Everybody involved in OCR is looking for a place to be among those talking about obstacle racing, training, and more. A place where they can ask general questions eg. kit and training related, and to find out information about races and training venues.
A lot of us started in OCR communities where we found a lot of friends, found a place to chat to people with similar interests, perhaps developed friendly rivalries, perhaps found out who we didn’t particularly like! The point is they were the kick-off point for most of us in the sport, with many going off to end up representing sponsored or competitive teams (this post isn’t about them).
Here’s the current few places that most people go.
Mudstacle are one of the original communities on the OCR scene, built from a hobbyist blog into possibly the biggest OCR site in the UK currently. With a core demographic since ‘year one’ of obstacle racing, the Mudstacle community is a common presence at any race.
Successfully managing a competitive race team alongside a general community atmosphere, Mudstacle maintain a welcoming atmosphere to new people but mainly consists of a core group of people who have been part of the group since the early days. Recent changes of management/leadership (not sure what you’d call it) have made things look a bit shakey, and from an outside perspective it seems a bit like the community is not thriving like it once was – once upon a time you would be among seas of yellow t shirts at a race. But then again maybe I just don’t go to events as often anymore so don’t see them!
Mudstacle do great work when it comes to coverage of elite racing, especially at OCRWC and really have the potential to push OCR further in the UK, whatever that may mean.
This is a Facebook Group that has grown large and gets regular posts and conversations. It is the place often found first by people new to the sport or just doing a one-off race, thereby often is filled with the same repeated questions and chats.
Realistically, UK.OCR became a large group by luck of it’s name, sounding more official than it is, however this then morphed into a self-important advert group – masquerading as a place for the OCR community as a whole to share and discuss current OCR issues and info, while maintaining a false air of integrity when it comes to advertising, but really is a place for their affiliated companies to spam while downtalking and banning others who share posts. This is topped off by a loosely-regulated series of ‘rules’ including where they ask for money to advertise in the group (again, plenty are exempt to this rule), yet there have never been any information about what’s been done with that money that must be coming in. Hmm.
Also I really understated above how often the same questions, requests, and posts from the same groups/races are posted – it essentially is a spam & advert group for these few businesses. Out of all groups listed here I’d suggest this is the only one to completely avoid.
Did you know: They actually also have a website – but unfortunately it is likely to cause seizures from how bad it is. From spelling, grammar, to layout and general content. If this is meant to be one of the frontrunners of the UK OCR scene, that’s a very poor showing for us indeed.
This was a group initially, I believe, set up for a bit of fun. From a place created to share silly, unflattering pictures and facial expressions found during races this has grown in a community of over 6,000 people (still mainly sharing silly posts). Apart from the many, many pictures of things that look like cocks, there is regular interaction between everyone in the group, from (obviously useful) OCR related information, to somewhat amusing regular chat.
The OCR Wrongens participants do a lot for causes, raising money and awareness through challenges and virtual runs.
Personally I’m not a fan of the actual title and the name ‘Wrongens’ but that’s just me, it’s obviously the name it was started with and has stuck. Also there’s clearly over 6000 people that disagree with me so I’m sure they’re not fussed! This is a good, fun place for people to discover OCR and feel supported.
UK Mudd Queens
I don’t really know a massive amount about the UK Mudd Queens, because obviously I’m not a female but the group seems to be doing some good work. From what I understand they cover more than just OCR and have become a good place for the women involved to talk openly among peers.
From their website:
The UK Mudd Queens are a group of women who encourage other women to take part in Obstacle Course Races (OCRs). Originating as just a Facebook group, we’ve developed into a HUGE community of supportive women, who constantly build each other up and help each other out!
It’s a shame I can’t say more about it because I’m sure there’s some great stuff going on in there – but if you’re a woman, check it out!
There was a Mudd Kings group but I had to leave when they started talking in made up Olde English – ‘forsoothing’ and ‘bequeathing’ to each other, it was too much for me. They’ve probably changed a bit since then but I don’t know.
There are likely others out there too, but they are either quite small, or have gone under my personal rader. I’d happily learn if there are any I’ve neglected that are great places for new people to go.
Written by me: Keith Fairburn
Personal Trainer, Sports Therapist, S&C Coach.
Ninja Warrior Semi-Finalist, Obstacle Racer, Salming Running Ambassador.
If you have any questions about anything I’ve written in this post or want to get in touch, contact me.