Chicago Terrain Race

 

Terrain Race Chicago

The Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois played host to the second annual Terrain Race on September 30th. After the collapse of a rig the previous year at this same location I was curious to check out the event again and was pleased to see the craftsmanship of the obstacles was significantly upgraded. All the obstacles felt solid and safe which allowed athletes to really push themselves without worry on the flat and fast course.

The choice of 5k or 10k was offered during registration with a higher fee charged for the 10k, but only the 5k was timed slightly upsetting those who signed up for the competitive 10k. Racers who paid for the 10k could run a second untimed lap if they chose to do so and an unlimited lay option was offered.

Registration took a little time as only two lines check-in lanes were open, one for elite and one for open class. Terrain positioned a volunteer at each obstacle but the knowledge of the rules at some of the more difficult obstacles left some elite racers shaking their heads in frustration. Personally, I feel that all races should identify where their tougher or more confusing obstacles are located and spend extra time making sure that the volunteer at that location knows exactly what’s required for obstacle completion as this would make for a much smoother race.

Plenty of restrooms were available in the lots surrounding the speedway and in the festival area. Parking in those lots set you back 10 dollars and was an easy walking distance of the registration tent.

The Course

Terrain starts their race in a unique and chilly way. Three swimming pools were filled up waist deep with freezing water. This served as the starting corral and proved to be a great way to start off a race as athletes were already subjected to the mental and physical punishment of the cold before the race even started!

After emcee Lashay Marks released us from the Pit of Despair athletes were led through the speedway grounds and over a 4 and 6-foot wall to thin out the herd some before hitting a tall wall with a rope to assist you up and over. This was the first location I noticed a racer backup as athletes had to wait their turn for an opportunity to grab a rope to conquer the wall.

Back now on the mowed grass field, Terrain led racers to a rope climb with a bell tap at the top provided the first grip strength test. This led to the lone muddy area along the course as terrain used a series of tubes, water pits, and mud mounds to get racers dirty.

A very short jog away was a yoke with a car tire attached to each side which athletes placed across their shoulders for a short distance. I’m not sure where this obstacle was supposed to start and stop.  There was a flag a short distance away for athletes to go around but there was no apparent start/stop point given. Since there were not enough yokes to go around an athlete had to wait for someone to finish and pass their yoke to the next person in line. This was another obstacle backup which frustrated those worried about their time and was one of the few obstacles with no volunteer guidance.

Obstacles

Making our way now to the speedway stadium Terrain set up a twice up and back tractor tire flip where athletes once again had to wait their turn for a chance to complete the obstacle. A few more tires located here in the future and the issue would be solved.

Terrain next used the speedway stairs to their advantage with two climbs to the top. One with a Wreckbag, and one without separated by a 5-gallon bucket carry with maybe 3 gallons of water inside each bucket. Heading back out from the parking lot to the grass a tire slam with a sledgehammer for ten yards was set up along a path leading to a ladder climb and cargo net crossing.

The trail now led us on an extended looped back around towards the festival area where the obstacle difficulty increased starting with an 8-foot wall climb immediately followed up by a tractor tire drag down and pull back.

Making our way now to the festival grounds Terrain set up the first of their two rigs. This rig proved to be the easier of the two as the first half included 3 suspended ball holds leading to a high handle followed by 4 low rings which required an athlete to use their feet to make the final transitions where a bell tap signaled fulfillment of the task.

Rigs

A short distance away the second rig was set up. This proved to be the more difficult of the two as the configuration was a repeat of ropes to single high rings. The Tarzan Swing was an appropriate name for this rig and this obstacle caused the greatest bottleneck.

