OPERATION: OORHA RACE REPORT
Specials Ops OCR: Operation OORHA!
– Winner’s Race Report
By Stefan Lotter
The inaugural Special Ops OCR at the Sunset River Resort in Bloemfontein proved to be a fun, well-balanced and still tough event.
There were three categories you could enter: Sergeant Elite (10km, 38 obstacles, with DQ system), regular Sergeant (also 10km, 38 obstacles, but with burpee penalty system) and then the Corporal (5km, 22 obstacles).
The course was a 2x 5km lap course with A & B obstacles at some points. If you did the 10km, you didn’t necessarily repeat all the obstacles again, as there was a B version for some obstacles. These were basically the same type of obstacle (eg. grip or carry), but done differently the second time around (eg. tire carry then tire flip, triangle grips and then nun-chucks).
So the course was well-planned out and well-marked as well with bright flags and chalk lines so no one could ever feel lost or confused. Even though the run did not include major hills, the terrain was still very challenging at places and you had to be quite surefooted. There was no scarcity in muddy pits and ditches throughout the race, which also ensured more difficulty than your average trail run. The water crossing just before the finish line helps that you are kind of clean at least when you finish.
Another cool thing was also the fact that among the elites they held strictly to the rules concerning the DQ bands. Which meant, as an elite contender, if you can’t do an obstacle (after as many tries as you want/can) you lose your band and get disqualified. The non-elite athletes had a typical burpee penalty system in order to continue if they could not complete an obstacle.
The obstacles were a good mix of swing, climb, crawl, jump and carry. Personally, I would have liked more grip and swing obstacles, but maybe that’s just cause that’s what I’m best at J. The carries could also be a bit more difficult – especially for the elite athletes – but they were still challenging enough though for a middle distance race.
After the final batches were underway, there was also a team relay of 5km total. This required teams of 5 members to each complete one kilometer of the course with about 3-5 obstacles, depending on which section you did. The team members also had to finish together. So those who did the first bit, actually still ran the entire course, just skipping the obstacles along the way, but providing mental support to their teammates. This was a very good edition to the event, as people had to be strategic about who does what, where and how.
I was blessed to place 1st on the the Sergeant Elite podium, followed by my team mates from C4 Fitness, also supporting *A21, Corrie Breydenbach (2nd) and Llewellyn Human-Reto (3rd). Well done also to everyone who entered, who finished and especially all who made the podium!
Looking forward to the next Special Ops! Until then, God bless.
*A21 is a non-profit organization working to free the millions of victims of human trafficking – which is modern day slavery – and disrupt the demand through campaigns of awareness. Their mission is to Abolish Slavery Everywhere Forever.
For more info, to get involved or make a donation, visit http://www.a21.org/