Conquer Challenge | Philippines | Ria
Welcome to episode 8 of TheOCRPodcast.
In this episode, we talk to Ria from Conquer Challenge! They are a local OCR event from the Philippines and I love their obstacle format.
If you would like to find out more information about them, here is their IG link and their FB Page!
IG – @Conquerchallenge
[0:35] Justin: So before we begin, can we do a short introduction about yourself? Where are you from and how did you get started off in obstacle course racing (OCR)?
[0:48] Ria: Hi everyone my name is Ria, from Manila, Philippines. I’m here to represent the Conquer challenge. I’ve been doing OCR since 2016. I think as far as I remember my first race was a Spartan race Super in Malaysia.
[1:50] Justin: So what got you into OCR?
[1:54] Ria: Well, we got introduced to OCR by accident because my team and I, we actually belong to a dragon boating rowing team and we were training for a 10km race in Singapore. We were looking for a cross-training sport that we could do and then we started doing OCR training. So we were really just preparing for a different race, not OCR. So when the 10km race in Singapore was already done, we didn’t want to go back to dragon boat rowing anymore. We shifted back to OCR.
Conquer Challenge: How it all started
[2:36] Justin: So how did you get into Conquer challenge?
[2:44] Ria: Conquer challenge race is actually the brainchild of this team that I was talking to you about. Just a group of highly passionate people for OCR. In one of our get-together, we asked ourselves- why don’t we organise a race that we can offer the Filipinos? We know how races are abroad and Spartan then is not yet here in Manila. So we said we want to give them a well-organised race just like a Spartan race but held locally.
[3:44] Justin: So you guys organised your first race before Spartan race came into the Philippines right?
[3:48] Ria: Yes, our first event was in 2017, there was no Spartan race yet here in the Philippines. We just had one race then.
Conquer Challenge: Race Format
[5:17] Justin: Tell us more about the Conquer Challenge – so what are the race formats available?
[5:23] Ria: We have a short course – as short as 1.5km really enticing beginners and kids. And we had as long as 10 km where we wanted the endurance of our athletes and see if they could go for longer distances even if they are just beginners for the sport. (5:46) Well, for 5km distance, if I remember it right, I think we had about 20 obstacles for that: it’s a mix of obstacles that would test your strength, precision and we also try to put signature obstacles or what we call something that is going to be our own. We want to keep it as local as it is.
Conquer Challenge: Obstacles
[10:03] Justin: Obstacle-wise, what can we expect other than the usual obstacle that we see in most obstacle course race like Spartan race, just to give the audience an understanding of what is going on?
[6:05] Ria: We tried incorporating like a ‘tirador’; if Spartan has a spear throw; Conquer Challenge has the ‘tirador’ or a slingshot. Slingshot is actually a popular street game here in the Philippines.
There are some races where we had the laser guns so just giving it a mix; some are just like Spartan obstacles which we also have rope climb and walls which are the basic obstacles that you can see in any OCR but we also try to put in others that you won’t see in Spartan.
We also have another signature obstacle that we have is a ‘taho carry’. It is having 2 pails on both of your shoulders with a wooden plank across it. All you have to do is to carry it from one end to another. Carrying it is easy because it is just a matter of strength but walking with it is a different thing because the pails get to pivot around and sometimes it gets tricky with it especially if the trail is not even or you would put in a place wherein there is a little bit of elevation so gets to be a little bit more difficult. We also have the ‘tire wall’, it’s like a regular wooden wall but it is made out of tires. It swivels around – it is not that easy for you to go up – so you just have to be careful doing that.
Conquer Challenge: Penalty
[7:19] Justin: I understand that you guys for penalty wise, if I remember correctly – you use a band system, right? Personally, I love it so why don’t you share what is the band system like to the audience?
[7:30] Ria: The race band is used as our penalty system where racers have to complete each obstacle to avoid getting bands cut. So if you don’t get to complete an obstacle, one band will be cut. A cut band is equivalent to a 100m sandbag carry. If it’s a guy they get to carry two sandbags; if it’s a woman you have to carry one. The rule is that the sandbags cannot be dragged on the ground and all the penalties must be executed before the racer crosses the finish line. There is an area at the end of the race dedicated to performing the penalty. So in order for you to finish with an award, you must have at least one band to qualify.