The Battlegrounds

The first of two events held at the permanent OCR location called The Battlegrounds near Cedar Lake Missouri was held on May 20th in what could best be called monsoon rains. The OCRWC qualifying course was originally designed to be a 5-mile loop, but due to the heavy rain, race director Robert Holm was forced to scramble and reroute the course before the 8 am start. This made the course longer, as racers were now required to complete two 3.15 mile loops. So, while racers missed out on some of the fantastic obstacles on the back end of the course, they got to hit some of the signature obstacles that the Battlegrounds featured such as The Gauntlet and The Drop Zone twice. This also caused some course crowding due to racers coming across other racers from the next wave on their second lap. With the extremely sloppy terrain and loads of racers lined up at each obstacle, times were slowed. But with over 2,500 athletes racing, there really was nothing much more race management could do, and I applaud their efforts.

The race started a half an hour late due to the quick course redesign with the elite wave of men and women leaving from the festival area with Coach Pain leading the cheers on the microphone. The cut grass trail racers were led down quickly became a muddy mess as athletes raced away from the festival area and onto their first series of mud mounds. All the recent added rain water made every dip into the water a chilling experience! Now cold, wet, and muddy athletes were back onto the trail racing towards the hanging grape vines of the winery across the street. A series of low hurdles was the next set of obstacles for racers to overcome before being led through another freezing pond of water and muck. Back out of the pit the trail became even worse with all the water dripping off athletes making an already sloppy track miserable. Now it was onto a moat crawl with a twist. For open racers, it was just a basic moat crawl, but for elite racers, fencing was added over the top where only a few precious inches separated the water and the fencing testing your lung power and mental toughness. A short jog led us next to the first of two tall cargo net climbs on the course. Another dip into a small pond with a hurdle in the middle and crawl through a mud pit that resembled soup led racers back round to the festival area where the second cargo net climb was located.  A lake crossing on a series of floating pontoon rafts tested one’s balance to the maximum and lifeguards were stationed on both sides of the traverse for safety.

After a brief jaunt back towards the festival area, a low crawl through the drainage tubes under a low bridge awaited racers before being required to climb up a wooden ladder to the top of a platform where a huge water slide was waiting. Once you flew down the slide into the freezing water an athlete had to swim a brief distance and climb out of the water pit area over stacked tractor tires. The trail now circled away from the festival area in a sloppy loop where just keeping your balance in the much was difficult. The nasty trail loop rounded back to the festival area where an inverted wall and a 6-foot-high Irish Table was waiting before climbing up a mud mound to The Drop Zone. Don’t like the high dive at your local pool? Well this very much resembled that feeling because this obstacle required one to jump from a height over 10 feet into a pool and swim out, luckily there were lifeguards stationed all around the pool! At least you got to wash the mud off you right? Hope you were not tired from your swim cause the next task was a wreckbag trail run where the footing was basically nonexistent. The rains had made all trails very difficult to navigate.

After finally making it out of the woods with your wreck bag, a massive mud mound was waiting for you to climb over….with your wreckbag. Talk about a total suckfest! One of the Battlegrounds signature obstacles was next up. The Gauntlet is an obstacle of chance and luck and caused many people, including myself, to get very wet. Suspended over a water pit are a series of lane, that all include a different configuration, on which you must traverse from one side to the other. There may be a fence to cross, or ropes, or a balance beam, or a rock wall. Pick the wrong lane and fall requires one to swim out and start over. Tired after The Gauntlet? Well up next was a pole traverse suspended in the air where an athlete could only use your hands to cross, no leg help here. There was even Air Force personnel there making damn sure you made it all the way to the end before continuing. A lateral rope traverse led athletes towards the finish but not before a slick warped wall climb that would knock the wind out of even the strongest of racers. One last climb over a semi-trailer and one last dip into a small pond were now all that stood between a racer and the finish!

