The Future of Obstacle Course Racing?



I tend to be a dreamer. My head is always in the clouds. I’m always brainstorming. Most times it just gets me into trouble. I don’t focus hard enough. I’m not serious enough… Yadda, yadda, yadda.

I think we all have dreams to become some sort of star. Who wouldn’t love to be some sort of actor, rock star, or professional athlete?

What am I getting at you might ask? Well, I think the television coverage by NBC of the Spartan Beast in Vermont is going to create a lot of exposure for the athletes currently participating in the Spartan Race Series. Since Spartan chose to have a point scoring system for the athletes there could be a chance people watching the series can follow along, and even start to decide who their favorite athletes are. Now am I saying we are going to see people walking around with a Hobie Call jersey on? Well, probably not. Not yet anyway. 

Hey, I did grow up in the 80’s when snowboarding started popping up at ski resorts. Believe it or not a guy that grew up across the street from me got sponsored by Sims Snowboards and moved out west. Snowboarding was just a fad, right? Oh yeah, I forgot, it’s in the Olympics now. 


Am I predicting that OCRs will make it into the Olympics? Well, my crystal ball isn’t that big. I just can’t see that far into the future. In my opinion, that could be another 8 to 10 years away. Am I thinking that if this NBC thing isn’t a one-time fluke some of these athletes could get some major recognition and sponsorship? ABSOLUTLEY!!! The key is it can’t be a one-time fluke. It’s got to go mainstream through mainstream media. The races have to start airing on television more next season. The point system has to be explained and available on more than just the Spartan website. If this whole NBC deal ends up like a 60 Minute cover story with no follow up, it will go in and out of people’s homes quicker than Betamax video.  Honestly, in this author’s eyes, that is not something I want to see.

I do hope Spartan Races will form some sort of contract with NBC for next season’s races. I think it will create a new fan following for the races. Let’s face it folks, these athletes train hard and compete hard. They are on the level (if not above) of most other professional athletes. With Reebok’s track record and success of the CrossFit Games on ESPN this could be the start of something big. As we all know Spartan Races never do anything less than big. 


  1. I used to wrestle in high school and college; I loved the competition aspect. There is/was no “old man” league for wrestling, but I am really getting my competitive juices flowing again with OCR. I’ve done running, biking, iron-man sprints, etc. but they quickly became boring. Now that my kids are all grown, I have more time for “me” and could quickly find myself becoming addicted to OCR. I just competed in the Sparatan Ultra Beast and I’m hooked! Now I just have to figure out how to break the news to my wife.


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