OCR Champion Carina Marx

Carina Marx

Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) is one of the fastest growing sports in the world and Carina Marx is no stranger to the industry. 

Sports Discipline: Obstacle Course Racing Champion

Age: 34

Resides: Johannesburg, South Africa 


  • Qualified for European OCR Champs 21 May 2017, Netherlands
  • Qualified for Spartan World Champs 27 May 2017, Spain
  • 2016 SA OCR Champs –  3rd elite lady
  • 2016 World OCR Champs, Canada – 12th elite lady
  • 11 podiums in 2016 & 6 podiums in 2015 (first year of racing) – 2 x 1st, 5 x 2nd  & 4 x 3rd

Give us a brief outline of your in-season training routine.

Mondays are generally an active recovery day, because I either race or run a long run on a Sunday.

On Tuesday and Thursday I do 2 sessions a day. This includes hill intervals or sprint work before lunch time, and a short high-intensity interval training session in the evening.

Wednesday I do a grip and obstacle session at Battlerush and a short easy run in the late afternoon.

Friday is play day! It normally consist of a loooong obstacle endurance session. (+/- 3 hours)

Saturday is also an active recovery day with a short cardio session to recover the legs after a long hard week.

Are there big differences in your on- and off-season nutrition?

I race all year round, so I try to live a healthful and balanced lifestyle. I resent extreme diets and strongly believe in a balanced and sustainable approach. I have one cheat meal a week. It’s usually a braai with friends or family in true South African style. That’s when I would have anything that I wouldn’t normally eat or drink. When I have a big upcoming race, I would exclude that cheat meal as well, though.

What advice would you give to a woman who want to pursue a sport like yours?

Go for it! Don’t be intimidated by the sport. Take some friends along and just have fun! You will experience true camaraderie, loads of laughter, and discover the inner strength you have, both mentally and physically. You never know where OCR can take you!

What are your thoughts on female equality in your sport? Have you seen growth in participants over the past few years?

I feel that women work just as hard to complete these races and, unlike tennis, the ladies do equal amounts of obstacles as the men. While ladies sometimes get simplified obstacles, they mostly have to overcome the same that the men do. Women simply don’t have the same physiological abilities as men in certain areas and has to be accommodated. Generally, men have a lot of respect for women in OCR, and visa versa.

Internationally, obstacle course racing has grown in leaps and bounds, to the point where it has overtaken triathlon, marathons and half marathons combined, in terms of participation. It’s the fastest-growing sport in the world and discussions are well under way to get OCR to the Olympics by 2020.

Is there something you wish you knew when you started?

I wish I knew how good technique makes life so much simpler. You don’t need half the strength when your technique is spot on.

Author: Tanja Schmitz

Founder and Editor of Fitness Magazine. You’ll find her behind her computer or on her bike, dreaming up new ways to improve or create content for you.