OCR America was a 7 day 23 mile a day OCR journey occurring between June 19 and June 25 of 2016. Strength & Speed owner, CTG Pro Team Member and Hammer Nutrition Sponsored athlete Evan Perperis ran close to a marathon length OCR course everyday for seven days in a row.
The goal of OCR America was threefold:
1. Raise money for children of US Military veterans that were killed or wounded in combat overseas through the charity Folds of Honor.
2. Raise the publicity and awareness for Obstacle Course Racing.
3. A personal challenge.
How did this work?
Evan ran all laps of all seven days aiming to cover an average of 26.2 miles each day. For each course he ran between three and eight laps depending on course length. Participants signed up for specific day of the seven day event along with a specific time. Then you along with nine other athletes will run a complete lap of the course completing all obstacles that you can. The 10 athletes plus Evan will stay together as a group moving at a conversational pace. The start time and day you sign up is only good for that day. For example if you sign up for Day 1 at Shale Hill at 8am, that does not give you access to the other events without paying again. Of note, the start time varies depending on venue, but they all start around 8am (except Day 4 Newbsanity starts at noon). For subsequent waves the time is an approximate time and the actual start time of each wave may vary by up to 30 minutes in either direction based on situation and course conditions.
How fast will Evan be running?
Evan will start off at the equivalent of an 8:30 min/mile road pace. Actual pace will be significantly slower based on terrain along with number and type of obstacles. Later waves in the day should expect a mix of walking and jogging. If you are capable of jogging the length of an OCR you should have no problems being able to keep up. The pace will be conversational so athletes can share stories, discuss training techniques, race tactics, nutrition and any other topic you want to talk about. It can be almost like a jogging/climbing/crawling personal training session if want to talk about all fitness related topics the whole time.
Can I run more than one lap?
That depends on each day. If the waves of ten are not full you are welcome and encouraged to run an additional lap of the course. If the wave is full, you can still run another lap but you must stay far ahead or well behind the main pack (ex. run at your own pace) to avoid causing congestion for the paying participants. This makes it a great opportunity to support a good cause and then squeeze in some long distance OCR training afterwards.
Why are you doing this?
There are three main goals for OCR America. The first is to raise money for children of soldiers killed or wounded in action. This will be done through race registrations and donations that will go to the non-profit organization Folds of Honor. Although there are many good charities out there, Folds of Honor puts the money directly into scholarships for the children of fallen soldiers, which I think has greater positive effect than other charities.
The second reason is to raise awareness of OCR across America. While many people have heard of the major race brands, not many people know about smaller venues and permanent obstacle course sites. I hope to bring added publicity to the events participating in this fundraiser as a thank you for letting us use their facilities at low or no cost. Maybe this concept of racing multiple days will catch on as OCR stage racing, which would require multiple day races and declaring the winner based off cumulative time.
The final reason is a personal challenge. I have done many endurance events in the past including finishing 13th at World's Toughest Mudder, 2nd at 24 hours of Shale Hell, two marathons in two days, various ultra marathons (up to 100 miles in length) and a couple of adventure races. Although I have been hurting badly in some of these events, I could always physically move forward. To test my physical and mental ability while raising money for a good cause and my favorite sport, I have created an event to push myself to the extreme.
Where is each day of the event?
All dates listed were in 2016.
Day 1: Sunday
June 19: Tough Mudder New England
Day 2: Monday June 20: Shale Hill at Benson Vermont
Day 3: Tuesday June 21: Viking OCR at Sunny Hill in Greenville, New York
Day 4: Wednesday June 22: Newbsanity Mud Gauntlet in Binghamton, New York
Day 5: Thursday June 23: Newbsanity Extreme Ravine in Binghamton, New York
Day 6: Friday June 24: Dirt Runner in Marseilles, Illinois
Day 7: Saturday June 25: Conquer The Gauntlet in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
What if I cannot run on any of those days, can I still help?
Yes, you can still help by donating money and showing your support online. Use the #OCRAmerica and #FoldsOfHonor to raise awareness for the event. Also, feel free to share this link to your social media pages.
If you would like to donate to support the cause you can donate to Folds of Honor through my donation page here.
If you would like to help me offset the cost of the event by providing money for things like gas and hotels, you can also do that here.
If I am not running, how can I still follow the event online?
The event will be covered at several different locations online. Evan's personal Facebook page here and Strength & Speed Facebook page will be doing live updates. Furthermore, at the end of each day two media outlets will be consistently producing daily wrap ups. If you prefer to read, check out Mud Run Guide for daily updates. If you prefer to listen, check out Jay Bode's podcast Overcome and Run who will be publishing daily abbreviated podcasts at the end of each day.