18 thoughts on “Samurai Sprint

  1. Communication: frequent, multiple emails and reminders pre-race.

    Venue: a winery! Good parking, typical $10 fee, close enough to walk to the course. Since there was no bag check, I was able to store items in my car. Porta-potties were plentiful enough, no lines, but ran out of toilet paper. Would have liked a changing tent. I liked the live music. There were tacos and alcohol for sale, which looked good, but I didn’t try. There were also picnic tables.

    Registration: quick and easy, lines were very short, instructions were clear, friendly volunteers

    Course: relatively flat (except at slip ‘n slide and wreck bag carry) and terrain was fairly smooth. There was a few potholes and gravel on the path to the course, so I had to watch my footing there, but the course itself was fine. It was a unique experience running next to the vines. Signage was generally good, but there were a few areas that could have used more signs.

    Obstacles: novice friendly, a good mix of easy/novice and difficult/expert ones. Helpful volunteers along the way. No penalty for failing or skipping an obstacle, which I really appreciated. I felt free to try every obstacle but not push myself beyond my capabilities or risk injury. Ropes should be positioned away from the slip ‘n slide in the future since the ground underneath got muddy. (The slip ‘n slide was unique and a blast – loved it!)
    Bottlenecks formed at a few obstacles, particularly the rope traverse. This obstacle seemed to have the most problems. The rope had to be tightened because it started going too slack. I got tangled in the weeds after falling into the pond from the traverse and had difficulty freeing myself; that was a scary moment because I was essentially swimming in place.

    Swag and awards: The shirt is beautiful! Nice logo and design, great fabric. I typically pack away my race shirts, but I will wear this one. The medals had two ribbon styles: red with no lettering, and black with red lettering. The black ribbon looked sturdier and nicer, so I originally got the red one but traded it in. There were water bottles at the finish, but I would have also liked to have something else (banana, granola bar, sports drink, etc). This would be a good vendor opportunity.

  2. This was my second time at Samurai. Both times I have done two laps. I can’t get enough of the beautiful grounds. I struggle with wanting to run and blow through the course or just taking it slow and enjoying the scenery. The obstacles I find challenging yet still enjoyable with easier/ fun ones still in the mix. It was the same layout as last year but at least the rope climb was moved. Hopefully change it up at little for next year. The only thing I would hope for is more time for multilap to get more miles in while still having time to hang out in between and enjoy the festivities as well(serious FOMO issues either way). The festival area is always my favorite here at Samurai. NES always has a big showing and it a perfect time for bonding and planning future events with each other. The band!!!! the food!!!!! the people!!!!! the view!!!!…. I’m really not sure which I love best. And of course their wine and beer is pretty darn good too. All and all I will be back every year!

  3. This was my second year running Samurai and I’ll go back for a third for sure.

    The venue, the winery, is awesome. Beautiful place to spend a Saturday even if you’re not going to race.

    The course is great. Mostly flat with some rolling hills, and just green everywhere. I think the course setup was the same as last year (the rope climb was right before the slip n’ slide this time, thanks!), featuring the same obstacles (not a complaint). Highlight obstacles include the Reverse Staircase, the Trapeze Swing, and the Jumping Steps. I don’t think there was an obstacle I’d remove. The Reverse Staircase had grips in the wood, which I think was meant to make it easier, but actually made it a little awkward for me, not sure how others felt.

    This year’s shirt is amazing. I’m pretty particular about the fabric of my running gear (I dunno, it’s important to me :)) and this shirt is awesome.

    Great vibe for a race, lots of people just out there, having a good time on a course that provides for first timers and “vets” alike.

  4. This is my 4th year doing this race and it never disappoints. The venue is easy to find and parking is ample and 10 dollars. Registration was quick and easy, one line to pick up bibs, one line to pick up shirts, and 1 line to pay for mulitple laps. Multiple laps cost 10 dollars extra to run all day.

    The festival area is nice, large enough for the size of the race. I didn’t do much walking around but it was nice to have an area to put a team tent and hoard all our bags together. Port-a-potties were high class with a foot flushing mechanism and a foot operated sink to wash hands. They still got pretty gross by the end of the day but not nearly as bad as the normal ones.

    This course is one of my favorites. It is mostly flat with rolling hills. The obstacles are diverse and challenging enough for experienced runners but not so challenging to scare way newer racers. Hands down my favorite obstacle is the trapeze to bar traverse mini rig. It is lots of fun.

    There were only two things that could have made this race a little better. The course was exactly the same as last year with the exception of the order of the slip and slide and rope climb. I would love to see the addition of something new. The other thing I noticed that there were more significant back ups than previous years. Particularly, the traverse wall, the slip and slide and the pond traverse had anywhere from 5-10 minutes waits at times throughout the day.

