God’s OCR (or, Let’s Have Fun Poking the Bear that Is Religion!)

a bearNot long ago, I learned about a new OCR in the works. Specifically, an event that combines obstacle course racing with… the Word of God.

It’s called the Mighty Warrior Challenge, and, well, I’m really not planning to mock it much.

I mean, I’m an atheist, and I’m disgusted by the evil that religion has been used to justify. But I’m inclined to think that’s more the nature of groups in general, rather than religion in particular; they can be swayed to tremendous evil or tremendous good.

Without a lot more information, it’s impossible to know whether Mighty Warrior’s religion is of the “love thy neighbor” or the “condemn all outsiders to hell” variety, but outside that information I’m inclined to give the benefit of the doubt that the race’s intent is to do good.

From my nonreligious standpoint, I think the really important takeaway is that there’s an actual idea behind the race. Most OCRs really don’t differentiate themselves well: their stated reason for existing is to be MOAR EPIKZ (and, usually, something military). Even Warrior Dash, widely understood (and sometimes decried, though why this is inherently negative is beyond me) as an entry-level race, describes its obstacles as “world-class”—a phrase that doesn’t actually mean anything but is certainly calculated to suggest awesomeness.

Mighty Warrior, to what I think is its great credit, is focusing on its theme to differentiate itself. And while an overarching design theme isn’t the only way to go*, it is something different.

So, now, the bad news. If I had to bet on whether the Mighty Warrior OCR will actually happen, I’d bet against. The website is still pretty minimal, a WordPress blog with just three posts. The Facebook and Twitter pages are more active, but populated by fairly generic fitness or inspirational posts, rather than information about the race’s development.

I could, of course, be wrong. The website says that the race will be launching a crowdfunding campaign in January, so the organizers may be focusing their preparation on then. Hell, (Oooh!) I’m not privvy to any of their plans or information, so while my impression may be logical, it isn’t based on any actual fact and shouldn’t be considered to be.

Ultimately, I hope they do good and well. It’s not likely I’d attend—Kansas City is a bit of a haul, and the religious angle isn’t one that would bridge that physical distance—but good things happening in OCR make OCR gooder.

*I wouldn’t mind seeing some races that have tighter focus in their obstacles—the lumberjack-themed Jack Axe Games come to mind, though I wasn’t able to attend so I have no idea how well that turned out in practice; OCRs that focus heavily on hauling heavy things or climbing or balance challenges might also be intriguing.


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