The volunteer situated to explain the finish guideline was less than stellar which left some very confused as to what the finish qualifications were. Once the last rig was completed the last grip intensive obstacle was waiting in the form of a unique set of monkey bars. Situated over a pool of water this traverse led racers on a slight incline to the apex where a set of wooden beams needed to be negotiated past before the trip down the bars which was on a slight decline. These bars were tougher than they looked because some of the metal rods spun while others did not which kept athletes guessing the whole way through. The last obstacle before the finish was a combination of a balance beam leading athletes up to a cargo net crossing finally finishing with a slide down a pole where the finish line was located.

These bars were tougher than they looked because some of the metal rods spun while others did not which kept athletes guessing the whole way through. The last obstacle before the finish was a combination of a balance beam leading athletes up to a cargo net crossing finally finishing with a slide down a pole where the finish line was located.

Overall Thoughts

Despite the above-mentioned hiccups in the event, I found the Terrain Race challenging and would race it again in the future. Terrain clearly made an effort to improve the quality of their obstacles over last year and the low cost helps make this a worthwhile race.

The Chicago Speedway is a cool location to visit. Perhaps spreading out some of the obstacles would help with the racer congestion and spending a little more time instructing the volunteers on the rules couldn’t hurt.

I didn’t notice an area where you could check your finish stats and as of the Tuesday after the race, I still can’t find one online. The medals were not as big as in previous years and the finishers tee shirts were very basic but like I mentioned before, the low cost and challenging course make this a race I would run again.

Terrain Racing Removes 3 Races

Terrain Racing Cancels 3 Races

We have a significant update from yesterday’s Terrain Racing story.  In yesterday’s article, we pointed out that 4 of Terrain’s planned races for the year had closed registration without warning. Also, that some customers had been asking questions about these events, with no response back from Terrain.

I reached Jerry Foreman, co-owner of Terrain Racing this afternoon by phone. Here is how that conversation went.

MD: Can you answer the question about these 4 races being cancelled or rescheduled?

JF: If anything is changed , if anything is cancelled, the athletes will be taken care of. We’re moving forward as a strong and powerful company. The races are still happening.

MD: Is RunSignUp not telling us the truth?

JF: No they are not, they are not our business and don’t know our business plan, I sent them a message when I saw that screenshot you took and they haven’t responded.

MD: If I had a friend who wanted to race next weekend, how would a they register for this race?

JF:   On our website.

MD: So I can register now?

JF: I would hope so, I haven’t looked today.

MD: Do you plan to answer all the people who are asking questions on your Facebook page?

JF: I’m not the one who uses our social media platforms, but Terrain Racing has every plan to answer them.

We then spoke with Bob Bickel, the owner of RunSignUp by phone. He told us:

RunSignUp is up and running, we have taken thousands of transactions today. Each race has control over their own race and how they take registrations and manage their own participants. We can not talk on their behalf, but nothing is wrong with our website.

The Terrain Racing website has been updated since yesterday’s article. As of yesterday’s article’s posting time the events URL (https://terrainracing.com/events) looked like this:

Terrain Racing Miami Cancel

After getting off our call with Bob Bickel, we went to see if registering for the 4 events in question were possible (CT,NY,FL, and TX).

That same page now looks like this:

Terrain Race New York Cancel

It appears that the New York, Florida, and Texas events have been removed from the website. If you attempt to register for those races by going through Terrain’s Facebook page of events, you receive the same error, we got last night, which prohibits you from registering.

Cancel NY Terrain

Obstacle Racing Media’s conclusion is that the Connecticut race is set to take place next weekend on September 10th. It also appears that the New York, Florida, and Texas events are currently without a date or venue.

 

 

 

 

Terrain Racing Canceling Races?

Terrain Race Cancel Races?It has come to our attention that Terrain Racing may be canceling and/or rescheduling some of their 2016 race calendar. This would come as sad news for the OCR world, as it has been only 7 days since BattleFrog cancelled all future races.

We spoke with one of Terrain’s co-owners, Jerry Foreman at the Georgia event in June. Foreman told us at that time that Terrain had been a regional race until this year. He went on to let us know that there were 22 races on the calendar for 2016.