    Finishers got a nice medal and a great shirt. There was food for purchase, jerk chicken tacos or hot dogs. The tacos were good but a little pricey. The live music was a nice added touch. There was also beer and wine for sale.

    Overall this is still one of my favorite races and I will am looking forward to going back in 2018

  5. Communication: Their use of Social Media to update price increases, codes, and the like was excellent. After signing up I received my typical email of confirmation. The weak leading up to the event i received multiple emails throughout the week. One early on, then the day before. I thought this tipped the scales a bit from your typical communication to excellent communication. It had all the information needed and was a fresh reminder of what was to come.

    Venue & Festival: It’s a winery! While I did not go off to enjoy the winery at all, I do think that’s pretty awesome. It was a great venue had $10 on site parking, which was close enough that if I really wanted I could have left my gear there. We had a place where Robb set up two pop-ups and the team all congregated and hung out. Another great feature was they had tacos – people seemed to be enjoying that, but I did not partake – and there was live music with a band.

    Course & Obstacles:
    I thought that the course was very user friendly for families and beginners. It was well spread out. Some races it feels like it’s one hanging/grip obstacle after another for 3 to 5 obstacles. That was not the case here. They were well varied and spread out. The slip and slide was awesome. I think my favorite obstacle was the big stairs right after the reverse staircase. People driving by kept honking at runners because both of those were right along the road. There were a few spots where I heard people worrying about safe landings because of 2×4 and while the placing was necessary for stablization, maybe there is a way to cover them by making a small platform to land on or something. Not sure if that’s logistically possible. But maybe something to look into.

    Swag & Awards:
    I love the saying on the back of the shirt. It’s also soft and I’m sure will be comfy! The medals are an awesome design too. I did get a ribbon with Samurai Sprint Mud Run printed on it, but there were some that were just plain red. I heard a few people curious about the differences or bummed they didn’t get the one with the writing.

    This was my first Samurai Sprint and I will 100% definitely be back! It was a great time, the obstacles were great, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

  6. Communication was great, since they use Event Brite as their ticketing system; received reminder emails through Event Brite, as well as the race itself including online wavers.

    I ended up missing the turn intonthe venue twice; additional signage on the road could have helped. Onsite parking was great, and standard price at $10 per vehicle. Large lawn set up as the festival area was really nice, and being on grass made it comfortable for pre race warm ups. More than one food option would have been nice, but what was available was really tasty (pulled chicken tacos and hot dogs).

    As for the race itself, it was a fun, relatively flat course with some roling hills, with some obstacles you’d see at many other races, but others with their own twist. Seeing the traverse rope on a beginner friendly course like this one was a nice touch, but created a bottleneck. The trapeze to horizontal pipe was a fun, moderately challenging obstacle, and the reverse staircase added a high level challenge to experienced racers.

    Post race swag incuded a nice medal, and a very comfortable T shirt.

  7. This is my third year running Samurai and each year has consistently been fun. I don’t bill this race as a killer or such and encourage anyone looking for a fun beginner race to come try this one. Communication prior to the race was good, an issue with the waivers on the initial runner guide led to a followup with just the waiver in it, easy enough. Multi-lap is super simple, one fee, run all you want!
    The festival area seemed like fun, but I really only saw it for a short time before the first wave and during short breaks between laps, but it was cool to see an actual live band playing! Another nice thing was a massage/pt group offering free work – I didn’t partake, but did have a friend get some work on her IT band – more races ought to give this perk!
    The course was very similar to each previous year and obstacles were the same as last year. That doesn’t mean they aren’t fun – on the contrary, fun and somewhat challenging – I love the trapeze swing to bar, an obstacle really not seen at other events. For a smaller race, they have some obstacles that many larger ones don’t. The trapeze, a reverse/invert staircase and a tyrolean traverse – all obstacles that are fun and great to attempt on a course where failing them isn’t a big deal vs seeing a tyrolean for the first time at Spartan. I do love the slide as well, but agree that its placement is difficult just before the rope climb. On my first lap, it wasn’t an issue as there had only been a few people taking dawn down the slide to lube it up, but by the time I came thru 3 more times, the ropes were coated in dish soap, as well as your hands and body, making the climb very interesting.
    Other than that, a pretty effective use of the available terrain – there’s not too much elevation to be had on a coastal winery, so can’t ding them too much there!
    Swag was standard fare, a nice medal and a blend t-shirt.
    Overall, a very fun race and one I would highly recommend to beginners and veterans alike.

    1. Parking simple, $10, close enough that you could leave bags in car. Bags were left out in open. I do not believe there is a bag check or a changing area.

      Registration was a breeze. Never saw a back up at the tables. Multilaps were also handled with ease.

