Viking Race from a Welsh point of view
This weekend we had visit from our welsh division in team OCR Norway. He actually travelled 13 hours to come race with us all alone. It was really fun, both for him and us to have him here. I am extra proud to this time publish somebody elses review of a Norwegian race.
This is Alexs experience of Viking Race 2016 at Grefsenkollen!
Viking Race Oslo 20th and 21st August
I have fallen in love with the Scandianian OCR’s, with Toughest and Tough Viking being the most popular. I heard about Viking Races from my Norwegian friends and decided to check it out. Overall it was a lot of fun, but there were a few issues which ill go into detail below.
The race was over 2 days, saturday 5k (4.4k according to my watch) and sunday 10k (12k according to my watch). One too short, the other too long:)
Something i havent heard of before: being able to pick up your registration packs day before race day. This saved me a lot of hassle on race day as all i want to do is warm up and chat to fellow racers, not stand in a line moving at a snails pace! I met the race director who was surprised to hear how far i had travelled and gave me a VR hoodie as a gift. On the day, as predicted there was a long que of people picking up their packs.
This was in one of the many ski slopes towering above the beautiful city of Oslo. The race took me through the forrest, bogs, marshes, up and down the very steep hill sides, at one point a very rocky climb up a mini cliff and finally a little trot through the lake. Amazing sceanary when you did manage to find your way out the woods. There were few parts where it was steep and without the right footware and being aware of your surroundings, you might find your self tumberling down the woodland or snapping your ankle on a tree root. The 10k was the 5k race run twice which i know some of the runners were not happy with. There were a few extra parts on the 10k, and they really made the race to one of them most brutal courses ever. I would have prefered the 10k to be a whole new race and not need a double lap but hey ho. I found the terrain much more difficult than Tough Viking Oslo because of the number of hill climbs, almost as hard as Spartan Beast in Scotland.
This is where people were not that positive. They wanted more obstacles, but when you count them all up, there were around 13 obstacles. Considering the course was 5k and 10k, it is not so bad. There was meant to be an 14th but due to a last minute issue it wasnt to be (from what i heard it was a skip filled with water and ice). We had:
– monkey bars (wooden, much better than the metal ones at all of the other ocr’s i have run),
– cargo net
– muddy trenches
– 2 lots of cargo net crawl
– 2 lots of over, under and through wooden barriers
– rope climb (with knots which made it easier to finish)
– 2 high walls
– irish table (again, prefered this version over the one at Tough Viking)
– the infamous log carry up a ski slope and of course
– the epic fire jump for that all important finishers photo
What i liked about this last part was the wide choice of wood, from tree trunks to twigs, take what ever worked for you. Something i wish other races offered rather than the standard big, heavy, awkard log.
My biggest complaint was on the first day the starting time was delayed by 90 minutes. We were told this was because a car had got stuck on one of the events. When i arrived they were assembling the start and finish poins, as well as last minute course marking. This wasnt all of their fault as the site had been double booked and VR had only all of Friday and Saturday morning to get it all ready.
The tshirt and medal were excellent and good quality. One for the 5k and another for the 10k. They did run out of tshirts and handed out ones from previous years which did not go down well with my fellow racers. Same with the medals. The 5k was bronze but as they didnt have enough, a few folks had the 10k silver instead. This annoyed me as they hadnt earned this and the organisers should have ordered enough tshirts and medals for everyone.
Overall i enjoyed the race. Would i do it again? Hell yeah – already signed up! A few people i spoke to on race day said they would not do another one which is a shame as the Race Director tried very hard to make this a success. If you are in Oslo and this is on at the same time, I would definatly give it a go!
Best from Alex – the Welsh division 😉
As every year Viking Race hyred in Epic Action Imagery for giving us the coolest pictures to remember the weekend. I actually now got so many, I seriously consider giving out a book 😉
But some of the most prescious ones are these of my kids running the 5 km with me and Supermann!
The kids had a blast, but extra fun was also gathering the biggest (!) Norwegian OCR team! So many awesome people at one place – no wonder we had the best weekend!
…some more than others 😉
Hope you had a good time too – and remember already 2017 is open for signing up – now with an early bird price!