The World's Highest OCR - 12th - 23rd Sept 2020
After the breaking news last week I just had to catch up with Rob and Dave the founders of the awesome challenge, so I headed down to Urban Attack and spent a few hours with them.
I popped a few questions to them and got a real insight into the World's Highest OCR.Here is our discussion
Q. Well you guys said you had some big news, but I didn’t expect this, it looks amazing, where the heck did this come from?
Rob- Over a year ago I was approached by mountaineer & adventure expert Dave Pickles, who had heard about the racing events we’d done over the years and wanted to know if I fancied doing something that’s never been done before - a record breaking challenge at the highest free-standing mountain in the world!
Dave, who has summited Kilimanjaro over 56 times, already organised record breaking events up there, and knew I was passionate about extreme OCR challenges. It took me about 5 seconds to say yes!
Dave - We are bringing our expertise together to take obstacle racing to the next level. The colossal elements of OCR and Mountain have been brought together to provide a once in a lifetime experience on the mountain, that is dubbed ‘the roof of Africa’.
Q. For those that don’t know you, give us a brief overview about yourselves?
Rob - I was best known as the ex-SAS presenter/trainer at The Biggest Loser TV Show. As a fitness enthusiast, I’ve combined my Special Forces and event management background to create Urban Attack, the obstacle race events company. With Urban Attack we manage and generally support obstacle race events all over the UK and internationally, from city centre locations to mountainsides, Olympic Stadiums and airstrips. Over the years we’ve delivered around 78 events with over 130,000 participants, we have been behind a wide range of racing events from mainstream to extreme. This is by far the most exciting one!
Dave - As the founder and owner of the adventure travel brand EDGE Travel Worldwide, I’m specialised in delivering survival experiences, international walks and group fitness challenges. Through my company, I combine the knowledge I’ve gained in the British Military as a combat medic and my experience in leading expeditions throughout the world in the jungle, mountain and desert environments to create life changing journeys.
I’ve been a keen mountaineer for the past 25 years, taking over 2,800 people to the summit of Kilimanjaro. Because I love pushing the limits, I’ve previously organised two record-breaking events in the crater of Kilimanjaro and I’ve raced up to the top to prove that nothing is impossible!
Q. There are only 60 places for this, but will all 60 people get Guinness World Records?
Rob - Yes, as long as they complete the climbing route to the summit, complete at least one obstacle on the 100m obstacle course and finish over the course line.
I’ve always wanted to get a World Record, it’s on my bucket list, but I never thought that I’d be involved in helping 60 people get theirs at the same time too!
Q. How fit and good at obstacle racing do you need to be to do this?
Rob - Not very so you should be fine Alan (burst of laughter).
But seriously, the event is designed for fitness and adventure race enthusiasts. You don’t have to be specifically an OCR athlete to take part, but the 10-day challenge will take serious determination and the right attitude to complete. Good health and fitness is essential, and the ability to walk with 15kg on your back over two days in the hills.
The ideal candidate is looking to test their physical and mental strength against the elements and obstacles, to be rewarded with a good few years worth of bragging rights.
Q. So is there a winner, is it a race against each other?
Dave - The participants will be competing against the mountain, and not each other! The event brings together fitness enthusiasts from all over the world to work towards the same goal. We set off as one big team, everyone works together against the altitude and obstacles, not against each other. We’ll be supporting each other along the way, it’s about successfully completing the 10-day challenge, safely as a team.
Q. Cost, some will ask where the price comes from as it’s a bit higher than your average OCR, and on that note, can I have a free ticket to review it?
(burst of laughter)
Rob - Just to go up Kilimanjaro with good guides, a good tour company and support, it is a few thousand, and for that you’d normally only get bed & breakfast and flights, that’s it. 10,000’s of people pay that to go up the mountain.
This is very different. Well, apart from being able to tell your grandkids you’re in the Guinness book of world records, you can expect a fully-supported experience, with a lot more going on!
To start with, the participants will receive a special simulation training weekend in the UK. They get to try the obstacles with high-altitude simulation, go through comprehensive tests and receive expert advice to help them with their preparation for the big challenge. They’ll also have the chance to get to know their fellow team members, the organisers and sponsors.
We’re covering return flights to Africa from wherever they come from in the world, and an all-inclusive stay at one of the best hotels there.
We have organised the biggest local support crew, including around 400 guides and medical staff on the mountain, to ensure our participants and the equipment will get to the top and back down safely. What’s more, we will have a high-altitude field hospital and a medical helicopter on standby to support the participants during the OCR challenge, as safety is crucial.
To celebrate this amazing achievement, we’re flying the participants down from high camp straight to the hotel for a VIP after party! Normally people have to spend another night and a day’s trekking down to the gate to take a bus journey to the hotel. We are putting together a world-class event. When you factor everything in, it isn’t expensive.
And the free review ticket?
Ahh sorry we’re not doing free tickets or discounts, there are only 60 places and it will be first come, first served for everyone media included, so it’s fair for everyone who wants to and can afford to do it, some are planning on getting companies to sponsor them to do it and then raising additional monies for charity.
Q. Fair enough, if I had the spare cash I would be on it like a flash. 400 people for 60 participants that’s a fair few people supporting it then?
Dave - Yes, we’ll be the biggest group including the staff to ever go up there. We’ll be the biggest employer on the mountain at that time, but most importantly it will give a real boost to the communities, as we will be employing nearly all of the local guides available out there at once.
Q. When do tickets go on sale?
Dave - We will be announcing that soon, for now all those interested and serious about doing it need to register their interest on the website Website: www.worldshighestocr.com , so they get the first notification and advanced access to when they go on sale.
Well, it sounds amazing, wish I could do it, anyone want to sponsor me?
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