Mon | Dec 11, 2017

From Guardsman Games to the world!

Published:Friday | October 6, 2017 | 12:00 AMKeisha Hill
Patrons looking on at the Guardsman Games 2017 at Hope Gardens, St Andrew.
George Overton
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For the first time, a Jamaican will be participating in the fourth staging of the Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) World Championships to be held in Ontario, Canada, from October 13-15, 2017. Peter Morrison, winner of the Guardsman Games Obstacle Course (OCR) Challenge will represent the island during the three- day event that has served as the premier independent world championships for the sport of obstacle racing.

Now drawing athletes from over 65 nations, the OCR World Championships features both professional and amateur age-group competitions. Competition formats include three-kilometre, 15-kilometre, 24-hour, and team racing events.

Morrison is excited that he will be making history by participating in this event and is looking forward to the championships. "I have worked hard over the years and all my expectations are now being met. The fact that I qualified for the event is phenomenal. I am injury-free and I intend to give my best performance during the championships," he said.

Leading up to the OCR World Championships, Morrison has continued his training and conditioning at the Spartan Health Club in St Andrew. Twice per day, and for a minimum of four hours during each session, Morrison is ensuring that he will be in the best shape of his life.

"OCR is practical and can be used in everyday life, and since movement is fundamental to life, I think everyone should include a minimum of OCR-specific exercises in their fitness routine. Most people think you have to be a crazy fit athlete, but you don't. All of the necessary skills and physical requirements can be mastered doing the right types of exercises on a consistent basis," Morrison said.

Over the years, Morrison has competed in several competitions locally, including 5K, 10K and half-marathons and has taken the top spot in many of these events, including the Kingston City Run. "This is a talent of mine and I like to compete in these events. It allows me to build my focus and gives me the ability to pace myself. It also helps me with balance in my personal life," he said.

Morrison has expressed gratitude to the Guardsman Group for the opportunity to showcase his skills on the international scene. "Guardsman has done a lot in not only hosting the first obstacle course race in Jamaica, but also in facilitating this trip to Canada. It is a fantastic opportunity," he said.

More options for visitors

Lieutenant Commander George Overton, director of operations at the Guardsman Group, said sports tourism is fast becoming a platform to incorporate social and cultural features of the host community, city or country into the overall tourist experience. Hosting the OCR Challenge at the Guardsman Games, he said, has given tourism interests another reason to visit the island and become involved in the competition.

"It is good for Jamaica to stage a OCR World Championships-qualifying event. The more visibility Jamaica gets in this area, the more people will want to travel to Jamaica to participate in the competition. These events will also serve as a good occasion to showcase the cultural heritage of our country, such as our history, historical sites, food, music, art, architecture, and, overall, what makes us most unique and interesting to want to return in the immediate future," Overton said.

keisha.hill@gleanerjm.com