Savage Race

18 thoughts on “Savage Race

  1. The OCR community of New England has been waiting. For what? For Savage Race, a well-respected, southern-based obstacle course race to come to our region. This July, they arrived.

    Savage Race Boston 2017, held at Carter & Stevens Farm in Barre, Massachusetts, approximately a 45 minute drive from my house, was host to the festivities. Carter & Stevens is a working farm, meaning that racers will be running through cow pastures and past dairy barns. Parking at Carter & Stevens is always offsite, a minus to be sure, but something that is made up for by the overwhelmingly flat terrain. Carter & Stevens is practically the only place to race in our area where you won’t have to scale a huge mountain. Runner friendly!

    I arrived at the parking lot, about 10 minutes down the road from the venue around an hour before the scheduled 9:20 a.m. NE Spahtens team wave. Everything went smoothly. There were plenty of busses and no wait, which was nice. I was at Carter & Stevens in under 15 minutes where I was able to quickly check-in and get my timing chip and bib. From there, it was over to the NES team tent to say, “Hello,” and drop my bags. I connected with a number of members of the NES Ninjas team that I run my Ragnar Races with (fun fact: Everyone from the NES Trail Ninjas team was at Savage Race!), and we headed over to the start line together. There, after a bit of pumping-up from the energetic announcer, we were on our way!

    Savage Race advertises itself by saying, “The best obstacles. The perfect distance.” I couldn’t agree more. Their courses tend to range in distance from five to seven miles. The course in New England probably measured at around 7.5 miles and was dense with over two dozen obstacles, many of which were innovative, engaging, and downright fun. For those running the open wave, stakes are low. There are no penalties, meaning you can try something as many times as you want and skip anything that either isn’t to your fitness level or isn’t to your interest.

    I headed out on the course with fellow NES Ninjas Jess, Shaina, Bobby, and Paul. For the most part, we stuck together though the entire thing (though we did somehow lose Paul near the end). It was a blast running with friends. We had a fun approach to the entire morning’s race. It was relaxed — we weren’t running for time — and we took plenty of opportunities to say, “Hi!” to fellow Spahtens on the course and connect with other friends along the way.

    Other than the people, the best part of Savage Race was, without a doubt, the awesome obstacles. Savage Race has them nailed — what a great display of high-quality and interesting contraptions to play on. In between obstacles, there were stretches of trail running that did a good job of spreading out the field and helping avoid back-ups. The only obstacle we had to wait at was Wheel World, and the wait wasn’t very long at all. Many obstacle could be immediately attempted again if you failed, which was great, for example, on Twirly Bird, which I attempted three times.

    The course was ultra-muddy — perhaps one of the most muddy courses I’ve done — and even slightly muddier than this year’s Tough Mudder. Rainfall the day before has a lot to do with it I’m sure. There were large sections where we were wading through water or slogging through mud so thick I was worried I’d lose a shoe.

    As I mentioned before, the obstacles were the stars of the race. Below is my recounting of the obstacles.

    1. Low Crawl: Like it sounds, a crawl under barbed wire. Unlike some races where crawls are no longer under barbed wire, Savage retains the spiky stuff, so be careful!

    2. Barn Doors: Ladder wall.

    3. Shriveled Richard: Ug! This obstacle had participants jump into a container of ice water, submerge below a divider and then edit out the other side. As with this year’s Tough Mudder, I feel emotionally done with obstacles like this for the time.Shriveled Richard was the only obstacle that I skipped.

    4. Blazed: Fire jump. Haven’t seen one of these in ages, so it was kind of fun to try it again. The flames were not too high, so it was just a matter of being mindful and taking a good leap.

    5. Squeeze Play: For this obstacle, we had to squeeze our way under three sets of swiveling barrels that were set close to the grounds. Being smaller was definitely a benefit here.

    6. Backscrather: Alternating five foot walls and short crawls. I seem to recall three walls and two sets of crawls.

    7. Slippery Incline: Your classic angled slip wall with a rope. This one was probably around 12′ high.

    8. Lumberjack Lane: Log carry with a piece of lumber. This was the only carry of the race — yay! — and was a totally manageable weight, even for someone as small as me. Really kudos to Savage Race for having their obstacles be real obstacles instead of just lugging lots of heavy things around.

    9. Tree Hugger: Interesting! This obstacle featured a half dozen or so alternating wood and metal posts. Racers had to grab a post and transfer from post to post without touching the ground. Savage Race asks that you don’t wear shoes with tips, and I was sorely missing my Icebugs on this obstacle. When I reached the end, I was actually too short to reach the bell, and needed a boost from Bobby to ring it.

