Jonathan Albon and the UK Obstacle Course Racing Championships: A reaction to the UK OCR Champs announcement
At only 24, and boasting a trophy cabinet which must by now be straining under the weight of success, Jonathan Albon, a building surveyor living in London, has competed in nearly 30 races and won a staggering 17 First Place titles – positioning him as one of the elite obstacle course racers in the UK and a definite favourite to win gold at the 2014 UK OCR Championships.
As the announcement of the debut UK OCR Championships went live today, Jon told us that he’s “really excited about the UK Championships. OCR has grown tremendously as a sport in the last two years and now we’re finally getting what the UK scene has needed, which is a definitive UK title race.”
We were excited to interview him and find out a little more about the muddy man himself, his feelings about the UK OCR Championships, and what 2014 may hold in store for the UK obstacle course racing scene.
- How did you originally become interested in obstacle course racing? Do you do any other sports alongside it?
I took part in my first Obstacle Race four years ago, after I saw a small piece in the local paper about a friend taking part in one and fancied the challenge. As for other sport, do a lot of different activities including running, orienteering, cycling, swimming, bouldering, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, circuits, BMF classes…the list goes on!
- What do you feel the UK OCR Championships will do for the sport in the UK?
I see it as a natural progression for a new sport to have national championships and it’s about time OCR grew up and had an official title race.
- What are you most looking forward to about competing in the UK OCR Championships?
OCR is my passion, and the biggest factor about a race is the quantity and quality of the obstacles; being the UK Championships, this should be one of the best races of the year and should be a lot of fun. I also look forward to the challenge of racing all three distances in one weekend.
- How will you be training for the UK OCR Championships?
I’ll continue my usual routine of running and cycling around London with some other activities thrown in. With so many races to attend these days the quantity of resting time before events is becoming just as important as training – and the UK OCR Championships are an event I will have to be fresh and ready for.
- How are the top competitors in the OCR scene able to currently demonstrate their dominance?
There are many OCR events around but very few that all the best runners attend at the same time. The UK championships should change this with all the current athletes attending as well as more coming out of the woodwork.
- Who are your ‘UK ones to watch’ in the sport at the moment?
There are so many racers that will be vying for top positions this year, but I think with the prospect of prize money the UK Championships will see many new faces challenging for race podiums.
- Finally, Any advice for someone wanting to start OCR but with no clue where to begin?
At the moment running is the main theme at Obstacle Races (the Dirty Dozen Backyard Jam being an exception), so running more will be a good start. You also need to have a good strength-to-weight ratio for clambering over obstacles – completing circuits is great for this and when combined with sprints will also increase speed. The biggest thing is to be adaptable, so getting out of your comfort zone when training is key.
Watch for Jon on the podium at the inaugural UK Obstacle Course Racing Championships, which are being held at the London South OCR venue at Paddock Wood, Kent, on Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th September 2014.
If you fancy taking part, or want to learn more about the event itself, take a look at our UK OCR Championships page by clicking here.
-Words by Cerian Jenkins