After crossing the finish line, plenty of snacks and drinks were provided and more substantial meals could be purchased in the festival area along with Battlegrounds swag. Plenty of showers were provided to wash all that muck off and they even had two areas where you could get blasted with a fire hose to get that stubborn mud off, plus a few layers of skin. Parking and photos were free and the festival and parking area were easy to navigate. The ability of race management to adjust on the fly really made this a fun event. The conditions sucked, so if you thought ocr was just a “mud run” you wouldn’t have been far off here and although the back half of the course was rerouted there were still plenty of tough obstacles to overcome and I felt thoroughly tested. This event boasted over 2,500 racers and I’ll certainly be back for their next event September 23rd.

Photo Credit: Battlegrounds

Epic Series Los Angeles

So, you like your OCR’s with a little less running and a few more obstacles huh? Does less run, more fun sound right up your alley? Then the Epic Series might be your future event of choice. With obstacles often lined up back to back and total running distances typically less than 2 total miles, Epic offers the ultimate OCR test of functional fitness. The Southern California based company held one of their outstanding events on April 23 at the Los Angeles Police Academy across the street from Dodger Stadium, and I was lucky enough to get the assignment to cover the event. This marked my second time covering an Epic event and the blend of functional fitness and OCR immediately made this my favorite race series. Epic offers three different levels of intensity on each obstacle. For Elite men and women, and for Open runners the difficulty will vary accordingly. For example, a keg carry meant a full keg for men’s elite, half full for women’s elite and empty for open class runners. As a bonus, elite division racers also got to participate in an extra CrossFit style event after the race for more trophies, which I’ll explain later in this article.


Waves started off at 8 a.m. with the elite division leading the way with upcoming waves following every 5 minutes. The Epic flag lap started off the course with a jog around the track carrying a large Epic Series flag on a pole. As a matter of fact, all obstacles were placed inside the track area making the course very compact and offering a great view for spectators along with offering a great opportunity for photos. After finishing the lap and dropping off your flag racers immediately transitioned into a low crawl followed up by a wall traverse. Now things started to get tougher. Atlas Stones over the shoulder for 15 repetitions was waiting next and really started to tax your cardio ability. When finished tossing the stones Epic transitioned into their unique balance obstacle. This consisted of a C shaped beam with small raised platforms placed about two feet apart that required racers to basically hop from one peg to the other. Once finished an athlete had to pick up a slosh pipe for another lap around the track.

After the slosh pipe sprint came the dreaded wall sit. Racers were required to hold an hour glass out in front of them while stuck in the 90-degree wall sit position for three agonizing minutes. Lumberjacks were the next bad ass obstacle on the list. You may have seen something similar on World’s Strongest Man on ESPN. This obstacle consisted on flipping over a long section of square metal tubing over and back. Heave it up, walk it to vertical and push it over before going to the other side and repeating the movement. 15 flips were required here and the task really took it out of you! The rope climb was the next obstacle in line with a twice up and down requirement for obstacle completion and then it was on to the timed plank. Once again, a three-minute hold was required after one flipped over the hour glass to start. I’m almost positive that was the longest three minutes ever. Once complete, athletes were required to run another lap, this one with nothing extra to carry which was a great relief to those of us who were already winded.

Upon completion of the sprint lap, the keg hoist was ready and waiting for you. Three repetitions to the top and back down once again tested that grip strength. A ladder wall followed up the keg hoist before moving on to the toughest obstacle I found at Epic. 15 reps of burpee box jump with a 36-inch-high box. Most of the elite competitors I saw were thoroughly gassed on this obstacle including yours truly. Things got slightly easier for the next two obstacles in line. An inverted wall climb and side to side ab twists with a 30-pound medicine ball. That small break was much needed because next up was another lap to run, with two full jerry cans! Traps and grip screaming towards the end of that lap I guarantee you!

