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!

Scott Brackemyer

42 year old Scott Brackemyer is a self described "Eliteish" racer from Dekalb Illinois. The father of four loves to travel with his family to races to spread the good word of OCR and living a healthy lifestyle.

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