When Spartan Race broke down the doors for the OCR Community, the market flooded. Everyone heard of a friend competing and craze began. One race after another, the sport was provided context and a community of racers looking to unite. Large race series, such as Tough Mudder, Battle Frog, and Rugged Maniac rose through their own ambitions, only to put opportunity across the country, allowing the weekend warriors to feed their recent Obstacle Course Racing desires.
However, during this time, an opportunity was not only providing itself to the racers, but to those with the aspiration to create their own competition. "Small" Races and local companies were designing competitions on an annual basis for the "OCR" or Obstacle Course Racing community to compete in their home towns. No, these competitions were not bringing out the thousands, but something was happening to these individuals. It seems as though, they had found a home.
As more of these races grew across the Midwest in particular, they started finding a very high return rate. People were coming back for more each year. They had founded not only a race or a business, but a community. What transpired out of this community was a shared interest to grow the sport of OCR. What came from this, was the forming of Coalitions. Groups such as the Ohio Grandslam, an series of local races, that would plan races without conflicting with one another's audience or financials. As the years progressed, it was the desire of these groups to use each others resources; borrowing sandbags, local teams, workers, etc.
Recently, this group decided to expand. Ed Leon and Jay Nichols, owners and founders of an Obstacle Course Race out of the Mid-west called "Frontline OCR," has decided to join these groups together as a way to unite the community of races. Ed, was the not the first to see a vision of efficiency by using other organizations obstacles. Adventurey, founded by Adrian Bijanada, has sought a plan of this nature for his events that include the OCR North American Championships along with the OCR World Championships, that use these obstacles as a way to showcase the region's OCR Diversity and Challenges. All the while, bringing exposure to the races that have become the backbone for so many on a local basis.
While this structure is nothing new, there is something to be said about these organizations. One in particular being Indian Mud Run. Indian Mud Run has a very famous obstacle many have seen over the years called the "Floating Walls." It has been a mission of the Race Owner, Hubie Cushman, to grow the recognition of the obstacle along with his race, by traveling throughout the country with it's signature event. The "Floating Walls" have been featured in races from Ohio to Vermont, New York, and soon Chicago, with desires in California. Hubie told us of his true love for this sport and how it is with that love and passion he has taken this journey across the US to showcase this obstacle with the ambitions of his own race earning more recognition.
Although, Hubie has one of the more notorious obstacle, he is not the only organization who plans on using this technique to grow their race. Coming to Frontline OCR's event in late October are organizations such as the Abominable Snow Race, WI, Strong as Oak, IL, Legendary Fitness, WI, HartFitness, IL, TNT Adventure Obstacle Course, WI, Team Bat Insane, IL and Compound OCR, IN! This unity will bring forth over 7 different organizations across the Mid West,
allowing what would be know as a "small" race, the ability to appear larger than life.
From our perspective, it appears that Frontline, this "small" organization is looking to step into the heavy weight ring.