The end of the season isn’t a closure without the official OCR World Championships! Which took place, just as in 2018, in London.
Titia: ‘Last year I noticed it was extremely technical and a lot of grip and arm strength was required. Of course I have trained a lot, but I am not sure if I am completely prepared for this parcours, since this needs also really specific training and that last part isn’t always to find in the area. Next to my full time job and my own dietitian practice, I train between 6 till 8 times a week. Unfortunately in my area you cannot find those specific obstacles to train, so in order to do that I have to travel a long distance for my training. I’ve set my goals to increase my running part in 2019, but for 2020 I have to set my goals for the technical part and somehow find a way to fit in the travel distance. My goal is to keep my wristband (to complete every obstacle), and the only way to find that out is to try!’
Titia continues: ‘The start of the elite wave was very early in the morning, it was quite cold and rainy. The pace at the start of the race was extremely high, which isn’t that surprising of course with the best athletes of the world. I knew I had to stay calm to preserve my energy for the technical obstacles, so I searched to find my own steady pace.
The wrecking bag part was extreme. Carrying a wrecking bag of 25 kg and dragging it all the way under at least 6 slippery, muddy taut nets was exhausting! Everyone looked like a walking clod of mud and you couldn’t recognize anyone anymore. I heard a Spanish speaking athlete next to me only shouting a hundred times: puta puta puta! Which doesn’t need translation I guess….
After a while I arrived at the Kingfisher, a kind of monkey bar over the water but in the form of a wave: first up, afterwards down. My hands were still completely wet of all the water and mud before and it was still raining. I slipped a couple of times and fell into the cold water. But of course I couldn’t give up at this obstacle, which I by the way passed in 1 attempt last year. Finally I made it, but my arms were already too drained and I was only halfway down. Soaking wet and extremely cold I continued the race.
After some other swimming and water obstacles, my body temperature wasn’t increasing. But hé, that’s also OCR! When I arrived at the Stairway to heaven, the one I failed last year, I saw that I didn’t have my wristband anymore. But I’ve had completed all the obstacles before! So I went to a Marshall to explain the situation, but all he said was: ‘It happens sometimes, it also happened yesterday, nothing you could do’. I lost all my motivation at this point, because I wasn’t here to give up in this way. I did several attempts at the Stairway and after I was completely full of acid and drained of energy, I made it! So with a bit of positive energy I continued: even though I didn’t wear my wristband, I knew I still ‘had’ it.
Closer to a more crowded area, I arrived at an obstacle which was also a kind of monkey bars of scaffolding tubes up and down. I saw a dutch friend Gert Jan van Voorden, who’s also in the organisation. So I explained my wristband story and he wrote down my number so I would still ‘have’ my wristband. The tubes were very wet and slippery and I felt so cold and empty, I couldn’t managed to complete it anymore. So I asked Gert Jan to scratch out my number, because now I’ve had definitely lost the wristband. Luckily, there wasn’t an official cutting part of the wristband, which eased a bit the pain I guess…
After this official moment I ran as fast as I could to increase my body temperature a bit. Some other obstacles I completed in 1 attempt, others I did a few attempts but if I noticed I couldn’t make it due to a lack of energy, I chose to continue running to stay warm. After approximately 3,5 hours I finally reached the finish line. Exhausted, cold and a bit disappointed I’ve decided: In 2020 I will do anything to adjust my training and improve technical, to keep my wristband! But first things first: now some well deserved rest’