you want.  After all, lifting straps are cloth or leather loops you wrap around your wrist to take your grip out of a movement that involves weights.  That’s the opposite of what we want to do….most of the time.  Here’s a couple of reasons you may want to add lifting straps into your strength training and why you should go with Harbinger Lifting Straps.

 

Forearms are much smaller than your back muscles:  Your forearms are a smaller muscle and will always become exhausted before you fully exhaust your back muscles.  It is one of the reason you’ll often see pro bodybuilders or strongmen using them.  It allows you to continue to improve back muscle strength even after your forearms have given out.


But if my forearms are exhausted, that means I can’t do obstacles so why do I need a stronger back?  Good question, let me give you a couple of examples.  You’re 16 hours in Spartan Ultra-World Championship or World’s Toughest Mudder and you’ve been failing the monkey bars for the last couple of laps.  However, you still have to pull yourself over a series of walls, an obstacle that requires back strength but not grip strength and is usually a mandatory obstacle.


Maybe you ran Conquer The Gauntlet’s Continuum race this year (5+ hour CTG Multi-lap), you quickly found out that even after failing obstacles like Pegatron (peg board), Tarzan Swing (rig), Cliffhanger (monkey bars) and Stairway to Heaven (all of which you can penalty out of), you still need to get over the Great Wall of America and the 5x8 foot Walls of Fury.  No penalty option, just the strength required to pull yourself over with your lat muscles.


What about at Spartan Races when you need to use your back muscles to help stabilize yourself during obstacles like bucket carry, sandbag carry and more?  The point is you want a strong back…even if your grip has already hit complete muscle failure.  Let your back muscles grow to their max potential, while continuing to work on your grip.

 

So I should use lifting strap all the time?  No!  Like most exercise tools and equipment, there is a time and place for it.  You want to be sure to exhaust the forearms completely first before switching to lifting straps for the last couple of exercises.  We all know the importance of grip strength, so make sure you train it adequately first.  Lifting straps can also be of use during very heavy compound movements like deadlifts where you are going below your five repetition max.  This can help make those movements safer and avoid a possible injury from losing your grip on the bar.


Why Harbinger Lifting Straps?  Harbinger makes lifting straps that are constructed of high quality leather as well as ones made of nylon and have padded options.  Plus, if you want to show some flair they even have pink leather straps and a variety of colors in the nylon option.  Harbinger is a major brand in the bodybuilding world because they provide high quality products at an affordable price.  Go into any gym in America (minus Planet Fitness) and I bet you’ll find some Harbinger products in there whether that be weight belts, straps, knee wraps, ab rollers, wrist wraps or dip belts.  They’ve been a leader in the industry for years and for a good reason.  I’ve had several of their products for over a decade and they are still functioning as good as new.  No rips, no torn seams, just high quality lifting equipment.


With the end of the season for most OCR participants, I encourage athletes to take a break from the running.  It gives you not only a physical break allowing minor aches to heal, but gives you a mental break allowing you to come back into 2020 ready to crush it.  The alternating periods of heavy strength with heavy speed training is a program I’ve been using since 2010 and have found great success as well as a way to avoid overtraining injuries.  Grab some lifting straps, head to the gym and be sure to practice safe sets.


If you want more training tips, pick up a copy of my bestselling book, Strength & Speed’s Guide to Elite OCR available off my website.

S&S 7th Development Team Application Window Now Open!

Posted by Evan Perperis on December 2, 2021 at 1:30 AM

Strength & Speed is opening the application window for their 7th S&S Developtment Team. Each year has brought success to our athletes with a list of different benefits that change but also expand slightly every year. In the past the team has included accomplishments such as athletes getting their first sponsors, several becoming ambassadors for brands and many hitting new PRs including first Ultra-OCR win, first win, first cash podium, most podiums in a year and more. To check out some of the athletes from the last three years, check out the Teams page, under the Athletes tab.