As of this posting, you are currently no longer able to register for the following markets previously listed on Terrain Race’s website and social media pages:

September 10   New England   Thompson Speedway   *This race is currently open, see updated story.

September 17    New York   Aviator Sports and Events Center

November 5      Miami      Amelia Earhart Park

November 12    Houston    Bel Ray Action Sports Park

If attempting to register, you will see this error message:

Cancel NY Terrain

After seeing posts on Terrain’s Facebook page from concerned participants, we reached out to some of the scheduled venues directly. We heard back from all of the venues except Bel Ray Sports Park in Houston.

Terrain Race New York Cancel

We spoke with Brenda from Amelia Earhart Park who said “There is nothing on the schedule for a race on that date.” When asked if there was ever an event scheduled, she told us “No, this is the first that I am hearing of it.”A gentlemen at Aviator Sports and Events Center wasn’t exactly clear to ORM with his answers. He told us “It is currently still on the schedule, but we are waiting to hear what Terrain Racing tell their racers.”

Terrain Racing New England Cancels

We reached out to the site of the proposed New England race, and were told by General Manager Josh Vanada that “Despite reports to the contrary, the Terrain event scheduled for September 10 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park is on as scheduled.” We then asked why participants can not register for the race and were told we need to speak to Terrain Racing about that.

ORM reached Jerry Foreman this afternoon. He told us “Our business and races are healthy and we are happy with our number for our first year with this large growth”.

He was then asked directly “Are you denying races are cancelled?”, to which he replied “That decision has not been made”.

When specifically asked why you can not register for The New England race, he said “I’m not sure”.

We are working feverishly to get you the most accurate information and will post more information as soon as we receive it.

Update  8.31.16  11:15am EST

Last night we heard from Jerry Foreman via text.

We are driven to provide an awesome experience with the money the athletes trust us with. We haven’t failed to do that and we’ve received a lot of support after you posted this article. We want to make the community better and we would love your help doing so.

We responded that we were happy to help. Also, that we would correct/update any information that was incorrect in this article. We then asked for clarity on the registration situation with the 4 races in question.

While we were awaiting Jerry’s response, we also reached out to RunSignUp, the registration site responsible for all of Terrain’s 2016 events, via Facebook.  They responded with the following.

RunSignUp Response

We made Jerry Foreman aware of this communication, and as of this posting, are waiting for his response.

***There has been a significant update to this story concerning official race closings. Read here.

Terrain Race Chicago 2016 – Growing Pains?

Terrain Race held their 2016 Chicago race on August 20 at the Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois.  Terrain Race had 3 options to fit racers’ needs: a 5k course, a 10k course, and an option to run unlimited laps.  The 5k and the 10k started off together with men’s competitive first followed by women’s competitive, and open heats followed.  Podium finishers in both of the races received monetary prizes.  There was NOT a master’s division (40 and up) at this race.

Terrain-Race-Chicago-Start

The unique start corrals, were actually pools of water, in which racers awaited the “go” and had to leap out of the pool quickly to start the race.  The majority of the race was flat running through fields around the Chicagoland Speedway.  It was definitely a “runner’s course” for the majority of the first mile.

Mixed up with the running, were trenches of water and mud mounds, crawls under wires, crawls through tunnels, vertical walls, a 25 pound Wreckbag carry, and then mile 2.5 hit.  There was a slight back up at this point because many competitive heat athletes were having difficulty crossing the “Monkey Balls” obstacle.  After several tries, I saw several competitive heat athletes toss in their arm band, which disqualified them from getting on the podium and winning prize money.Terrain-Race-Chicago-Monkey-Balls

Next up was the wall jump that split the 5k course from the 10k course.  The 5k group was led to the final 4 obstacles at the finish line and the 10k was led on another 4 miles of course and obstacles.  10k runners had a rope climb, several shorter walls to hop over, a mini tarzan swing, a teeter totter, and some stadium stair running.