After finally dropping off those damn cans, athletes were finally on the home stretch of the race. This started off with a unique obstacle called The Archer. Targets were lined up which required two hits with a bow and arrow. Yes, OCR with a bow and arrow! I bet you never thought you would see that in a race huh?  After racers got their fun playing Robin Hood a series of three walls were next in line. The Tri Wall, Ladder Wall, and another inverted wall all needed traversed before being led to Barnaby’s Wall which was kind of like a rock climb wall up and over. It was gut check time for the very last obstacle. One placed in this position to see who wanted it more. Athletes were required to run just one more lap, but with a full keg across their backs! Man, I couldn’t wait to ditch that damn can after that final lap. Once complete plenty of vendors were handing out various drinks and some cool bling was put around your neck.

Trophies were given out to the top 3 men and women overall and top 3 men and women masters. Little Epic kiddies had their own race to provide total family fun. Mix that with free parking and free EPIC pictures and you have quite an event! Sponsor tents were all over including The Vitamin Shoppe, BodyArmour Super Drink, Rush 10-8 Gear, and Live Sore with finishers shirts made by Clinch Gear. Now, this was a great event. But if you ran elite there was a little something extra waiting for you……

Set up in an adjoining parking lot was the Epic Strength and Endurance course – only for elite competitors. Elite athletes could choose one of the two with weights and reps being the only difference. First off was a police SUV pull for distance: jump into a harness, get low and go. Right after that was a push press: 10 reps with 135 for Endurance and 5 reps with 185 for strength. Immediately following that was the deadlift: 225 for 10 reps Endurance and 315 for 5 for the big boys. Right after that was an Atlas Stone you needed to throw over a wall and then proceed to jump over the wall for 5 repetitions. An unknown weight tire flip for 5 reps was next up followed by 15 step ups with heavy ass kettlebells. Finally, a sandbag lunge for distance was the last test before a sprint, or crawl to the finish line. Knowledgeable judges were provided for each competitor and a 15-minute time cap was used to keep things rolling. This separate event also gave out trophies for the top 3 male and female in each division. So, if you want a unique OCR race, or an awesome test of functional fitness you must try an Epic Series race in the future!

Hammer Race Minnesota

The sixth edition of The Hammer Race was held April 8th at Bluff Valley Campgrounds near Zumbro, Minnesota. For those of you looking for a different type of OCR challenge this race series might be it. Why? You get to take a buddy with you the entire race! Now it’s not the type of buddy who will talk to you or let you share their gel packs. No, your buddy for the 5.6-mile race is an 8-pound sledgehammer! That’s right, as you could probably have guessed from the race title this event is centered around completing obstacles involving your sledgehammer. Plus, you get the bonus of having to carry your sledgehammer with you up and down the steep back country hills that ended up being around 700 feet of elevation gain, but certainly felt more like twice that!

The Hammer Race starts their events around noon with elite individual and teams starting off first with the open class following up soon after. This noon start time is an excellent idea for smaller race series because it allows racers to make a long-distance drive without having to spend money on a hotel the night before. The start/finish area and festival area is located inside the campground and once the race starts athletes are led for a short distance away from the grounds where a series of walls awaits. One doesn’t have to carry your sledgehammer with you over the walls, simply setting your hammer to the side for retrieval after the wall is negotiated is the rule here. Once the walls are complete racers are led along an easy section of trail to a tire flip. There were decent sized tires of the individual flips and enormous tires for the teams to flip. This obstacle also was to be completed without your sledgehammer, but it was the last time you could complete an obstacle without using it. After the tire flip athletes were led into the wooded hills for our first taste of trying to negotiate the technical trails while trying not to catch the handle of your hammer on everything. Up and down we went till we came to a dug out low crawl which had about enough room to squeeze a small child through and was quite difficult to get through with a sledgehammer. Now racers were led up another hill back to the campground area where a series of low crawl nets installed over stadium seating type benches shaped in a semi-circle. If you thought a standard low crawl was tough try doing it on a curve with a sledgehammer! Now moving across a road towards a sandy section of terrain Hammer placed a series of saw horse type barriers that required being navigated under.