      The course is known as a fast course because it is relatively flat with very few hills. For those of us who are run-challenged fast might not be our goal. That is where the fun comes in. The obstacles are not all beginner level. They range from the easier over-under walls and a 25lb wreck bag carry to more challenging 8′ wall, pond traverse, reverse stair case, and trapeze bar transitioning to a bar.

      The pond traverse had a support issue as I came through and racers called people off for staff to come inspect it. I heard that it was reopened with only 1 of 3 lanes operational. Thank you Samurai for the pile of life jackets for those of us who are more comfortable using one.

      The venue area is a nice grassy hill with many picnic tables. Our team had the use of Robb’s FIT Challenge pop up tents–thank you! The live band was a great backdrop to hanging out and enjoying the company of teammates.
      Hope to see a few new obstacles with that Samurai flare next year.

  8. The communication was good. I got an email with event info, the waiver, and instructions on how to run multiple laps. This was done well

    The venue / festival was very small and uninspiring. I shouldn’t expect a lot from a smaller race but there wasn’t much going on in the festival area. It felt very barren. The food was delicious though and the bathrooms were fairly high class for what they were.

    The course felt very short due to the lack of incline and the obstacles didn’t feel challenging at all. The hardest obstacle, the stairs, wasn’t even all that challenging. The rope should never have been after the slip n slide as the ropes were soaked and I saw one person fall from the top of the rope and land on his back. There should have been different weights for sandbags as well.

    The swag was basic, a t shirt and a medal. I get used to having things like a recovery drink or a banana at the finish but maybe that is too much to expect for a local race.

    Overall, I thought the race was fun but it definitely isn’t a great race if you are looking for a challenge. I would probably do this race again because sometimes it is nice to get away from racing up a mountain course for 4, 5, 6 hours.

  9. The communication was great, especially with regards to multiple laps!

    I did not have a chance to participate in the festival due to the fact they were packing up when I got back in for my 3rd lap. Iit would have been nice if the medics had stayed until at least 1:30.

    The Course is beautiful (same as last year but so much fun) and the obstacles range from easy to OMG really! So that is a great cross-section for beginners to elite! They were on top of things when they broke.

    Swag was great – loved the tee and bling this year!

    Overall a race I hope continues into the future!

  10. I love this race. It is one of my favorite races of the year. This was the 3rd year I have run it and it gets better every year. The people, the volunteers, the venue all add up to an amazing race. Communication leading up to the race was good. The communication about muliple laps, parking, waivers was very clear and concise. Registration was a breeze and paying for multiple laps was equally as easy. The festival this year seemed a little subdued but I am not sure if there were vendors who left early due to the incoming weather. The food choice, though limited, was absolutely delicious grilled chicken with a couple of sides. There was also beer and wine available for sale and their wine store was open for both sales and wine tastings. The port-a-potties were the best version possible with a foot pump for flushing and for water to wash hands.

    I love this course. It is absolutely beautiful. It is mostly flat with a few rolling hills. The obstacles are fun, unique, appropriately spaced. The only time I had to wait at any obstacle was at the rope traverse over the pond and that was only a few minutes at best.

    Participants received a high quality t-shirt and a nice unique medal. Each year the swag changes a little bit so it is easy to separate out by year. Near the end of the race the finish line ran out of water but that was near the very end of the race and there were not many people coming in behind me on my last lap so it was not too much of a problem.

    The one addition I would like to see is the addition of a changing area for after the race. You end up very wet on this course, it would be nice to have a small area to change into dry clothes after.

    Overall, this will be a race I will do every year for years to come.

    1. This was my 1st Samurai Sprint. I ran 2 laps. The course was easy to follow and had a few extra challenging obstacles (1 reverse stairs, 2 trapese to perpendicular pole, & 3 tyrolean traverse over dreaded pond). The venue was very nice, plenty of space, clean porta potties (clean enough to be used as changing rooms by many). Multilaps were absolutely flawlessly handled. The volunteers were amazing, cheerful, and encouraging. A beginner could do this course and be successful. No penalties for failed or passed obstacles-truly a your race, your pace & ability course. Seasoned ocr addicts will enjoy it for the commraderie that the smaller venue allows.

  11. This was my first time with the race. Like many NES members, I’ve done most of the OCRs large and small. This fits perfectly in the “sprint” category as a very good race.
    The course:
    It was well marked and the terrain was utilized well. The obstacles were good quality and varied. The only think I would change would be the spacing of some obstacles. Like several events recently, Samurai went with the obstacle-cluster approach. It would be nice to break up some of the clusters throughout the terrain.

    Overall it was a well run event and I enjoyed something relatively close for a change. Glad there are now a few events in SE Mass/RI

  12. This was my first time doing this race and I can see why it gets such high marks. It was really great! Great course, great set up, great festival area.

