The Australian Titles Short Course Championships will be held on the True Grit Course at Caudo Vineyards -Cadell based on the scenic Murray River in South Australia on Saturday 26 April 2014.
2014 looks like another rapid expansion year for Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) in Australia with the announcement of the country’s first National Title Series which also sees the first broadcast deal for OCR in Australia. The announcement comes as a result of a partnership between the Obstacle Course Racing Association of Australia (OCRA) and True Grit – Military Inspired Obstacle Challenge, who will offer the first national title event in Australia, a short course National Championships billed as the Aussie Titles.
OCRA Chairman Adam McDonald is excited by the prospect of another strong leap forwards for OCR in the country. ‘It was only 15 months ago that we decided to have a go at making this awesome fitness based activity a sport and milestones like this make all the hard work well worth the energy put in to building OCR’, says McDonald.
The event will be broadcast on the worldâ€™s leading sports network ESPN in a deal which will see the network televise two OCR Australian Championships events in 2014. ESPN Australia Program Manager Gus Seebeck is passionate about all things extreme endurance and OCR fits within the network’s focus within Australia. ‘We discovered these amazing OCR events through Adam when we partnered with him for Search4hurt’, says Seebeck. ‘When Adam asked if we were interested in broadcasting the national championships, it was a no brainer. We love the sport and what it has become in such a short time and look forward to seeing it grow in the future’.
What can the athletes expect to face when they line up for the championships? True Grit Co-Director and Commando, Adam McNamee, says that the South Australian event will consist of a course 12 kilometres long with around 40 obstacles, with the combination of the terrain, the obstacles and the competition guaranteed to test the full extent of an athlete’s skill and fitness levels.
Despite being highly energised by the concept of an Australian Titles event, Adam can only reveal broad details of the course, as surprise and unknown are major features of a great obstacle course race. ‘Without giving too much away the terrain will be similar, but there will be more obstacles, more difficult obstacles and expect a bit more water than last year. Those that raced at the True Grit event at Caudo Vineyard last year know how challenging the course can be. What I can say is that there are unique obstacles developed specifically for the area, and expect tough and varying terrain that includes Australian bushland, sand-dunes, the vineyard and maybe even a swim in the mighty Murray river’.
The event will see both an Open and Masters male and female champion crowned on the day with age and grade categories also recognised at the end of the event. â€˜We donâ€™t want people to pre nominate what they are competing for prior to running the eventâ€™, says McDonald. â€˜We would rather everyone turn up race as one, do their best and the results will decide who takes out divisional prizesâ€™.
There is an enduro format Australian Titles race concept also being created, with details to be revealed in the coming weeks. True Gritâ€™s head of Marketing, Todd Grant, says there are still some details to finalise before the enduro event can go live. â€˜We would love to see a 24 hour race for individuals, and teams of two, three and four getting stuck into the challenge. We are working closely with the OCRA on the logistics and will have an announcement soonâ€™.
So whether you are an athlete that likes to go fast or long, or an OCR fan that will enjoy the history making hour long television broadcast of both events, one thing is for certain, OCR is on the up and up.
Athletes invited to the 2014 Aussie Titles Race at Caudo Vineyard, SA, on Saturday 26 April 2014 (if you are on this list and would like to confirm your intention to compete, please email firstname.lastname@example.org)
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