 Now back on the trail athletes were led to a series of tall dirt mounds and along a river where another set of walls were waiting for us to traverse. This led to the first “buck” for athletes which required use of the sledgehammer to knock a log from one side of the “buck” to the other before proceeding on a trail which led to the back side of the grounds. After a nasty climb up a section of hilly terrain made from sand athletes were confronted with a tire drag. Now this wasn’t your normal tire drag, this one was done Hammer Race style. Two car tires were linked together with a hole cut into one end for a racer to slide the handle of their sledge through. Athletes were required to drag this tire setup around a circular section of pavement and back to where they started their drag. One more log on a buck was a short jog away and that led down a steep wooded slope to a section of flat trail. This was one of the very few flat sections of the course but it was the calm before the storm because waiting for racers a short distance away was a unique carry up a paved section of road. Individuals were now required to carry or drag a section of shelves along with their sledge up and back down the road. Now the teams had it much worse here. They were required to push a Prowler-type sled loaded with weighted plates and up and down the road. My team of 5 well-conditioned athletes had to take multiple breaks during this task and we all agreed this was the toughest part of the course.

Hammer Race placed a much-needed water station right after completion of this obstacle and then it was back on the road and over another wall before being led along a grassy trail that ended up with racers getting their feet wet in ankle deep mud along the river. After having our shoes caked in mud Hammer led us up one of the larger and steeper hills thoroughly gassing us as the trail turned into a series of switchbacks up and down some nasty terrain. I lost count of the number of times my sledgehammer handle got caught up on tree branches at this point and my frustration level was mounting. The back third of the Hammer Race was mostly about the terrain and not the obstacles. There were a few walls, another log on a buck, and one tapped off section of forest which required athletes to find their way out through an actual door. But steep hills and valleys mixed with awful footing was the norm here. Add to that the difficulty of negotiating this treacherous terrain with your sledgehammer in tow made this section extremely exhausting.

Hammer-Race-2017-Spring-Start Rounding back on the trail towards the festival area and finish Hammer Race set up a final few obstacles to overcome. Racers started this section by picking up a used car tire and running right back up and around a hill from where they initially came before dropping the tire back off. A short jog on a gravel path led racers to the last 4 obstacles all in a row before crossing the finish line. Those obstacles in order were a log on a buck, a car tire on a buck, low crawl under an A-frame and two last angled walls that needed to be traversed. Refreshments and killer medals were waiting for racers once they crossed the finish line and caught their wind. Post-race warm showers were provided in the campground bathhouse to wash the elements away along with providing a great area for athletes to show each other their battle wounds and talk about the race. Photos for this event were provided free of charge and parking was the standard 10 dollars. So, if you are interested in testing yourself in a unique way, you might want to check out the next Hammer Race this coming October!

BoneFrog Talladega


HESCO BoneFrog launched its second race of the year on March 25th in a location very well known for speed. Talladega Speedway in Alabama was the host site for the Navy SEAL owned and operated event, and while there was no Ricky Bobby, there was a Coach Pain! The weather was perfect for racing, partly sunny skies and temps in the 70’s made this brutal suckfest a little bit more tolerable. 10 dollars for parking got you under the tunnel and onto the racetrack infield where the festival area and start was located along with a few of the actual obstacles making picture taking ideal. The volunteers were all friendly and fast which made the check in a breeze.  Also, located in the infield area were bathroom and shower buildings which is a major upgrade over the usual port a potty thing. Bonefrog offers three different race distances for an athlete to choose from. The sprint, challenge, and a combination of both called Tier 1. After running BoneFrog’s first race earlier in the year at Orlando I was thrilled to be asked to cover their second race of the year for one big reason, new obstacles had been added and I wanted a crack at them!