After the stadium run, we were led back outside of the track where we encountered a tractor tire drag, which led to the final 4 obstacles that were spectator friendly.  The next obstacle in line added to much confusion.  Initially, competitive athletes were told to try as many times as you want, but you must complete each obstacle.  However there was some confusion at one of the final obstacles.  The structure was about 20+ feet long and had racers suspended over a pool of water. They had to use total upper body strength to move from climbing rock to climbing rock, legs suspended.  Halfway through the obstacle was a wood support piece that racers had to navigate around without touching.  The confusion came when some competitive female racers were allowed to go halfway and keep their bands, however this rule was not uniformly enforced.  However, after personally questioning the mishap with the competitive women, both the lady in charge of that obstacle and the race director were not very friendly nor clear on what happened, or why the rules were not consistent for all.Terrain-Race-Chicago-Rig

This hand tearing obstacle led to a tunnel crawl, more muddy trenches and more muddy mounds, followed by a suspended cargo net climb about 5 feet from the ground.  This structure gave way and collapsed around noon, when the obstacle had several people on it.  No major injuries were reported.  One racer, Kurt Stremming, was on the structure when it collapsed.  He stated, “It was slow motion for me…I was holding onto the wafer board in the middle, literally felt it sway, start to crack, and collapse.”  He also said, “…one lady had her head struck but is fine and another got his leg pinned but is fine.”  There was also complaints that the staff were more concerned about removing the debris from the course than checking in on the people that fell.  There were approximately 8-10 adults and 2 kids on this obstacle when it gave way.Terrain-Race-Chicago-Cargo-BeforeTerrain-Race-Chicago-Cargo-After

Finally, the kid’s race seemed to be a hit.  The 1-mile course included walls to climb over, a balance beam, muddy mounds, a framed cargo climb, and a sandbag carry.  Kids that raced received the same medal as the adults.  The medals were very nice and larger than I had expected.

Overall, despite the obstacle collapse and the confusion with the competitive women, the race was a lot of bang for the buck.  The MC was awesome, played great music and kept the atmosphere fun and friendly!  5k racers only paid $30 plus insurance and the 10k racers paid just $35.  Parking was $10 and very close to the festival area.  I see a potential future with this race company once they get the kinks figured out and get things running a little more safely and uniformly.

Terrain Race New Jersey – Crash and Burn At Raceway Park

Terrain Race, a west coast based race was to be held to high standards with equally high expectations. That comes with the territory when you host an event at a venue previously used by the top brands in the sport such as Tough Mudder, Rugged Maniac and Battlefrog to name a few. Regardless of how hard you attempt to look at each as a separate entity, you always compare. I’m probably one of the easiest in the sport to please as I race to have fun, and I usually find a way to do so with every event. So, when I say this event was a letdown, the optimist in me wants to reference “you get what you pay for”.

The standard open wave registration cost for the race was $25 for the 5K and $30 for the 10k. Currently, their upcoming New York event (it’s at Aviator, worst venue in OCR…you’ve been warned) is priced at $20/$25 for 5k/10k. That’s cheap…. I mean… dirt cheap… You can’t get a Groupon or Living Social Warrior Dash for that price. With that price point, I truly emphasize, “you get what you pay for”.

Parking for all races at the Raceway Park venue is the same: a short walk to registration and the start line. 95% of the time for Raceway Park you don’t need bag check, but if you felt compelled, it was free with registration. Walking up to registration you expect the usual corral of bib number or last name lines along with a paper waiver table. The table with waivers was there, but on this day, I missed the standard registration lines. Terrain’s setup was one line, which led you to 4 tables set up to check-in one person at a time (totaling 4 racers checking in at one time).  Needless to say, the line got backed up.

