Learning the Ropes – Running your first OCR
“I could never do one of those,” said the friend on whom I thought I could rely to help me around the course. He’s run a few half-marathons, cycled in several sportives and manages to go to the gym regularly. He’s what you call naturally fit. So I was staggered that he thought a 12k OCR was beyond him.
So I turned to The Beard for some advice: “Dirty Dozen is one of the toughest races in the UK,” Doug said. “It will typically take someone in the region of two to four hours to complete. In terms of toughness it depends on someone’s level of fitness.”
But you don’t have to be an iron man or woman. “Someone who goes to the gym once or twice a week will get around and enjoy it. To those who aren’t that fit we just say, ‘Take your time and have a laugh,’” said The Beard.
Dirty Dozen’s London South event last month attracted a wide range of competitors. One group of over-50s took over four hours to cover the 12k course.
“They said it was hard but they said they had a laugh. They loved the fact that people gave them a hand. We are not saying you don’t have to be fit – it helps – but you don’t have to be a superhero.”
Leading UK OCR racer Katie Keeble says that the social element of OCR is what makes it unique. “Don’t underestimate the friendly nature of the sport! It’s very welcoming, a lot of fun racing without pounding out mile on mile of running, and it gives you time to stop and think (catch your breath – momentarily, at least!). I’ve made lots of lovely friends through the sport.
If you’re getting ready for your first OCR, you might want to check out our Top Five Tips for OCR Newbies post too.