We’re very proud of our ambassadors here at dryrobe; over the years we have put together a team comprising of some seriously awe-inspiring, amazing and inspirational individuals, none more so than Mr Jon Albon. The three-time OCR (Obstacle Course Racing) World Champion is an unbelievable athlete and a great friend of dryrobe, we’re incredibly proud to have him represent the team.
After a successful year of competition in 2016, Jon has literally hit the ground running this year and seems unstoppable. For the last two years, he has won the Toughest OCR tour - by winning every single Toughest event he has entered to date - so the start of 2017 saw Jon start the race season with his sights firmly on defending his title.
April saw the first Toughest race of the season, in the new venue of Amsterdam and was billed to provide a different racing experience to previous Toughest events - a lack of technical terrain and hills meant that this was going to be a seriously fast race. We caught up with Jon before the race to get his thoughts, check out what he had to say:
Amsterdam didn’t disappoint and after a lightning fast race, Jon took the win in 37 minutes after 8.5 km of racing. It then became an double win for team Albon, with Jon’s wife Henriette securing first place in the Women’s Elite race.
The Toughest tour then moved to Malmo, Sweden for the second event of their calendar. This is where the Toughest series started and is a special stop on the tour for this reason. 7000 entrants were scheduled to take part and with some of the best obstacle racers turning up to compete, Jon needed to be on top form to take the win - in the elite division just one mistake on an obstacle can cost you the race.
Jon continued his winning run and stormed to victory in Malmo - his third win at this event now. With his incredible performances and the fact the he wins the races with quite considerable leads, Jon often gets asked how he makes it look so easy - he had this to say:
“I am pleased with my performance but still face questions of why it is apparently so easy for me…well it’s not, I am pushing everything I can in a race like this and have been preparing to do so for months. I am now in my 3rd year of competing in obstacle races full time and need all of this experience to be able to run a course like Malmo and come out on top against the other racers. I am working on trying to push boundaries to see how fast you can go in a race like this but my competition is catching up quicker than I can improve. So far I am two for two this year in the Toughest series but it will take more hard work to keep this clean sheet.”
The next big event in Jon’s racing calendar was Europe’s Toughest Mudder. Up until this year the 24 hour event ‘Worlds Toughest Mudder’ has been the only competitive race in the Tough Mudder calendar, so this 8 hour event in Europe would be the first time the format had come to this side of the pond.
The format for the event was a 5 mile course, with competitors given 8 hours to complete as many laps as possible. The race would start at 12 at night and competitors faced the challenge of running over churned up muddy ground for the following 8 hours, whilst being continuously dunked into water and muddy ditches. A cash prize for 1st place and a bonus prize for completing 50 miles (10 laps of the course) provided a real incentive to the race.
Continuing his unbelievable form this year, Jon ran an incredible race, pacing himself perfectly to take first place, plus completing the 50 miles for the bonus prize. That’s roughly two marathons in 8 hours with between 16-20 time and energy consuming obstacles per 5 mile lap - there’s a reason this man is a 3 times world champion.
Next up in the race calendar for Jon is a Skyrace - a discipline of mountain running that takes place at altitudes of 2000m. Best of luck to Jon, we look forward to seeing how he gets on.