After checking in, you work your way to the festival area, which was in the same vicinity of the venue for all races held in this location. For previous events the festival area has had bull riding, sand bag toss, rock wall, inflated slides for kids, even inflatable sumo body suits. On this day it was open grass with participants wandering throughout.  Their one engaging attraction was a small rig that was used for spectator area photo ops.  The one event I opt to have my 4 and 6 year old kids run and they’d be stuck waiting for me to complete a quick lap after they ran the kids race, with nothing to do. I never concern myself with festival areas as I normally run, and start my long trek home. On this day I took notice, and it was sorely lacking from what you become accustomed to, not just at this venue but most.

Terrain-Race-New-Jersey-Festival-Area

As I previously stated, I’m very easy to please on overall event satisfaction. I don’t need intense terrain, challenging obstacles,perfect weather, water stations, rule enforcement…. None of that appeals to my interest in the sport. I’m all about fun and that’s fairly easy to provide. Give me mud, water and decent obstacle selection. I don’t differentiate between good and bad, because ultimately most races offer you something unique. Give me something different, that I don’t experience every week, and I’m happy. The race started off with just that.

Terrain-Race-New-Jersey-Start-Line

You enter the start area and immediately choose between two, 4-ft deep pools of water to jump into. Hop out the other side and you’re ready to get started. This was awesome, as it was different. Then came the disappointment, the race itself. The word I got was that the 10k course had an additional 10+ obstacles over what the 5k course contained. Afterwards, I really wished I had run the 10k option. It felt like a race that would’ve been better served placing all obstacles in a 5k course and utilizing 2-5k laps to encompass their 10k option as many races do.

The 5k course followed the path of all other events held at this venue. Off the pavement and onto the motocross dirt path we went. I won’t elaborate on detailed obstacle placement as it would bore you as it did me. To sum it up, you run, crawl a little, climb a wall, crawl again, run, climb a cargo net, run more, find a random set of straight horizontal monkey bars off in a field, run some more, climb another wall, then came what was deemed the best(and only real 5k) obstacle on the course.

Terrain-Race-New-Jersey-Rig

Climb up to the top of the first of two pools of water. Select a lane which each contained a wooden beam that travels the distance of the first tub. The beam had alternating rock climbing grips evenly spaced on each side. After traversing the distance of the first pool, you had to reach for hanging grips of different shapes and sizes. With no foot platforms to assist in transitioning from stationary rock grips to hanging grips, this obstacle proved too much for many including a large percentage of the elite heat. It was odd going from extremely basic obstacles to one as challenging as this, but, it was different nonetheless and a change that I welcomed.

After the rig setup over water, you made your way to the finish line to collect, what is easily one of the top medals in OCR. A large monkey face that spins within a circle, with varying medals signifying 5k and 10k. For a small fee, there was a multi-lap option that provided racers with a pin for each lap completed that could be placed on their medal ribbon. Compared to unfair expectations set by previous brands, this was a major letdown in living up to my generally easily attainable standards.

Terrain-Race-New-Jersey-Medal

Speaking to participants in the festival area many were pleased with the event as a result of running the 10k course and encountering the obstacles that were sorely missed in the 5k portion or didn’t believe they had room to complain because of the small financial cost to them compared to all other race brands. Based solely on the obstacle variety, difficulty, and terrain utilization it was closely equivalent to a Warrior Dash but not nearly as fun. For many, the medal alone was worth the $25/$30 registration fee. If I raced the brand again, I would certainly opt to try the 10k course as the 5k was sorely lacking.

P.S. The kids race was great for $20 and parents run free with paid kids registration.

Terrain-Race-New-Jersey-Kids-Race

P.S.S. The shitter rating came in at 💩💩 out of a possible 💩💩💩💩💩.
Quantity was the issue with very few shitters for having most waves sold out prior to race day.

P.S.S.S. At the time this was written it’s been 9 days(6 business days) after the event and race photos have yet to be posted.  Most races have photos up around day 4.