 

Unlike Pro Teams which often provide larger benefits like free access into races spanning multiple states and other perks, the biggest benefit of this team is access to knowledge for improvement not published elsewhere. Upon entrance into the team you will have small group access to personal trainers, a nutritionist, physical therapist, OCR professionals and other sponsored athletes. As part of the Development Team, you will get unprecedented access to knowledge includes training information, workout templates and guidance when applying for sponsorship.


 

Additional benefits of the team include name/S&S score on the website, a couple of items of free apparel (choice of book(s), audiobook or apparel), marketing support, discounts not available to non-team members and the opportunity to expand you influence in the OCR world. As S&S gets perks they are allowed to share, those discounts, free items and free entries are passed along to the team.


In 2022 we have over $750 in race entries that we plan on giving away for free to members of Strength & Speed (past and present Development Team athletes).  Companies want athletes that not only provide them quality finishing results but also have an outlet for spreading their message. Being a part of Strength & Speed gives you an established platform to spread your desired message to a larger audience rather than trying to build something on your own from the ground up.


 

Getting sponsored by a larger company is not an easy task and it requires significant work. The athletes at Strength & Speed have already solved a lot of the challenges associated with this process. If you do not need training advice but just knowledge on how to get sponsored, the Development Team will also help you with that.

 


Apply today by filling out the information below and sending it to Evan@TeamStrengthSpeed.com as AN ATTACHED WORD DOCUMENT if you are interested. We are not necessarily looking for the best athletes, just those with a strong desire to succeed. Application window closes on January 15, 2022 and selectees will be notified during the first week of February 2022.:



(Cut and paste the below into a word document and fill out)

Name:

 

Is this your first year applying?:


Major Goal for 2022:

 

Minor Goals for 2022:


Races for 2022:

 

2021 Race Results:


Race Highlights from 2020 or Earlier:

 

Social Media Sites (Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/YouTube/etc.):


Other Relevant Information You Think We Should Know:

 

Other Sponsors (if applicable):

 

Possible Interests in Expanding Influence (interested in writing articles, reviews, videos or other ideas?):

 

(Reference Criteria section of the website for below information. Proof of score not required at the time of applying.)

Strength Score:

Speed Score:

Tiga Tactics: EDC Karambit Online Course Review

Posted by Evan Perperis on October 15, 2021 at 1:40 AM

Despite being in the military for almost 20 years and spending almost four of that deployed, I don’t have that much experience in the handheld weapon range. Most of my experience is in the projectile range since it is far more likely threat in the military, but I figured it was time to learn a little more about a tool/weapon that I carry every day, the knife. After hearing about Tiga Tactics and seeing their articles popping up in Black Belt Magazine, I signed up for their Every Day Carry (EDC) Karambit Course Online and here’s what I thought of it, what you can expect if you sign up and if you should invest the time/effort:


Length: The course has a free three part section that you can watch online right now, but the full course is 22 sections long and requires payment. Twenty two sections? What does that mean? It’s 22 mini lessons varying in length between 2 minutes and 12 minutes per section focusing on a different topic. Overall, it’s about a 90-minute course.


Format: After each section the video pauses and you “click to continue”. While I wasn’t a fan of this format at first, I completely love it now. I wish all my videos did this for three reasons. The first is it allows you to learn a move, practice it and rewatch the section if needed until you are comfortable moving on. The second is it allows you to easily go back and find the exact part you needed more work on for future training. Third, I often watch the video for the first time while going to bed at night (weird right?) and I often fall asleep resulting in me having no clue where I left off, but not with this format which automatically pauses after each section. Once I watch it once at night, then I go through the videos again actually practicing all the moves and a third or more time for specific sections to refine skills.


 

Content: Alright let’s get down to it. What are you going to learn? What I liked most was that at an hour and a half long, the course gets down to basics and focuses on what you would need in a self defense situation. Common strikes, a couple of short combos and most importantly, the importance of practicing drawing your weapon. Despite it being labeled a Karambit course, the same principles can be applied to any edged weapon making it valuable to anyone that carries a knife.