    10. Me So Thorny: Another crawl. This one had enforced lanes with barbed wire on both the top and the sides!

    11. Wheel World: This obstacle was awesome! It consisted of four horizontal wheels that you had to grab and spin from one to the next. Grip strength required. Also required, in my case, was a lift to the first one, which was super super high up. Thanks to Steven for this help, and to Paul for grabbing me at the end, so I didn’t slip off the platform on dismount.

    12. Big Cheese: A neat twist on a common theme. This is not your standard wall. Instead, it’s a quarter circle with little cheese-sized wedges cut out for you to climb.

    13. Mud N Guts: Muddy barbed wire crawl.

    14. Davy Jones’ Locker: 15 foot jump from a platform into the water below. I’m not afraid of heights, so this proved no problem, but I definitely can see how this might give people pause. I will say, that if I were to hover looking over the edge it would be harder. I climbed up and went for it — fun times.

    15. Mad Ladders: This obstacle featured a common rope ladder, followed by a rope with rungs, a cargo net, and then another set of rope with rungs and rope ladder. This was actually a bit more tricky than I thought it would be, especially with how the second rope rotated a ton. I got through, but it was without any elegance.

    16. Great Wall: Eight foot large wall. I was able to grab the slide and use it to stabilize and jump for the top, where I could pull myself over.

    17. Block Party: Pull a cinder block on a rope up a short incline and then carry it down again. Bonus: Half of the cinder block was filled with concrete. The block was heavy without being impossible, and I was able to move it without too much difficulty.

    18. Hangarang: Two timbers held up above water by chains, which allowed the timbers to swing freely. Fortunately, there was a rope in the middle of each log to serve as a helper. Definitely necessary (and easy enough with the rope).

    19. Thor’s Grundle: So the name for this one gives me pause, but I am just transcribing what Savage Race provides. Suffice it to say, this was a very muddy obstacle. We had to make our way through a ditch of muddy water with a cargo net overhead that we had to lift as we moved.

    20. Pole Cat: For this obstacle, we had to shimmy across a muddy pool with feet and hands on poles of different heights. I started with my hands higher than my feet (not bad) and then had to transition to having my hands lower than my feet (definitely a bit of work).

    21. Sawtooth: Monkey bars with a twist! Sawtooth is one of Savage Race’s signature obstacles and one I was very excited to try. The 35 foot span starts with uphill monkey bars and transition to a “tooth” where you have to kip up to a higher bar. From there you transition to downhill monkey bars. This obstacle, according to Savage Race, has a 40% completion rate. I enjoyed completing it on my first try. (Bonus: The bars started down low enough that I could reach on my own!)

    22. Big Cargo: 20 foot a-frame cargo net climb.

    23. Colossus: This two part obstacle starts with a 16 foot quarter pipe. You then have to climb a ladder before descending from the 24 foot structure via an almost vertical water slide. This entire obstacle is kind of insane! I loved the quarter pipe (which has ropes at the top, so it was no problem to pull myself up). The slide made me a bit nervous in concept (because unsafe racers can lead to dangerous collisions in the water at the foot of the slide) but when I got up there everyone was being very safe about allowing the water to clear before going down. The slide was well constructed and so fast that I hardly remember going down it. I recall sitting at the top and then smashing into the water. Crazy.

    24. Savage Rig: This rig was awesome! I love a good rig, and the Savage Rig was an especially good one. The rig started with a couple of rings, followed by three ropes and then a couple more rings before a horizontal pipe. Nailed it!

    25. Twirly Bird: Twirly Bird was the only obstacle I failed at Savage Race, and it was one of my favorites. It was a rig where you have to “swing from your standard ring grips to a mop-like cluster of rope strands without touching the ground.” The rope strands were extremely hard to manage. I tried three times before my grip was exhausted. At my best attempt, I made it around 2/3 of the way across. Key to even partial success was gripping only a few of the ropes instead of all of them.

    My group crossed the finish line at the three hour mark. From there, it was time for a free beer, made onsite at Carter & Stevens and some awesome tot poutine from Baby Berk, one of many awesome food options available at the venue. The festival was great. I hardly even stay to hang out for long after a race, but I loved the atmosphere, food selections, and spending time with my NES friends, so I stayed quite a while!

    Savage Race more than lived up to the hype. I am already registered for the 2018 Boston event on July 14. I can’t wait to see everyone there again!
    Posted by Nicole Sibley at 12:01

  2. This was my first Savage, 18th OCR, fourth time at Carter & Stevens Farm, 10th different race brand. I ran the 9:40 heat, second open of the day.