*Update- pics were posted today(8/17) same day as their Minnesota event pics were posted for an event that took place 7 days after this one

Terrain Race for Two – Atlanta Race Review

Last fall, I had the unique pleasure of introducing my son to the world of OCR by signing him up for the Savage Jr. It was a smashing success. You can read my account of that awesome experience here. Now, the one criticism he had at the time was that while it was a lot of fun the course was too easy for him. Obviously, on the other end of the spectrum, even if he’d been allowed to run it, the full Savage would’ve been much too difficult for him. Even I still struggle with some of the obstacles at races on that level. At 9 years of age, he’s in that awkward middle ground of being too old for most ‘kid’ stuff, but not quite old enough for those activities geared toward adults, so it was a great surprise to stumble on the Terrain Race and furthermore to read anyone over the age of 7 was allowed to run the full 5k. The race fell on the week of his birthday as well, so the timing was perfect. All he wanted for his birthday was a bib, a shirt, and a medal.
The race was held at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers. This has become quite the popular venue for Atlanta area OCR events. I’d been here for Rugged Maniac and Spartan Sprint within the past year and I know a few other races are held here as well. While my son has never caused me any difficulty whatsoever, it was nice to have that familiarity with the area if only to eliminate the potential stress point of getting lost. My first impression of the festival area was that it looked rather sparse in comparison to that of the other races I’d attended which both had their festival set up in the exact same spot. As previously stated, I found Terrain Race almost by accident just by poking around online and had never heard it come up in conversation. Since it’s not nearly as well known among the general population or perhaps even among some OCR athletes, I assume the sponsors and vendors and their corresponding tents, displays, and samples are naturally fewer and far between. We registered a little late in the game for this one as well which resulted in a later wave time. It could be there was a bigger crowd that had already begun to disperse by the time we arrived just before 1:00 p.m. to run.
terrain race festival area
Let me begin by saying my boy and I had a wonderful time running our first race together. Really, that’s where most of the fun came from for me personally. While we had a great time, overall, the course itself was pretty ‘vanilla’ for lack of a better word. Some obstacles were harder than others but none ridiculously difficult. Additionally, there were there no unique or “signature” obstacles on which some of the most well-known races pride themselves. There wasn’t much here from a skillset standpoint I hadn’t seen before and the actual structures had more of a backyard playset feel about them. It was almost as if the organizers got truckloads of lumber and supplies from the local hardware store and simply emulated obstacles they’d seen at other races. But still, a great time was had by all. As such, I don’t think a play-by-play race review would be terribly useful or interesting. Instead, I’ll highlight some of the highs, lows, and even oddities we encountered that made the Terrain Race experience enjoyable and unique for us.
The first oddity was the starting corral. Each racer climbed into what was essentially an above ground pool and waited for the starter’s signal. When the wave began, we all hopped out and started running. I’m not sure what the specific challenge was here other than to soak us before the race began. I didn’t really understand the purpose, but it wasn’t a big deal. My kid thought it was great.
terrain race starting corral
While he found starting from in a pool amusing, he found the mud absolutely hilarious. Jumping into each one, he couldn’t stop laughing. He’d been talking about the mud for weeks on end leading up to the race. How many mud pits would there be? How deep are they? How many times can I go through them?  He told me the more mud pits the better and fortunately for him, Terrain Race had five good ones spaced pretty evenly throughout.  Because we began so late in the day the mounds bordering each pit were packed down, smooth, and extra slippery. He needed my help to get out of a couple of them. Despite going down hard on one side of his butt coming off one of the pits too quickly, these were by far his favorite parts of Terrain Race.
terrain race last pit
The first real lesson I was able to teach my son during the race was how to properly climb up and over a vertical wall. He quickly mastered the technique of pushing down on the top of the wall to lift your body up, locking your arms before throwing a leg over to bring yourself to a seated position, then carefully lowering yourself down the opposite side.
terrain race second wall
There were a few short walls he was able to negotiate after a few tries, but he wisely opted out of attempting the taller ones even if they had attached climbing ropes or when offered a boost by yours truly. His mom told him not to try anything he didn’t feel comfortable with that morning. He took that warning to heart and so did I. We were glad we did too because only a couple of minutes after passing the tallest wall on the course, we heard a few people behind us screaming and running for a medic to treat a broken leg. We briefly joined the posse hunting for an EMT but someone else reached a race volunteer with a walkie talkie before we did.
terrain race rope wall
Interestingly enough, after seeing my son decide which walls to attempt and which ones to avoid seemingly based on height alone, he shocked me by scooting right up a steep A-frame cargo net obstacle that had to be 12 – 15 feet high. We climbed up side by side so I would be nearby in the event he got scared or needed any support, be it motivational or physical, while up high on the netting. Other than taking a few extra moments to tentatively go over the summit from one side of the obstacle to the other, he managed this one like an elite competitor in my book. When our feet were back on earth, there were high fives all around.
terrain race aframe cargo
 