As a member of the military, I also enjoyed their input on carrying a knife in relation to your primary (or secondary weapon). While not heavily focused on this, it brings up important points for those in law enforcement, in the military or civilians that carry concealed.

If you are already experienced with bladed weapons this course may seem too simplistic to you at first glance. However, I would argue that is a good reminder for some basic skills you’ll need in a high threat situation where you will likely end up reverting to gross motor skills. If you have little or no training in edged weapons, you’ll definitely want his course because it is a great value. Important points are taught, emphasized and repeated to ensure you grasp the knowledge completely.


 

Presentation: Patrick Vuong and Dr. Conrad Bui, bring the course material in an easy to understand and fun manner. The two of them have an insane amount of experience and qualifications. The video was shot simply, but well (camera is stationary but instructors move around showing you things from different angles). The instructors occasionally mix in some jokes to keep things light while still effectively conveying the course material. As someone who regularly buys martial arts training content in digital format, this is one of the best ones I have seen.


 

Overall: I enjoyed Tiga Tactics EDC Karambit course. With limited access to anyone that teaches similar stuff in my local area and the expertise brought by the two instructors, Patrick Vuong and Dr. Conrad Bui, you are in good hands. I’m definitely interested in check out some of their other online courses when I have more free time to pick their brains on their unique skillsets and would eventually like to travel to one of their live seminars when it fits into my schedule. The bottom line is if you carry a knife, instead of buying another blade for your collection take some time to spend the money to figure out how to actually use it in a self defense situation.

 

5/5 stars, I would highly recommend

Head over to www.TigaTactics.com and save 50% using code "strengthandspeed"

Plus don't miss co-owner Patrick Vuong on the Strength & Speed podcast 

 

Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) in Critical Condition

Posted by Evan Perperis on August 15, 2021 at 5:35 PM

I like to think of myself as an optimist for most things, but when it comes to attendance at races, the numbers aren’t lying. We have seen a dramatic downtick in race attendees in 2020 due to a complete shutdown for three months and then people’s reluctance to return to something many consider a luxury, Obstacle Course Racing (OCR). What does this mean for the future of OCR?

 

The next year will be critical for the future of our sport and OCR is at a crossroads. In my opinion failure to act will lead to the death of some of our favorite parts of OCR. This isn’t a prediction of doom, but rather a cry to do something now to avoid future problems. Here’s what I think we can do to keep our sport thriving and growing:


 

1. Bring your friends: We’ve all got those friends who keep putting off running a race with you. Now is the time to get them to sign up. If they don’t sign up, there may not be your favorite race brand to come back to next year.


 

2. Start Checking Things Off Your Bucket List: We’ve all got a list of races that you really want to run. Whether you pulled it from Mud Run Guide’s Ultimate OCR Bucket List or just have your own personal list, the number of events often keeps growing. Start signing up and crossing things off now. With the industry hurting, don’t wait until next year. Let me see those Ultra-Beast buckles, black/orange World’s Toughest Mudder headbands and the most coveted of them all, the OCR World Championships finishers medals this fall!

 


3. Pick Up Some Extra Merch: While I don’t think you want to just give race companies money in exchange for nothing, picking up that piece of merchandise (merch) you’ve had your eye on is encouraged. If you remember when BattleFrog when out of business, people were clamoring to get that last BF shirt or sticker to remember their favorite race. Take your pick of your favorite mech now. Brands both old and new are rolling out new stuff. If you are like me I would check out two of my favorites Conquer The Gauntlet merch (www.getourmerch.com) and Battle of the Lions (new merch coming soon including some MudGear stuff…that I may or may not have seen a sneak preview of).


 

While some may be wary of signing up for races or committing to big plans, now is the time to do it. If race companies don’t recover from the COVID pandemic, there won’t be a race to return to in 2022. Our sport is built upon overcoming obstacles, this is just another challenge in our path. Let’s join hands (virtually…while staying 6 feet apart) and help the industry to conquer what may be the biggest obstacle in our path for the future of OCR.

 


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