After switching to only private events, Grit N Wit is back with charity events that are open to all. Previously that had done a spring and fall event but now their website shows multiple events but only some are open to the public.
Communication could have been better after signing up, the only emails I got were to sign up for this or some of their other events. So no email the week of the race with updates or other info. Some better detail on the location would have been helpful as Rentschler stadium field is pretty large and we basically drove around the stadium until we found it and I think we came in the wrong way.
The venue however was nice plenty of parking very close to registration and the start line. So no bag check because it wasn’t needed. The festival area wasn’t huge but they did have a good truck and local Ice Cream vendor set up for food after you ran. They also had a really good DJ.
You ran this race as a team and worked together on the puzzles. The course was half obstacles and half puzzles. Some of the puzzles were brain teaser and a couple were Physical. They varied in difficulty but none were impossible. The obstacles were on the beginner end of the scale and the course itself was short between 1.5 and 2 miles. But multi-lapping was free and encouraged. Most of the volunteers were excited to see us again.
For swag you got a t-shirt and a shopping bag with random items. Sunglasses, a travel mug, granola bar etc. After crossing the finish line if you answered a trivia question, you got to pick from a bag of prizes. No medal though.
Overall the event was really small. I think it was one of the first open events they ran so hopefully it will pick up. My team of 3 ran twice and we had a lot of laughs. If you are looking to push your limits, not the race for you but if you want to have some fun doing a race that’s a little different, This is a good time
I didnt read the above 2 reviews, nor OCR Sandys. I was interested in the race due to the concept , a little bit of brains and brawn. Sequentially, address website listed for parking not correct, essentially wrong side of street, no signage , but saw a mass of cars and took a chance., free, so we wont complain too much. registration pretty simple, sign waiver, get bib/ tshirt and ticket for beer ( i think that was before the race), no timing chip, so more of an event/challenge than a race , no bag check .. start line inflatable blew over, sign of things to come. …started at 9 , second wave 915 …RD would have utilized more marking tape, at times course not clear. …participants were encouraged to utilize teamwork for the mental challenges, ,the instructions on some were more clear than others, some you had to retry if you got wrong, some if you got right you stayed on the course, while others had physical challenges,- tire flip ( and a big one for that matter,) and sandbag carry… some of the obstacles did not stand the test of time, mind you we were the second wave, principally a 10 foot ladder wall, which had lost 2 boards by the time we got there, though still quite doable, and a traverse wall with blocks for hand holds and a singular board for the feet, which at the beginning had come loose. Certain obstacles i felt were a little difficult for the newbie OCR participant , such as monkey bars which rose to an apex in the middle and then descended, granted it was less than 10 bars…there was also a wall that was 11-12 ft, in my estimation that even a semiskilled OCR athlete( me) had an impossible time getting over individually, and im sure ryan atkins and hobie would be fighting with it too…it could have been dangerous for someone unprepared getting over and worse getting down off of.. didnt have watch so i dont know if it was 5K……Again i really like the concept of the event, and with a few tweaks this could be a more fun safer community event… if i wasnt mentally in OCR mode,( race)considering there was no timing chip on me, i would have liked to spend more time with figuring out the puzzles… post race, medal, beer- i opted for Naughty Nurse,a little bitter ( maybe should have been named Nurse Ratchet) they had 3 breweries represented ..US army was there, Uber, and a few others..
I’ve done all 3 of the Grit N Wit events and am pleased to see them making progress. Not without a few hiccups, but moving forward nonetheless. I really want to see this race succeed, as the wit aspect offers something unique – and it’s not easy for a race to offer something truly different these days.
Parking: while it seems the parking area was better marked this time, it was only so from the venue side, not from the side you arrive at when you plug the address into your GPS. Having been there twice before, I knew where I was going, but it looked like there was only a some yellow caution tape to mark the entrance on the Coventry Street side of the lot.
As others have mentioned, the venue is relatively flat and the mixed terrain makes this great for people new to OCR. Lots of choices for your post-race free beer; relatively small festival area.
This time around: BLING! And nice bling at that! Great to see this race take that next step. T-shirts are nice quality, tech shirts; also a nice touch.
As in previous events, another nice mix of physical obstacles and mental challenges. Generally speaking no penalties, except that some of the wit challenges make you do more grit if you get them wrong (e.g., carry a log farther, flip a tire a few times depending on how wrong you were). This race has become a favorite of my 10 year old, who enjoys being able to contribute to our team effort with the wit challenges. Great move on their part when going into their 2nd race they dropped the minimum age from 14 to 10, as this is a fun race for all ages.
