It isn’t an event that is coming to the USA, but it is significant in that it creates a new watermark for an evolving sport. And as it turns out, it also has Olympic ambitions.
OCR Europe first reported that the first edition of the OCR European championships will be on June 12, 2016. The event is to be hosted by Obstacle Course Racing Association (OCRA) BeNeLux in the Netherlands. The Championships will be hosted on the Strong Viking course at the recreation ground Berendonck (Nijmegen/Wijchen).
Obstacle Course Racing has seen a massive rise in the past couple of years in Europe just as it has in the United States. While the majority of the participants are still recreational runners, increasingly more and more athletes are looking for places to compete. These participants are driving the development into a fully fledged sport.
For the Athletes: To allow the best athletes to compete against each other OCRA BeNeLux took the initiative to host the first European Championships. The demand for this event became apparent with the OCR World Championships organized in Ohio last year and this year. During the 2014 OCR World Championships, there is a large delegation of Dutch and other European athletes.
Olympic ambitions: Founded in February 2015, OCRA BeNeLux is probably the youngest national sports federation. The goal and aim of the BeNeLux OCRA are to promote and professionalize Obstacle Course Racing. The ambition is to have Obstacle Course Racing become an Olympic sport. OCRA BeNeLux is also committed to improve safety, regulation and arbitration of the races.
Qualifying at European level: To participate in the European Championships, athletes can qualify at an increasing number of races all over Europe. For this, BeNeLux will collaborate with other European sports federations from Obstacle Course Racing and also with the OCR World Championship organization. This collaboration makes it possible for European athletes to qualify at the 2015 World Championships for the European Championships in 2016.
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