As the sport has grown a lot of these races have sought out athletes to promote their race, along with even offering sponsorship to the top athletes. One of the best in the world and the number 1 ranked right now is Ryan Atkins, who is sponsored by BattleFrog. To say Ryan is good would be an understatement. The man is a monster, he has already won every BattleFrog event this season along with a few Spartan races. Earlier in the year he won the Worlds Toughest Mudder, and last season finished second at the Obstacle World Championships. Since Ryan is a sponsored OCR racing is basically his job, almost every weekend you can find him doing a race. He is easy to spot usually because he is out in front and he is wearing his BattleFrog gear.
One thing that we are seeing more and more is runners showing up to races wearing the gear of their favorite series. For the athletes it is more of a trash talking thing and a way to brag about who's series is the best, but for the actual series is seems that it means a lot more. This past weekend Ryan ran and won a Spartan race. After he finished he changed into jean shorts and his BattleFrog T-Shirt. The picture below is after he changed.
Like any other race they called the winners to the podium to receive their awards and take a picture of the winners. Now notice if you can see what is different with the picture below.
If you haven't noticed it let me point it out for you. The Spartan series did a little editing with the photo and now Ryan isn't wearing his BattleFrog shirt. Here is my problem with this....I understand Spartan doesn't want to promote another race in a picture, but you have to remember that as the sport grows more and more runners will be sponsored by other races. If you do not want them to win then do not allow them to run in your race, but I can assure you that your race will lose interest very quickly. People want to race the best in the world, and they will go to a different race to do it. The funny thing about this is Spartan has done this before. For me it shows that they do not have a lot of faith in their series and are worried that runners are going to go else where. For the athletes though it is not about who wins and what shirt he is wearing. The athletes all are on the same team and want to push each other to be the best even when competing against each other. Come to one BattleFrog event and before every race you will be blessed to hear some encouraging words from a great man who goes by the name of Coach Dewayne Pain. He not only gets you pumped up but he lets you know that we are all on the same team and if you see a fellow runner that needs help, then help them. Ya, we want to see one of our teammates win the race but if they don't we don't get all upset and tell the race make sure that guy isn't wearing a shirt that supports another race. We will stand there and clap and congratulate him like we should.
here is a link to Coach Pain giving some emotional words before one of the races. He was privileged enough to know a 12 year old girl, who lost her battle with cancer. Hopefully the link works for you to see what these races are all about, not the politics about what series is better.