BoneFrog started us off with a jog through the racetrack infield which really was a massive amount of land to cover and served the purpose of thinning out the crowd before we hit the first obstacle called the siege wall and could best be described as a slip wall with a rope minus the slip. A short distance away was one of my favorite obstacles called rolling thunder. This unique obstacle is series of tires strung together about 5 feet off the ground. Now this might look easy till you jump up on the tires and they spin you back to the ground! This was a killer obstacle for the shorter athlete. Now winding our way towards the open end of the infield we came upon the mouse holes, which is kind of like BoneFrog’s version of over, under, and through. One last infield obstacle, a rope swing over a water pool was in a racers path before finding a water station on our way outside the track. Once outside the track area racers were led up to a 60-degree inverted wall and the new first phase wall {think Battlefrog Delta ladder}. BoneFrog now led us along a grassy trail along the back side of the track where the low crawl was located along with a ring handled traverse suspended off the ground called the swingers club. Grip strength body control really came into play here! BoneFrog is big on its suspended traverse rigs, so work that grip hard before you race your next event with them! Athletes were then led back into the stadium where BoneFrog really used the track stairs to their advantage. The sand bag pulley pull obstacle called dead weight was located here and who could think of running stairs without taking anything with them on the trip? Wreck bags were lined up to be carried up and down the stadium stairs for what seemed like forever.  After dropping off our bags we were led again back outside of the stadium area and on to another BoneFrog suspended traverse called get a grip. This was another series of ring type holds suspended quite a way above the ground and proved to be an area where many elite division athletes were “held” up.

Now racers were led through a section of wooded trail where a series of walls awaited us. Hells gate, a series of five walls increasing in height, then decreasing again was the first wall obstacle followed up by the Irish tables which was a saw horse type structure about 7 feet high! Another aid station was located here at the tables then we set off on again through a thickly wooded section of trail where Bonefrog took advantage of the creek to place their balance beam. Yes, the balance beam was set right over the water and caused an awful lot of wet feet. Now with our shoes soaked we ran along the creek to a burpee fest called 31 heroes. Here each racer called out the name of a fallen soldier before doing a burpee and this totaled 31 burpees. Now winding our way back to the racetrack, we encountered a 9-foot wall to climb then were led back onto some pavement for a tire drag. Bonefrog now led racers up a set of stairs and down to another inverted wall before having us climb up the steep embankment to the top of the track, only to have us slide back down a short distance later.

A low crawl under netting was the last obstacle racers encountered outside the stadium as we were now led through another tunnel and back to the track infield for the last section of the race. A vertical cargo net climb was our first infield obstacle followed up a short distance away by a new rig developed by Bonefrog which used the normal ropes and rings along with a jungle gym type sway bar in the middle. Right after this obstacle was another new Bonefrog traverse called the choppa. Think of it like Savage Races wheel world but with only the spokes. It was a new and difficult obstacle I personally found to be extremely fun! Now getting close to the finish racers were thrown another traverse called the drunken monkey. This was a series of pegs staggered on both sides of a wooden 2 x 12 and was perhaps 30 feet long. Two Bonefrog staples were next up with the rope climb and the ever-popular dirty name. If you’ve never slammed your body into a log suspended in the air you simply must try it once! Now out of breath, either from the running or the slam into the log, an athlete had one last rope climb/monkey bar setup called black ops before one last low crawl to the finish!

I found this BoneFrog race to be a great mixture of distance running, 11.5 miles for Tier 1, 8.5 miles for challenge, and 3.5 miles for the sprint, and bad ass obstacles. The new choppa was a blast to play on along with the new BoneFrog rig. With some other race series becoming easier to better fit the weekend warrior athlete it’s great to see BoneFrog getting tougher. What else would you expect from a series run by Navy SEALs right? Photos were free and of great quality and the race bling was top notch. The kids course could use a little work but kiddies could run it as many times as they wanted. There could have been a few more food and drink vendors on hand but the warm showers made up for that in my book. So, check out their next event in Austin Texas on April 29 for a real test of your fitness level!