    Communication: Detailed emails the week before, smooth sign in – no complaints.

    Venue & Festival: Like many, I’d been to Carter & Stevens several times before. The parking was typical, as quick and smooth as off site goes. I liked the set up with vendors around the edge, tables in the middle. Vendors were good,food was reasonably priced, though I missed the ice cream.

    Course & Obstacles: Decent layout, for a familiar venue, it felt like they utilized the grounds differently. I’d heard that Savage likes to set fast courses, unlike Spartan and Bonefrog who try to slow things down – and I got that impression this weekend! The obstacles were really cool, lots of innovative twists on the grip ones, and I loved the inclusion of some balance and water ones as well. The balance element in particular is something I feel the sport as a whole neglects, so it was cool to experience.

    I will say there was a ridiculous backup at wheel world. In three seasons of OCR, I can’t remember waiting anywhere near that long – about ten minutes, previously have never even waited 5, and I was in the third heat of the day. something needs to be done if that obstacle comes back. I also don’t love the no penalties for a miss in open – even something modest is better than just letting people skip, in my opinion. Yes, its not a pro wave, but it is still an OCR World’s qualifier.

    Swag and Awards: Standard shirt and medal – I like both. The axe the winner got is awesome – too bad I won’t ever win a race!

    Overall: AWESOME race, I have already signed up for the Pro Wave next year – the first race I have signed up for in 2018 – can’t wait to try an keep my band!

  3. This race was great. Excellent use off a venue we have all seen before. Varied and interesting obstacles that were a challenge but were very well built. I felt safe on all of them unlike at other races. The staff and volunteers were awesome. The swag was great. I love OCR and always have fun but this was one of the best times I’ve had. Davy Jones and Colossus were scary fun. I’m definitely doing it here next year and I might have to travel to another venue as well

  4. Like many, this was my first Savage Race. I’ve been to the venue for Spartan Super Last year so I was familiar with the parking situation. I do admit, the busses ran more timely and frequently than with other races. The venue itself had the usual suspects for food, the $10 pizza guy always gets my business, but it was great to see some new faces there slinging some great grub. I really enjoyed the seating area with the picnic tables. It gave it a fun atmosphere. The vendor section was I felt limited, unless I missed some vendors. This being the first Savage race in a long time in New England, I would have loved to see more New England themed savage gear (I get you take a risk when making gear like that, but us New Englanders love New England Swag.

    The obstacles were well spaced, at times it felt like maybe too well spaced, then there as a few back to back. We ran into a long line for Wheel World, I felt that maybe having an additional one may have helped, however I didn’t run into a line on my 2nd lap. The staff / volunteers were really friendly! I did 2 laps and they gave me both my timing chips. This became a problem as if I crossed the start with one on my wrist and one in my pack it would go off, so I had to improvise and throw my pack around the start and to the side before I finished so I would not set my chip off.

    All and all, I had a great time! The Savage Race will always be on my calendar when they are in New England and will most likely get another two laps out of me (when you have a shot at the big medal, go for it).

    Most importantly, I had a great time running a great race with 100+ new friends and look forward to many more!

  5. This was a kick ass race! The well constructed obstacles were challenging enough for me overall to keep things interesting. I loved the innovation that was unlike what I’ve seen elsewhere, even on the standard obstacles like walls, but you guys put barbed wire in between. I would’ve liked to see platforms on the entrance and exit on some of the hanging upper body over water obstacles like Wheel World. Also, given the length of the race i would’ve liked to see more obstacles per mile or less mileage (closer to the advertised 4-6 miles) because mud is GREAT and FUN but gets old after so many miles through it. Communication was great keeping us informed of everything. Volunteering was really good too. I would’ve liked to have a staff member check in once or twice throughout the shift just to see how things were going and if we needed anything. Additionally, if we volunteers need to be there so early but arent being stationed in place for an hour to an hour and a half or so, either have us arrive later so we dont have to get up so early, or use us for simple tasks like trash pick up or setting up tables and chairs or getting supplies to the festival area where needed before we’re placed at our assigned station for the day. And give us name tags stickers “Hello My Name Is: “. This way, staff knows who we are and can write down on their assignment sheet who’s doing what obstacle or water station etc, and racers know who we are to have that extra bit of personabilty. Also, we were assigned to a water station and shared MANY of the racers sentiments that full sized water bottles were a waste and unnecessary. SO many people would grab one, take a sip or two, and throw the rest out. If you’re going to use water bottles in the future, get the really small ones that are 4-6oz or so. We offered caps to racers so they could take the full bottles with them but many of those bottles with caps were tossed out at the second trash barrel we set up ~75 yards away just before Shriveled Richard, presumably because people realized what a pain it was going to be to carry a water bottle, at least one that size. I’d also reccomend an on line volunteer survey for feedback purposes. Can’t wait for next year to do it all again!!

