This article is dedicated to every Elite/Pro/Age Group athlete in OCR, as well as all of those who race in the Open Wave, but choose to hold Themselves to the competitive wave rules.
Rules rules rules. In every sport, rules, and the enforcement of rules are constantly in the fore-front being tweaked, changed, challenged, and adjusted. If you watch the NFL, you will very likely know that a replay rule, or lack of replay rule, played a huge part in the playoffs. Because humans make mistakes, there are always disputes popping up in regards to rules that were or weren't enforced. Most recently, we've seen several athletes, both big-name competitors and lesser known athletes, at Spartan Race experience some penalties, and as a result, placement changes due to rules.
Normally, I'd give you a list of pros and cons while maybe throwing in some, "both sides have an argument". But not this time! NO, NOT THIS TIME!
As an athlete competing in an OCR, it is 100% your job to know the rules for the race, and 100% your job to follow those rules if you wish to go without a penalty. It really is that simple. We can, and should, argue about whether or not the rules should be changed in the future, but as long as the rules are what they are, it's your job as a competitor at the event to follow the given rules.
The biggest argument I've heard in opposition to some penalties is, "They weren't thinking of that at race pace...they were giving their every effort to try to win! That's what matters!!" Uhhh, no. Effort in a rule-dismissing race is meaningless. Your effort could be magnificent. There could be legends told about your effort for millennia! The only issue is, if you didn't follow the rules, your effort will rightfully be penalized.
As someone who has done over 30 Elite/Pro races (several in the qualified divisions of Championship races), YOUR RACE PACE SHOULD NOT MATTER. If you are competing at a high level, there is no reason why you shouldn't be expected to compete both physically and MENTALLY at a high level. I TOTALLY get it. People make mistakes. It happens all the time. What I am saying is that, if you make a mistake, you need to accept the penalty listed for that mistake, and determine within yourself that you won't make that mistake again.
I have attached the rules books for two races below for everyone's convenience. If you are running a different race brand and want to know the rules, use the newest greatest thing called Google and you are VERY LIKELY to find what you're looking for. Don't fight the staff on race day if YOU make a mistake. If you think a rule should be changed, fine, but follow the rules as long as they are in place.
Spartan Race Savage Race Moral of the story: Own up to your own mistakes and accept the rules that currently exist as long as they exist...or...don't race? That second option isn't a real option, so...go with the first.
For God-Honest OCR Coaching, you should go with Trio Fitness OCR. We customize your program to match your current fitness levels and to progress you to your future fitness goals!
Joel Hayes (Article Author)