Friends of ioMerino, Michael and Scott, tackled the 24 Obstacle Course Racing World Championships earlier this year. Michael is an Ear, Nose and Throat surgeon but he is also a very keen ultra competitor. He has competed in the Ultra Trail Australia three times and ran the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc in Italy. Michael was looking for something different to test himself.
Scott is the founder and principal trainer at Fitness Habitat. He has set up an obstacle course in his gym and accompanied Michael on the OCR event. They competed as a team of 2 but everyone else was a team of 4 so had an upward battle. We asked Scott to tell us about his experience.
Written by Scott, Fitness Habitat
"Thanks to ioMerino founder and owner, David and our other amazing support crew, we managed to complete the full 24hrs (which has eluded me, due to teammate injuries in the prior two 24hr events I have competed in).
This year the event only had the solo and 4 man teams, with no duo teams. In my experience, the solo usually ensures a pretty slow pace unless you are in the top 10% of the athletically gifted. The 4 man teams have enough rest, to go at the course like you're only doing it the once. Michael and I chose to run a duo team to test ourselves with pace and endurance, so we were gauging ourselves against the previous years' duo winners. Despite an old calf injury that resurfaced after my first few laps, we were fortunate to match last years duo winners lap record.
Fitness Habitat group fitness gym in Marden SA is a fully equipped obstacle racing gym, so I felt I was fully prepared for the course obstacles. As long as you put the kilometres, hrs and right fuel and recovery methods in, I believe most will survive the distance.
Scott made it look easy while wearing in his Ultra Tee!
Weather is something we have no control over, and in previous years that the Sydney area has been wet, cold and foggy. So if you don't show up with the right kit, in my opinion, you will not survive the race. The past few years I have always elected to race in wool, as it wicks water and keeps you warm when you are wet (and getting wet is a definite, in a race like the 24hr True Grit).
Michael wearing the Altitude Crew during the 24hour OCR World Championships
Growing up in New Zealand, we Kiwis all know that Merino wool is the best of the best when it comes to wool products. So once Michael introduced me to the ioMerino website, I was all over purchasing the items I knew would hold me in good stead for the race. Thankfully the delivery time was ridiculously fast, so I received everything in time, despite ordering so close to race day. The items I ordered definitely lived up to their reputation, at no time did I feel under equipped for the event. The kit endured the rigours of the race and remains my obstacle racing super suit for continued training and event days. Even the summer events, you will see me in it. I almost felt sorry for the guys wearing regular cotton and other gear during the event, but I was also happy to have that advantage. No doubt, they will all wise up eventually."
Michael at the end of the 24 OCR World Championships wearing Altitude Crew
In Scott and Michael's kit;
While Merino is an amazing natural fibre, not all Merino fabrics are created equal. At ioMerino, we make our own fabrics, using only the best quality fibres, and to very specific specifications that make the most of the natural benefits of Merino. All of them are 'Merino rich’. No cheap blends passed off as Merino. No cheaper scratchy fibres or synthetic substitutes to save money. No unethical production. And each fabric is made for a specific purpose. So if you see something with a small amount of elastase or nylon added, you can be sure it absolutely needs to be there to enhance the natural stretch and durability.
It took every bit of our 140 years of experience in the wool industry to perfect our fabrics, but we think you’ll agree the end result was more than worth the effort.
Ethically Made. Ethically Sourced. Perfectly Natural.
Lightweight 170gsm 96% Australian Merino Wool with 4% elastane for extra stretch and comfort. A MicroMerino® Fabric.
Lightweight 160gsm 83% Australian Merino Wool blended with 12% nylon blended for extra durability and 5% Elastane for stretch and comfort.
Midweight 265gsm 96% Australian Merino Wool with 4% elastane for extra stretch and comfort. A MicroMerino® Fabric.
Made from 45% ultra fine MERINO (Ultra Lightweight 150gsm), 45% natural TENCEL (made from sustainably grown wood fiber), and 10% nylon for extra durability.
Ultra Lightweight 150gsm 100% Australian Merino Wool. A MicroMerino® Fabric.
Midweight 280gsm 76% Australian Merino Wool, 15% Elastane and 9% Nylon for extra stretch and compression properties.
Ultra lightweight ribbed 155gsm 100% Australian Merino Wool. A MicroMerino® Fabric.
Outer Weight 280gsm Fleece 100% Australian Merino Wool. A MicroMerino® Fabric.
Midweight 260gsm 100% Australian Merino Wool. A MicroMerino® Fabric.
Midweight 260gsm waffle texture 100% Australian Merino Wool. A MicroMerino® Fabric.
Midweight 255gsm French Terry 100% Australian Merino Wool. A MicroMerino® Fabric.