The meteoric rise of obstacle course racing (OCR) in South Africa has been fuelled to a large etent by the ever-popular Warrior OCR events, which launched in 2013.
Today, Toyota Warrior, powered by Reebok, remains at the forefront of OCR in South Africa with world-class obstacles, innovative courses and over 4,000 competitors, including many of the country’s top OCR athletes.
In support of the continued growth of the South African OCR community, Advendurance and Toyota Warrior have created an athlete programme, providing a platform for athletes to grow and develop to their full potential.
Thomas van Tonder, arguably one of South Africa’s top OCR athletes, has been selected as the first Warrior Brand Ambassador. Thomas started racing OCR in 2014. He took up training with Warrior Fit Coaching on an OCR specific programme, which led him to straight victories back to back.
Max Cluer, founder and manager of Jeep Team South Africa, spotted van Tonder’s talent early on and invited him to join the Jeep Team. Van Tonder joined teammates like paddling legend, ten-times World Marathon Champion, Hank McGregor, trail running champion, Christiaan Greyling, and World Multisport Champion, Robyn Owen.
For the last 4 years he has since been competing at the highest level in OCR, delivering consistent results. Amongst many other wins, van Tonder has won 16 Warrior Black Ops Elite titles, and placed second in 18 races, with one third place. He won the National Championship and Series Championship in 2016 and was runner up in 2017. Van Tonder has also won all 14 of the Beast OCR elite titles since The Beast’s inception.
Internationally, Thomas has also competed in four OCR World Championships, placing in the top 10 in three events. Van Tonder will be the first Warrior Athlete in the programme with his eyes set on the first South African OCR Championship happening at Blythedale Coastal Estate on the KZN North Coast on the 14 and 15 July 2018, and future OCR World Championships.