Greek Peak Winter Spartan

The first ever Winter Spartan Race on U.S. soil was held March 4th at the Greek Peak Ski Lodge in Cortland, New York. The logistics of the race with start time temperatures around 10 degrees and the wind chill just below zero with light snow were extremely difficult. Registration computers outside were frozen up, literally, and the whole registration process was brought inside causing the whole race to be an hour behind schedule. Spartan told me after the race that they asked the resort numerous times to hold registration inside but were continually told no until there was no other choice. This also caused numerous slight bottlenecks along the race due to people jumping the gate and overcrowding waves. The 3.45-mile course climbed up just under a thousand feet and wound through the ski runs and surrounding forest in typical Spartan fashion. Volunteers were just as frozen as the water at the aid stations and the footing was treacherous at best making this the longest quick sprint I’ve ever raced.

At 9:30am, the first wave of the day finally started off with a dash up one of the ski slopes that had the effect of immediately thinning out the herd of racers before making a right turn away from the festival area and into the surrounding forest. A single lane path of ice led racers down the distance we just raced up until we were presented with our first “hurdle”. Yes, the Spartan 5 foot hurdles were our first obstacle to navigate over before being presented with our first wall to climb. Once up and over, a short jog took us to a short barbed wire crawl on a sheet of ice where the wind was blowing chunks of snow and ice chips right into our faces. Now back on the icy trail, Spartan led us through another short jog through the woods and another wall climb leading up to the Spartan Rig. This was the basic ring only rig and we all were happy about that as the brutal temps had our hands frozen and stiff. The more difficult multi-rig would have been brutal to traverse under these conditions, and I feel Spartan made the right choice only using the rings.

Spartan now led us away from the festival area and ski slopes to more moderate pasture type terrain where the sled drag and carry was located along with the Atlas Stone. The Atlas Stone ended up being one of the tougher obstacles on the day because they were all covered in ice! It was truly humbling trying to get a grip on that sucker. A frozen creek crossing was next up on our way to the bucket brigade along a single path through the prairie type terrain. After dumping our buckets, we were on our way back towards the festival area where the vertical cargo net and rope climb sapped our strength before hitting the Herc Hoist. The frozen ropes seriously tested a racer climbing skills and grip strength. Ice on the rope with frozen hands made this way tougher than usual. The spear throw was next up after a short jog and the strong winds really played tricks with the spear’s accuracy. Now Spartan led us back towards the festival area for an inverted wall climb and then back up the ski slope where the A-Frame cargo climb was set up.

Now climbing our way up the slope, once again Spartan created a unique snow quarter pipe with ropes anchored from the top to help an athlete get to the top. Now athletes were led through the forest where the frozen sandbag carry was located. Up the slope through the woods along a single path filled with ice and downed trees along the way made the climb a tough one. The way descent back down the slope with the sandbag was almost as bad as going up because the footing was so slippery! Now, finally on our way back down towards the festival and the finish Spartan placed a series of icy snow mounds for athletes to climb over before a steep, speedy, and slippery decent down to a very slick slip wall. The normal dunk wall was replaced with a wall over a dugout snow pit where the hardest part was trying to climb out before finally getting to the fire jump and finish where, once I crossed, I promptly slipped and fell on my rear end. First time ever I received my medal while seated.

I consider the first Winter Spartan to be a huge success. After the initial delay described above, I found the course and conditions to be plenty tough. The weather really made the normal Spartan obstacles much more challenging. All the racers I spoke to afterwards agreed that they all had a great time and really enjoyed the course. Hopefully this success will lead to more winter OCR events around the country. My personal view is that OCR is tough, and that’s why we do it. But OCR below zero really will test what you’re made of!


