Burgess puts in big effort to retain his World crown
JASON Burgess has successfully defended his OCR world championship title and admits it was hard work.
Leek-based Burgess said it was important to prove last year in Canada was not a oneoff and was delighted to once again claim the gold medal ahead of Poland’s Robert Kryzystyniak, who finished just over a mintue behind Burgess’s time of 1-40.03.
His Team GB colleague Dave Rogers was third in a time of 1-42.08 as the world elite athletes competed against one another in the extremely testing terrain in Kelvedon Hatch, Essex.
“This defence of my world title was always what I felt I needed to do to prove winning it last year was not a one-off and I have to say it was much tougher than the title I won last year, and I think that’s down to the added pressure of being race favourite,” said Burgess.
“I’ve had a lot of support from the people of Leek and my team-mates at Buxton & Mudstacles machines, as well as the staff at Brough Park Leisure Centre for letting me use the facilities there for training. My success is also down to coach Dave Owen, who has made sure I have prepared properly the championship.”
And Owen believes the title clearly establishes Burgress as the world number one in his sport (Obstacle Course Racing).
Owen explained: “He now holds consecutive World titles and European gold to back up his claim. It is an awesome achievement from a local lad who we all know just loves sport and competition.
“He is an inspitation to me and our group of athletes who train together in Leek at Birchall. I have told him it is time to quit as this elite level, but my guess is he will want to defend his European crown next summer,” added coach Owen.
Burgess, competing in the 40-44 age group category, hit the front early alongside a number of other athletes from GB, Poland and Australia with no-one giving ground during the early stages of the 15K course, and just before the half-way point, Burgess finally hit the front of the lead group.
It was at this point that he experienced his first problem, made worse by an arm strain, which had not stopped him competing, but nevertheless, had been on both his and his coach’s mind through the two months leading up to the race.
Burgess had to attempt the hanging rings section more than once to gain full completion without any penalties, which would have meant the end of his medal chances, and he frustratingly dropped to fourth place overall.
There was still almost half the course remaining and it was at this point that Burgess made a key decision to remain calm and use his experience to make up ground on those in the medal places.
Burgess passed GB teammate Rogers to move into third and then quickly passed the top Australian athlete to consolidate second place where, despite fatigue setting in from more than an hour of competition, he settled himself and regained composure before making an assault on the lead runner. He finally passed Poland’s Krzystyniak in the closing kilometeres and once back in top spot there was only going to be one winner and he relentlessly pushed on to take the gold medal.
World champion Jason Burgess, right, and his coach Dave Owen.