Brandon Hulley: OCR WC and Fortuner 4×4 Challenge Winner!

How did you find your first OCR World Championships?

I was not expecting it to be that difficult. There was just so many obstacles that it seemed like it would never end. It was unlike any other race I have ever done before but I can say that no matter how much it damaged me, I will definitely come back because it was just so much fun.

What was the competition like?

It was really tough, there were way more obstacles then we are used to here in SA. This forced you to slow down and pace yourself or you would burn out to quick. However, I can say that it is one of the most amazing races you could ever do.

Was it tough racing 3 days in a row?

Yes without a doubt. It definitely tested your mental strength and made you race with your heart to keep going.

How did you prepare for OCR WC?

I was on a very strict training program where I would train 5 times a week. I would also try and compete in as many races as I could to get used to pushing my body over and over again.

How would you prepare differently in future?

I would start focusing more on eating right to get the best out of my body.

Describe the feeling coming over that finish line/ standing on the podium

When I crossed that finish line I was overwhelmed with emotion knowing that I gave everything I had in those races, and when I stood on the podium I felt proud to be a South African.

Do you think your ocr training helped prepare you for the ultimate Fortuner 4×4 Challenge?

There is no doubt in my mind that OCR was the reason why I did so well in the Fortuner 4×4 Challenge because I do not know any other sport that can teach you to adapt do quickly to any sudden change and make you mentally strong enough to take on anything.

What did this challenge entail?

The challenge consisted of 7 task split up over 2 days (the first two tasks being on the first day and the remaining 5 tasks being done on the second day). These tasks were designed to push you both physically and mentally, as well as to see how well you can adapt to any situation and work with other people.

What was the highlight of the challenge and of OCRWC?

I would say just being able to experience and be a part of those amazing events.

Got any plans with your new ride?

I plan to use this amazing vehicle to participate in more amazing experiences and events (hopefully don’t get pulled over a lot for looking too young)

Been a big few weeks for you! Anyone you’d like to show some appreciation towards?

I would like to say thank you to my whole family for all the amazing support and encouragement they have given me. Specifically, I would like to thank my mom and dad for always being there for me and for all the sacrifices they have made for me. Most importantly though, I would like to thank God for always giving me the strength to keep going and never give up. The final thing that I would like to say is that if you work hard enough and find that one thing that keeps you motivated, then you can achieve whatever you set your mind to.

If you could just elaborate a bit what a typical weeks training in the build-up to worlds would look like?

My typical training week consisted of Monday rest day, Tuesday track (a couple of fast laps at a specific pace), Wednesday was cross-fit style training with weights, Thursday is hills (a warm-up run then, multiple timed hill sprints), Friday rest day, Saturday ocr simulation (simulating a race where there would be running, obstacles nd carries) Sunday long run (normally 15km)

Then if you could explain a few of the tasks you had to do in the challenge?

The tasks for the Fortuner 4×4 Challenge was broken up into 2 days.
  • Day 1:
    • Task 1 – A team row across a lagoon, where a mind challenge awaited you on the other side. First team to finish both wins.
    • Task 2 – A night run with navigation involved. The one member of the team would run then the other teammate would be on a golf cart following them and telling them when/where to turn at certain points. Teams were set off at 4 min intervals with the fastest team to complete the 4.8km being the winner.
  • Day 2:
    • Task 3 – pulling a Toyota Fortuner up a slight hill to a certain point then trying to get as many planks underneath the tyres of the Fortuner without touching it. The team with the most planks under the tyres wins.
    • Task 4 – Archery. Both members of the team would shoot 3 different targets which would start at a close distance then increase in distance. Team with the most points (based on how close you shoot to the centre)
    • Task 5 – a 5km uphill mountain bike challenge. The contestants of each team would be set off in 4 min intervals and cycle up a mountain, the fastest time wins.
    • Task 6 – A personalised Obstacle Course Race. Both members from each team would compete against each other in a 2km Obstacle Course Race consisting of carries, obstacles as well as a list of materials you need to collect (by typing in the coordinates that are supplied to you when you reach that point) to construct a structure which will allow you to reach a bell in the centre of a small pond without touching the water. First team member to ring the bell wins
    • Task 7 – A lapped cycle challenge. The contestant would cycle 1km laps while the celebrity would try to jack up the car and remove a rope out from underneath the 2 tyres, however for every lap that the contestant does and the celebrity hasn’t removed the rope then there would be a small penalty loop. The team with the most loops wins

Also, what is your current profession/ aspirations?

This year I took a gap year to compete in as many obstacle course races as I can, as I do not know how much time I will have to race next year because next year I plan to study in university. But it was the best decision I have ever made to take a gap year because it allowed me to focus on obstacle course racing and achieve the goals that I set out for myself.

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