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HESCO Bone Frog: Orlando

The BoneFrog Series OCR got it’s 2017 racing season started off February 25 th in Sorrento Florida. Being owned and operated by former Navy Seals instantly gave this race series credibility in my eyes so I left chilly Illinois and flew down to sunny Florida to check things out. The first thing I found out is that BoneFrog offers three different distance levels for racers to choose from at each event. The 3-5-mile sprint course, the 8-10-mile Challenge course, and their signature Tier 1 distance at 13 plus miles. All three of these options could be ran at the Elite or Open level. I found having the convenience of three different distances all in one location an awesome way to offer many varieties to the masses. Something for everyone is a great idea! For the remainder of this article I will be describing the middle level Challenge distance run at the Elite level because this was the one I picked to run.

The Elite racers of each distance started off first thing in the morning all together with our bright green bands on our wrist. BoneFrog chose to use the “fail an obstacle, lose your band” method of keeping track of Elite racers progress and overall I found that the volunteers really made sure the Elites did indeed finish each obstacle. A timing chip with a built-in wrap around the ankle Velcro enclosure might have been the best and quickest way to put on a chip eve and was a great idea. I’m going to cover the first half of the 8.8-mile Challenge race quickly here because it was basically just running along a sandy trail where an occasional low crawl or 6-8-foot wall could be found. The Spider Wall was just some tape placed between 2 trees and the low crawl was just some wire, tape and in one case palm fond placed close to the ground as a couple of examples.

It was on the back half of the course where BoneFrog brought out all their cool stuff and really picked up the difficulty! Starting off with a semi tire drag and pull we were led to the first of the many body weight overhead grip obstacles. On Get a Grip an athlete needed to traverse a series of moving rings from one side to the other. If you like rig work BoneFrog offered many different variations throughout the course to test you. Next up was the Brute Force Carry which required athletes to throw a sandbag on their shoulders for a sandy jog around some of the trees and vegetation and back before setting off back down the trail to Rolling Thunder. This obstacle gave most shorter racers fits. This obstacle consisted of a horizontal chest high pole covered with different sized tires that would spin. I personally saw many people jump up only to get spun back to the ground. Another of the signature BoneFrog obstacles, Hell’s Gate, was a short distance away and proved to be tough. Hell’s Gate was a series gradual ascending and descending walls all spaced about four feet apart.  The wall sizes were 4 foot, 6 foot, 9 foot, and back down to 6 and then 4 feet. Now feeling very winded BoneFrog set up along the trail the Dirty Name, or sternum checker as most racers have come to know it.

 

Grip strength was a major obstacle focus on the last quarter of the course starting with the Drunken Monkey. This was an overhead peg traverse set into 2 by 12 posts and was suspended maybe 15 feet above the ground. Along the way back to the festival area a unique obstacle called 31 Hero’s gassed out racers in a major way. Names of fallen soldiers were to be called off with a burpee done between each name was how it was completed and let to my personal nemesis Swingers Club. This was a nun chuck style rig traverse that cost me a few tries and a few blisters! Now back near the festival area we had a completely vertical net climb to further sap our grip strength followed up by a rope swing suspended over a pool of water. The last obstacles all situated in a row were a rope climb, dead man’s carry {wreck bag on a pully}, and the Black Ops apparatus. This was a rope climb into a monkey bar traverse and then down into a muddy low crawl before crossing the finish line. The Black Ops obstacle provided the best photo op area because there was a huge American flag behind the monkey bars and looked awesome.

My basic overview of the course was the first half was more like a trail race and the back half was more like a bad ass Seal course. Perhaps better obstacle placement would make this feel more like a complete course, or maybe BoneFrog just wanted to lull you into a false sense of difficulty. Either way, I would certainly do another event, maybe Tier 1 next time! The medals were nice and the BoneFrog apparel tent offered plenty of cool stuff to purchase. Parking was the standard 10 bucks and was located a quarter mile away from the festival area. Photos were free and spectators were free to walk around and see you race at most locations. My conclusion is that Bonefrog is defiantly worth doing, but might be needing a little better management. If you want to catch their next event it’s March 25th at Talladega Speedway in Alabama!