The next obstacle of note was the wreck bag section of the course. It should be noted that this is the point where I saw an epic fail by Terrain Race. The storage bin for the wreck bags was completely empty and a line was forming. Each racer finishing the section handed off their bag to the next person in line rather than returning it to the bin. I hoisted mine onto my shoulders and told my son he may want to skip this part due to the weight. Nope. He wasn’t having any of that nonsense. With a little assistance, he got a decent grip on his wreck bag (albeit underhanded) and started walking leaving me in the dust. If I was proud after watching my son conquer the A-frame, I was absolutely elated during the wreck bag section. So many adult racers who passed us cheered for him for taking this on. I couldn’t help but smile and do the same. 
 terrain race wreck bags
Prior to encountering one of the mud obstacles, we came upon some 4x4s on the ground and it took me a second or two to identify them as an official obstacle. The Terrain Race folks frankly didn’t try real hard with this one. Anyone with basic carpentry skills could have made one of these in minutes. Every balance-oriented obstacle I’ve encountered since I began participating in this sport was over water, up high, and/or involved some sort of distraction to make it a challenge worthy of an OCR athlete. This was literally lumber lying on the ground. I’m not sure why they even bothered including this on the course at all.
terrain race balance beam
In stark contrast to the balance beam, my favorite obstacle at Terrain Race was well done and familiar but like nothing I’d ever tried before. This one was elevated and had a series of beams running overhead with a pool underneath. Each beam was divided into two sections. The first had rock wall grips mounted on either side of the beam. The second had balls hanging from the bottom of the beam. (If I’m not mistaken, Terrain Race refers to them as monkey balls. Yep, they went there.) The objective was to cross the pool while hanging from the apparatus. I use the term familiar because in my college years I worked at a rock climbing wall inside a theme park. To this day, I still have trouble with hanging obstacles like monkey bars (especially metal ones that are a few hundred degrees and too hot to touch much less hang from, which Terrain Race also offered), so it was exciting for me to encounter the rock wall grips and know I’d do well with them. Unfortunately, my son wasn’t tall enough to reach … He ended up jumping in the pool and swimming to the other side which was just fine. I made it across though in making progress along the beam I developed a bit of a side to side swinging motion and began to worry I’d miss the pool entirely if I were to let go on every swing to my right side. Thankfully, that didn’t happen.
terrain race rock wall grip traverse 2
Terrain Race certainly had a few faults. Some could certainly be improved internally in short order while others would require more money, sponsors, name recognition, etc. especially if they want to be compared to the big races. However, the registration fees were very reasonable and aligned with what was offered for the most part. The bottom line is that my kid and I had a blast running together for the first time. I had the opportunity to teach him some things about OCR and more importantly watch him encounter challenges, test himself, overcome fear, problem solve, and revel in his success. He told me mid run about half way through the race it was one of the best birthday presents he’d ever gotten. Imperfect event or not, I have Terrain Race to thank for that. I’ll never forget it.
terrain race finish