Katie Keeble and the UK Obstacle Course Racing Championships: Her reaction to the UK OCR Champs announcement
Having taken part in a multitude of races across Britain and securing herself 9 titles in 2013 alone, 31 year old Katie Keeble is no stranger to the physical and mental challenges of competitive obstacle course racing and, despite having only run her first obstacle course race in 2012, has earned herself a well-deserved reputation as one of the UK’s leading female competitors – favoured by many to take the title of the first ever UK OCR Women’s Champion.
Her excitement at the prospect of the first national championships, where the country’s toughest athletes will battle it out for the UK Obstacle Course Racing crown, is obvious. Talking to Dirty Dozen Races, Katie exclaimed that: “Within a month we have the inaugural UK OCR Championships and the first OCR World Championships. The UK Champs will be a great opportunity for the best racers in the UK to compete head to head.”
Dirty Dozen Races caught up with Katie to discuss today’s exciting announcement that 2014 will witness the first ever UK Obstacle Course Racing Championships taking place, and to get to know the woman behind the impressive racing stats a little better.
- Can you tell us a little about yourself to begin with?
I’m originally from Ipswich and, interestingly, I was born in the hospital where I now work as a cardiology nurse! It’s a full-on job, but when I’m not eating sleeping or working I’m generally training for my next obstacle course race.
- What’s your sporting background, and what was the journey to OCR like for you?
I have always been active – it runs in the family as my parents enjoy outdoor sports too. I started running on a treadmill (!) in a gym a few years ago to try and get a bit fitter, and that progressed to running outside, flat road running and finally racing. That all changed when, in 2012, my friend Kelly suggested I run an OCR race, so I gave it a go – I was hooked!
- What do you feel the UK OCR Championships will do for the sport in the UK?
The UK OCR Championships will raise the profile of OCR racing in the UK and lend it more legitimacy, which is exciting in itself. It’ll also allow amateurs and veterans to compete alongside each other, and help inspire others to get involved in what is an amazingly fun sport.
- How are the top competitors in the OCR scene able to currently demonstrate their dominance?
Without a formal UK championship, the top competitors have shown their dominance through consistency and confidence.
- Who are your ‘ones to watch’ in the sport at the moment?
Jon Albon and Sam Cherry are the ones to watch!
- What are you most looking forward to about competing in the UK OCR Championships?
I am definitely looking forward to running the Dirty Dozen Races and overcoming the many tough obstacles, meeting lots of people…but most of all running around in the mud!
- How will you be training for the UK OCR Championships? Any tips for others looking to join in the fun?
I will be working on my strength in preparation the the coming season by attending CrossFit classes at CrossFit ISC, who have been a real catalyst in taking me from a runner to an athlete and helped increase my strength, confidence and determination. On top of that I’ll be maintaining my cardio vascular fitness by doing lots of running. Those looking to join the fun should put some training in, choose an event and just GO FOR IT!
- Any advice for someone wanting to start OCR but with no clue where to begin? It can be a little daunting, after all.
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 and am excited about the coming season. Bring it on!
Katie will be running alongside fellow OCR athletes and amateurs alike 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.
To learn more about the event, and to sneak a peek at the type of obstacles competitors will be facing, check out our UK OCR Championships page by clicking here.
- Words by Cerian Jenkins
- Pictures courtesy of Katie’s lovely friends and family