  6. Communication:
    A+ Plenty of e-mails stating what I needed when and where. Also, the RD was incredibly communicative with NES and any information I may of missed overlooking e-mails too quickly, I easily found in a post from Paul.

    Venue & Festival:
    We all know Carter & Stevens Farm well. Many people hate it, but this is a venue who WANTS us there and show it. I’ll never complain about how we’re treated at any race by the venue, and cow manure aside, I really enjoy the flatter course.
    As for festival, LOVED it. Well layed out, amazing food trucks. Not too crowded or busy, I could easily see everything from our corner. Oh, NES had a corner. Only complaint would be that NES overwhelmed the bag check starting at about 25 minutes before our start time. This also caused some chaos in placing bags there and finding them when folks were ready to go.
    Oh, and having Dustin at the start line!!!! Best surprise (was this a surprise? I was surprised… ) of the morning!

    Course & Obstacles:
    The layout of the course was awesome. The spacing between obstacles was awesome. The obstacles were AWESOME. Perfect combination of skill, strength, and FUN. Some even had a fun fear factor. Plenty of mud, plenty of obstacles. Personally, the AMOUNT of mud traps in the woods was irritating. This has a lot to do with a crummy ankle that doesn’t like to have to do so much work even in a brace. The only place we found back-up at an obstacle was at wheel world, but thankfully when I arrived, I was SURROUNDED by Spahtens, so I couldn’t tell you how long I waited since I genuinely enjoyed myself.
    So the docked half point is really due to the logistical misstep of HUGE wave immediately after the Pro wave.

    Swag & Awards:
    The medals are awesome. The shirts are soft. The awards were HUGE and so cool. BUT… and anyone who has ever read a review of mine and was there this weekend knows what is coming …….
    The shirt doesn’t fit. This is a pretty big pet peeve of mine. A small unisex shirt is just too big for me. Especially these, as they seemed to run a bit on the large side. I hate getting T-shirts that I just won’t wear. And getting an awesome looking, soft T from an AWESOME race, I was guaranteed to wear this, if only it fit. Listen, RDs… you’re paying to give T-shirts out at the end of a race because it doubles as a way to make a runner happy with some more swag, AND TO PROMOTE YOUR RACE. This will end up in a blanket someone will hardly ever see. Do us both a favor and either add XS or invest in ladies cut. (End Rant)

    I LOVED this race. I mean, genuinely loved it. I’m actually going to, for the first time ever, sign up a full year out for next years race, because I had so much fun. I even might travel to do another Savage Race later this year, bummy ankle and all, and I never travel more than to VT for a race. You guys are damn near perfect, and we’re at the nitpicking. You’re absolutely doing it right.

  7. Communication up to this race was about as good as you can get. We got multiple emails detailing bib numbers, wave times, parking instructions and general racer instructions. This includes getting one at 5 am on race day so I didn’t have to scroll through my email to find what I needed before I have had coffee.

    This race was held at Carter and Stevens farm. Official parking was offsite and was 10 dollars per car. There were 10-15 port-a-potties at the parking lot and more than enough shuttle busses that we never waited for a bus. Registration was a short walk from where the busses let you off. It was spread out by bib numbers and we go through in just a few short minutes. I would say logistically this race was just about the best I have seen.

    Carter and Stevens has mixed reviews as a race venue. Personally I love it as a venue. Sure it is a cow farm and I question what is mixed in the mud we are crawling through but it gorgeous, has nice trails, a few rolling hills but no killer elevation. On site there is ice cream, a brewery, and if you hit your timing right BBQ. At the festival there was some great food choices including the food truck that sold quesadilla and tator tot steak poutine (which was delicious).

    This course was tough and fun to run. Savage race had some really cool obstacles. Everything was well built and I loved that they had water under anything that was high off the ground or had potential for falling at a weird angle. There were not a ton of “filler” obstacles which was nice. The only two complaints I would have were 1) there were two really long stretches of trail running one of which was more than a mile between obstacles, not sure how long the second one was but if felt like forever. It would have been nice to have one of the obstacles that was clustered together in this space to break it up. 2) The back up at wheel world was a solid 10-15 minutes. I am not sure if it the placement was the best place for it or if there is somewhere else on course it could have been placed to have less of a back up.

