On January 6th, 2020 a video was uploaded to the Black Diamond Obstacle Course Facebook page. The video was created and hosted by Jason Goggins and drew viewers in for a “breaking news” update. That news, was as follows: as of January 8th, 2020 Goggins will be leaving his position as the Fitness Director at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Columbus.
As the fitness director at the JCC for the past six years, Goggins was responsible for developing and maintaining the Black Diamond Obstacle Course – a fixed training and competitive obstacle course that has been used by thousands of OCR enthusiasts from all over the United States. The course has earned recognition as the winner of the Best of OCR Mud Run Guide award for Best Training Facility 2019 and has hosted OCR events including Memorial Day Mayhem, Pack Games, DRX Games, Winter Solider, the USAOCR Championships and more.
Now, after five years of continual development, expansion, and positive community impact, its future is foggy. In hopes of gaining some clarity, I spoke with Goggins to get a better look at what he and the Black Diamonds’ future holds.
So, what does Goggins’ departure from the JCC mean for the future of OCR at the Black Diamond Obstacle Course?
The short answer…the jury is still out. Goggins has expressed a desire to stay on as the Race Director; however, confirmation has not been received that this transition will be available. As for now, the Black Diamond training course will remain a part of the JCC and members will still have access to use it in their training; however, the scheduling of OCR events such as Memorial Day Mayhem are on hold.
It was mentioned in the Facebook video that we can still expect to see Goggins on courses as a fellow racer; however, I was curious if his departure meant the possibility of seeing him in a larger, facilitating role with other OCR brands and events. Goggins stated that, “As of right now I have no other agreements with any other brands. I have though been approached by multiple new venues to help design and build courses. I do not have an agreement to do such…yet.”
As the Black Diamond was a small, yet intensive portion of his larger JCC Fitness Director responsibilities, Goggins says that choosing to leave the Black Diamond was the toughest part of his decision. That said, he is excited to continue on as a figure in the fitness realm with new opportunities for growth and advancement. “I will be staying in the fitness world and moving on to a new brand to the Columbus market called Shred415. My charge is to help them grow and expand in the Columbus area,” Goggins says.
In his departure from the JCC, Goggins has challenged the community to “Let the people that be know.” I asked Goggins what specifically we, as the OCR community, can do to support and encourage the continuance of the Black Diamond Obstacle Course. In response, Goggins urges us to “Let the powers that be know how important it is for the community as a whole, the OCR community specifically and for individuals on their fitness journeys. Share your stories!”
Goggins says, “I loved my time at the JCC and my family grew up there (14 years) so it will always have a special place in my heart and I wish nothing but the best to them as an organization. My hope is that the Black Diamond continues to operate as it has in the past and is able to hold events in 2020 and truly celebrates its title as the World’s Best Training Facility/Fixed Course Location”.
Subsequent to the video and our interview, it seems as though we are left with our fingers, toes, and heartstrings crossed – hoping that the course remains open for the annual Memorial Day Mayhem and the many other OCR events and training opportunities that are loved by the greater community.
To Jason, as such an influential member of the local running and OCR community, we respect your decision, and wish you the best in your personal and career endeavors and are excited to see the growth you will attain and create in your new role.
As for the rest of us, we will wait patiently to see the fate of the Black Diamond Obstacle Course and perhaps take a moment to share our stories of the impact this course has had for us and our community.
Do you have a memory, a story, a moment of impact from the Black Diamond Obstacle Course? Let us know in the comments below!