This weekend saw a huge event in the OCR calendar, with the Toughest race series coming to the UK. The race was held at Pippingford Park, just south of London, and with competitors being greeted by 30 degree heat and glorious sunshine, it promised to be a classic.
The event saw the fourth stop in the Toughest Elite Tour - where the elite racers in the men's and women's devisions compete in incredibly fast-paced races for positions and ranking points to count towards their final placing in the overall tour.
With temperatures soaring, the racers would be battling against the heat as much as the obstacles themselves! The course at Pippingford showcased the type of challenge that Toughest are renowned for - an 8km course with 40+ technically challenging obstacles designed to really test the athletes.
The men's elite race was run at blistering pace, with dryrobe ambassador and current OCR world champion Jonathan Albon continuing his unbeaten run in Toughest events to take the win in a time of 41.15, over a minute ahead of second place. Athletes' four best results are counted towards their final tour ranking, so Jon is now well on his way and sitting comfortably at the top of the table.
The women's elite was another incredibly fast race, even with the sun blazing down the athletes in both elite divisions were pushing themselves to finish with some amazing times. Swedish racer Karin Karlsson took the win in the women's division with an awesome performance, showing why she is definitely one to watch as the season continues. Henriette Albon continued an excellent season with a 3rd place finish - taking her to the top of the current women's rankings. Can anyone beat the Albons to the Toughest title?
The racing continued throughout the day, with wave after wave of awesome runners pitting themselves against the Toughest course while the crowds cheered them on in the blazing sun.
The UK OCR community was out in force, with a great mixture of first time runners through to hardened OCR veterans.
The OCR racers showed why they are renowned for their team spirit, helping each other over, under and across the obstacles and cheering each other round the course all day long.
Next up in the series, Toughest heads to Milton Keynes for it's next UK race. For the first time ever, there will be the option to take on Toughest Double Distance - a double loop of the course means 16km with more than 80 obstacles - probably one of the most obstacle intense OCR courses at this length.
Toughest Elite London South Results
Men's top 3
1. Jonathan Albon - UK - Time: 41:15
2. David Nordström - SWE - Time: 42:27
3. Krister Sellman - SWE - Time: 43:29
Women's top 3
1. Karin Karlsson - SWE - Time:54:09
2. Annika Runegaard Thomsen - DK - Time: 54:52
3. Henriette Albon - NO - Time: 55:22
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