Raising the OCR bar

Australian Obstacle Racing News   |   Feb 5, 2018

For some OCR enthusiasts, a Spartan Beast is the longest race they’d ever attempt as the thought of being on course for longer than a few hours is enough to make their blood boil. For others, the lure of an epic challenge lies in a 24-hour race format (such as True Grit Enduro or World’s Toughest Mudder), which sees people complete as many laps of a course as possible in a 24-hour time limit.

But for one man, even the idea of a 24-hour obstacle course race isn’t challenging enough. Enter David Holleran.

Hailing from the small town of Mundubbera in Queensland (pop. 1253), David holds over 25 Guinness World Records, has completed over 100 ultramarathons, holds the world record for the world’s longest triathlon, and was the first man to run around Australia (no small feat considering the size of the country!). To say he’s a fitness enthusiast would be a bit of an understatement.

David enjoys the challenges that come with endurance events, and his next test is certainly not for the faint hearted. David is setting his sights on a new world record for the world’s longest obstacle course run. The challenge will see David attempt 1000 obstacles over 500km, within a 12-day time limit.

When asked why he’s attempting such an epic feat of endurance, David provided three reasons:

  1. OCR provided him with a renewed love of ultra-endurance events and he enjoys combining the two;
  2. He wants to have another world record;

but ultimately…

  1. It’s for fun!

While a 500km obstacle course race may not be everyone’s cup of tea, for this 61-year-old small-town man, it’s just another page in his ever-growing book of incredible feats of endurance.

If records are anything to go by, David is arguably the greatest and most successful endurance athlete in the world, and despite the lure of another world record, he hopes that this challenge inspires others to get off the couch and push themselves to their own physical and mental limits.

The challenge will be physically demanding as David will run over 30 laps of a 15km course, filled with military style obstacles (such as walls, 30kg sandbag carry, cargo nets, farmer’s carry etc.), but it is the mental aspect that will take its toll. The mind will often give up before the body does, and anyone who has attempted a repetitive race will understand the boredom that sometimes comes with it. To combat this, David is focussing on mental strength and resilience as part of his training program.

David has been building man-made obstacles for the course, and will also be utilising some of mother nature’s obstacles on course (such as hills and dams to swim across). With the event being held at the end of the wet season, the weather may also be an obstacle that he will have to overcome.

The rules will be similar to those at True Grit – every obstacle must be attempted, but if it cannot be completed then a penalty of 10 burpees applies. But in saying that, David hopes to achieve 100% obstacle completion.

Not only is this world record attempt a personal challenge, but it’s also a means of raising awareness and funds for a well-deserved charity - LifeFlight. LifeFlight is one of Australia’s largest aeromedical charities that provide rapid response medical care to people in need. Organisations like LifeFlight make emergency medical response accessible to everyone, no matter how remote their home may be.

We at Obstacle Racers Australia will be closely following David’s attempt, and hope to bring you updates during the event as to how he’s going, so stay tuned. In the meantime, you can support David and LifeFlight by donating via Everydayhero:


The stats:

Total Distance: 500km – comprising of 34 laps of a 15km course.

Obstacles: 1000 – with around 30-35 per lap.

Date: 26 March 2018, starting at midday.

Time limit: 12 days.

Location: Eidsvold Showgrounds, Eidsvold, Queensland.