Ian Hosek competes at the Obstacle Court Racing World Championships in Belgium. | Courtesy photo
DRIGGS — Ian Hosek recently returned from Belgium, where he competed in the Obstacle Course Racing World Championships.
As he explained to EastIdahoNews.com, Hosek aimed to finish in the top 15 to 20, but his 32nd-place finish is not exactly a disappointment.
“That was not as good as I wanted to be, even though there was a very high level of competition,” he said. “… I could have done worse, but I could have done better.”
Of the 1,500 or so competitors at the event, around 150 were in Hosek’s division — meaning he beat over 100 of the world’s best obstacle course racers.
Utah Spartan Race | Courtesy photo
Hosek grew up in Montana, playing team sports like soccer and ice hockey. And though he has always enjoyed mountain biking, while he was in college at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo he took up running and mountain climbing.
Then, he said, someone suggested he try obstacle course racing — and he loved it instantly.
He competed in one race before taking the winter and spring to train. When he came back the following summer, he won his first race. He began competing at the top level two years later, in 2014, then applied and qualified for the U.S. Team this year.
There are many great obstacle course athletes in this country, he said. But the European competitors are currently competing at a higher level, and they challenge themselves with tougher courses.
While at the World Championships last month, Hosek experienced firsthand what makes the European “implements” — also called “rigs” — more difficult. Traditionally, he said, hand holes on European courses are smaller and further apart, and there are more of them.
The small changes led to a few slip-ups, Hosek explained, and his fellow competitors capitalized on his mistakes.
With the obstacle course racing season all but over, Hosek is ready to slide into his offseason training regimen — which will include skiing, ice hockey and anything else he can find to push himself.
“All of the fun winter things that you can do,” he laughed.
But next season, he will be ready to compete again and plans to go back to the World Championships for years to come — with better results, for both him and the country he represents.
“European athletes are a lot better than the U.S. athletes at specific obstacles, but we do have some good athletes over here and this is something I want to see more of (from Americans).”
Chicago Savage Race | Courtesy photo
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