    My highlights:
    – I loved how the multi-lap situation worked. Very simple and easy. Pay one fee and run as much as you can after checking in with the timing table. Made it super easy!
    – I was so impressed with the festival area post-multi-lapping. I’ve found a lot of races by the last heat most vendors have packed up or are packing up, but that wasn’t the case here. I was able to get my FIRST post-race massage as they were still there and they were excellent. I also was able to grab some food and I saw lots of folks with beverages. Really impressed with that.
    – Obstacles – I saw some new to me obstacles at this course that were really fund. I liked the trapeze swing to bar obstacle and the reverse staircase was killer.

    This is a fun, yet challenging course that could be run by beginners to experienced racers – with all able to complete the race and have fun.

    I did feel that the ropes on the Traverse were a little thin for my taste and I opted to only complete that obstacle on lap one and skip it on future laps due to the line and how tough the thinner rope was on my hands. I think just slightly thicker would help the speed of completion.

  13. This race was so much fun that I may have convinced my husband to run it next year. Samurai Sprint was my first volunteer experience at an OCR event and it was a hoot!

    Communication: I offered to volunteer last minute and Scott was right on top of things, getting me all of the information that was needed to help out at this event.

    Venue and Festival: A winery/vineyard – need I say more? Plenty of parking very close to the festival area for a nominal charge. The festival as stated was small, but it really worked. People were playing ball and cornhole, sipping wine and enjoying cotton candy and other snacks.

    Course and Obstacles: Relatively flat course, except for the wreck bag carry (which should have a hill of some sort involved always), winding in and out of the grape vine aisles with the grass cut shorter along the route so it was easy to follow. Good amount of volunteers who gave good direction on where to go and what was expected at the obstacle. As for the obstacles, this was my first time encountering a reverse staircase and thankfully I had been working on my pull-ups and was able to complete this without dropping. The missing bridge was a good one and I was so happy I bought calf sleeves so I could drag myself along (having just done the Spartan Sprint in Barre June 4 the insides of my knees weren’t having any of that rope)…which turned that into an all arms obstacle. The slip n slide…now there was a good obstacle to cool you off just at the right time. The only thing I would say is maybe, if possible, add more ropes or have two knotted and two with no knots. May even bring the kiddos out next year so they can get their hands dirty with the Samurai Sprint kids race.

    Swag and Awards: Very impressed with the quality of the medal and t-shirt for a seemingly small race. No complaints here.

    Overall: A nicely run and laid out course, perfect for beginners or experts alike. Great scenery and location. Would recommend to friends and family. Looking forward to racing next year and perhaps having a recurring role as volunteer.

  14. I try (or tried) to recommend this race to any newbies to OCR. It’s a good amount of challenge without being overwhelming. I I really enjoy the venue and some of the different obstacles. This years shirt and medal were also great. Will obviously be back next year!

  15. I think this is one of my favorite venues to race. It’s a flat, fairly easy course, definitely friendly to first timers and families. And it’s on a vineyard!
    The parking is easy in, easy out. The festival area is small, but fun. The port-o-johns were really clean, and had flush/sinks, instead of just hand sanitizer.
    The process for running multi-laps was really easy, which made for smooth transition between laps.
    The only con I really have is they don’t have a changing tent.
    As long as this race is around, I will continue to run it, year after year.

  16. This was a very fun run. The atmosphere was festive and the volunteers were great. There was a lot of cheering and laughing on the course. I had a great time. On to the particulars.

    Communication – I received an email with everything I needed to know early in the week so I didn’t have to search for info. There was a link to the waiver and a warning that I had to bring my own. When Some people had issues printing it from the website, they sent a copy out by email. They sent everything I needed unlike some other larger OCRs that make you look for the info. Also, once I arrived at the event the RD was all over the place making sure you had what you needed and even greeted me at the finish and asked me for feedback and updates on any obstacles that I had issues with. Great guy.

    Venue and Festival – The Winery was great, very scenic. Nice open area with Picnic tables to hang out. It was a small festival but it’s a smaller race so I didn’t see that as an issue. The provided excellent food, wine, and Beer. There was a Cotton Candy truck providing snacks and sweets as well.

    Course and Obstacles – The course ran through the vineyard around all grape vines. Some small hills but very run-able. I wasn’t worried about stepping in a hole or twisting an ankle. Not super technical but fun and made good use of the area. Some of the Obstacles were kind of typical but there were few curve balls that mixed things up. The trapeze swing to Stationary bar was good and the inverted staircase was a real challenge. I like that the Rope traverse was over water so when I fell I got wet not hurt and I hadn’t gone down a slip n slide since I was a kid. The course was lot of fun.

    Swag and Awards – High quality T-shirt and a really awesome medal. Well done for a small race.

    Overall- This was my first Samurai Sprint but it won’t be my last. I had a blast running this event and will definitely do it again. If you are looking for a fun race and want to get away from the huge events, this is a must do race.

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