The first part of the course was wit-heavy. Most of it went smoothly, though the single volunteer at the water jug wit test bottlenecked things a bit (yes, sorry for the pun), with several people waiting to explain their solution – and listening to others’ answers.
The grit parts of this particular race seemed to have been scaled down a little. One thing I have always appreciated is that while they have the unique “wit” aspect, there are still some serious “grit” challenges. The (legitimate) 10′ wall this time around had a pair of horizontal boards added, though up at cliffhanger-level, not down low. The incline-monkey bars remain a favorite and unchanged. But this time the tire flip memory game became a bar stool-sized wooden disc memory game. The famous “sobriety test” oversize hockey game on a balance beam lost the balance beam part. Not sure if these changes were part of an overall plan to appeal to a wider group of people, but I hope they stay gritty enough for us OCR veterans.
Overall, this is definitely worth checking out. No other race I’ve seen has this combination of physical and mental challenges, and it really is a lot of fun. They’re taking steps in the right direction and my son and I are looking forward to what they have in store next time.
I want to love this run, it’s getting there. I’ve done all three of their runs, and the improvements are happening. It’s a local race for me, which helps me like it more; it’s not something (in its current state) that I would drive more than 30-45 minutes for. I would categorize this as a fun run, excellent for beginners; my comments and ratings are in comparison to other fun runs.
Parking is easy and convenient, though I’m not sure what would happen if a lot more people signed up. There was no bag check this time around, so you’ve got to plan accordingly. The last race registration was very slow moving; there were a lot of volunteers this time, and check-in was a breeze.
The festival area is still quite small, but I’m honestly not there for the “festival” and don’t really care. There was a very good selection of beer, but I didn’t see any other food/drink offerings. Because not a lot of people have signed up, at any given time there seem to only be 100 or so people milling around; it mostly feels like you’ve arrived at a party too early. There are a fair number of costumes at this run, which I personally think adds fun to the atmosphere; big ole costumes flying over a wall crack me up.
The organizers are still working through the logistics of a race like this. As in their prior runs, the course could use to be better marked (or is figuring out which way to go another “wit” obstacle??). They were clearly still assembling obstacles as the run was supposed to start; I think the 20 or so minute delay was due to the course not yet being ready. We could see (and hear) them working on the last obstacle from the starting point. One of the obstacles involved a working a golf ball through a maze while balancing on a balance beam in the prior runs; this year we had just the mazes while standing on the ground – and nearby a pile of wood that indicated to me that balance beams had been part of the plan before they ran out of time. I saw a pile of wood near another obstacle that also made me wonder what was meant to be happening there. Most of the obstacles felt solid, but a couple did not, which is concerning.
This is an easy run – it’s 3 miles and quite flat, a mixture of trail and paved path. There are no penalties for failing/skipping an obstacle. The obstacles are a nice mix of relatively easy things like low walls, ladder walls, and inclined walls with ropes to pull yourself up and over, to tougher incline/decline monkey bars (which also are too high for 5’6” me to start on without a boost) and a 10 foot wall that virtually guarantees some team work is needed. I personally would have liked a few more obstacles.
The thing that sets this run apart is the “wit” aspect. In the past a few of the “wit” puzzles were really trivia questions; I didn’t like those, as you either knew the answer or you didn’t, there’s no working on it to figure it out. They’ve done away with that, the puzzles all required you to stop and think and work something out. A couple of these had a penalty for a wrong answer; meaning, if you had the right answer, you moved on to the next thing (which almost felt like cheating), but a wrong answer meant flipping tires or carrying sandbags. In some instances, the more wrong your answer was, the tougher your penalty was (i.e. you had to carry the log further). So this part of the run can really wreak havoc on your time. Last year there was a puzzle that I am not kidding took us like 20 minutes to figure out. This year, my partner and I just nailed each puzzle and we caught up to people in the wave before us – and I should mention, we had a bad landing at the first obstacle that had us sidelined for 20 minutes or so, and then walking/slow jogging after that – so that means some people had some serious delays working out puzzles! I love this aspect! It’s fun to watch teams forming on the fly to figure things out, and it is very interesting to keep switching back and forth from physical to mental. I recommend bringing a Mensa member with you like I did.
Volunteers were at every obstacle/puzzle, and there was one water station on the course. This year they had nice medals, and of course we got the obligatory t-shirt. The prior two runs they had given out cheap sunglasses, which I much preferred to the t-shirt (because there are So.Many.Y-shirts), and the sunglasses are great to do other obstacle courses with. The Hartford Courant sent someone to take photos for a couple hours, so people later in the day had no pictures if they didn’t take them themselves.
I will definitely sign up again. I hope they offer “extra laps” going forward; if they can work out the pre-build issues and flesh out the festival area, it will definitely step up their game.
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