    Overall the obstacles were a great combination of technical skill, strength and facing mental challenges. I loved the Colassus slide and the platform jump (Davy Jones locker I think it is called).

    Finishers got a nice t-shirt and medal. They also have the syndicate medal for completing any two savage races.

    Overall I thought this was a great event and it is high on my list of races to do in 2018

  8. Communication:
    Savage Race excelled with their communication. Whether it be price jumps, race day information, or discounts being offered. They also seem to hold a solid ground on their social media accounts.

    Venue & Festival:
    I felt like Savage did well with the space. I did not get to hang around the festival much, but it had a good atmosphere. It felt family friendly and welcoming. Everything was well marked.

    Course & Obstacles:
    First and foremost, let me say… there was a lot of obstacles that were way above my skill set. However, I loved this race! I could do without the cow manure laced mud that comes with it being a working farm, but there’s nothing that can be done about it. They made great use of the land. Barre is relatively flat. They had some great obstacles, some different things I have not seen at other races. There was a nice mix between mileage and obstacles. It did not feel like everything was all bunched together. There was never a case where I was questioning my safety. Where there were swims, they had lifeguards stationed.

    Swag & Awards:
    Medal is sweet, Syndicate Medal (Which I did not receive but did get to see a few) was epic. Nice comfy t-shirt.

    Over all, I enjoyed this race. I loved the atmosphere, Despite it being a ‘big name’ it didn’t feel like a big name race. The community felt comfortable and welcoming. I will definitely be returning!

  9. While the other guys are busy making deals to have new TV shows, races like Savage and other remain about the race and the racers. Good work. I will be back next year.

    Finally a race without burpee police!

  10. So glad that they made it to New England. I personally could have done with one or two more obstacles to break up the miles between some of them. We clocked around 1 mile between some. I know people do not like repeat obstacles or “filler” obstacles but I think that is long distance between.
    Communication was great, got plenty of emails right up to race morning.

  11. My first Savage and definitely not my last. Great event and obstacles.

  12. Great job Savage. I really liked the variety of obstacles, they weren’t the same old obstacles yoy always see, over and over. I’d say my one complaint on the course would be to have more obstacles and not sonsoread out between obstacles. I love the obstacles, the more the better. I donthe races for the obstacles (not as much for the running).
    Volunteers were enthusiastic and energetic. It was clear a lot of thought was put into the race and it wasn’t just thrown together. I also really like this venue. I’ve done many races here and Carter and Steve’s farm is awesome.
    All in all, really good day!
    Thank you!

  13. Had an amazing time. When I emailed them with a question got a response within 24 hours. The obstacles were amazing a great mix of being challenging and being fun. Also I love that not every obstacle was strictly upper body and grip strength.

  14. While I signed up for this a while ago, I almost didn’t do this. A week and a half before I had a lower respiratory infection , could barely breathe and in a half hr I could only go 1.5 mi on the tmill and that was forced… as recently as a 7/8 I was considering bailing as I didn’t feel id be ready, so I can be less hard on myself about the outcome…OK so we have all done plenty of races at C&S, I used parking down the road on West St. others may have taken the shuttle, I wont speak to that or the ice cream or bbq. Savage new race for many of us. Reg pretty straight forward. Bag check could have used a few more vols, and I’m thinking next yr the numbers will be greater as they are going to be back, are you listening Sam….. Some of the obstacles are standard OCR staples so I don’t feel it necessary to address them either. Now mother nature threw some rain at us, and I’m not sure how much was added to the course, but for the first 6 mi I felt like I was at a TM. its common knowledge I like my mud in doses, but I rolled with it…if that’s par for Savage, its a bridge I must personally cross…. I was thinking what makes Savage different on the obstacle spectrum. Besides being different, comparing to SR which many of us have done, I feel some of the obstacles require a little more actual strategy to complete , rather than being linear- point A to point B.. They also had obstacles that tapped into some of our fears, I don’t like height, uncontrolled speed and water, so taking on colossus and davy jones locker were big wins for me. Gave up band at Wheel world as their landing area was different that what I saw on video , platform, in this case it was tarp into water, a lot of people slipped in, including me on first attempt, 15 min to second attempt, which was purely ugly, so I gave up band as I just wanted to take on other obstacles, and not ruin my day… saw a bunch of faces hitting the tarp, I’m sure my dental colleagues will be getting a bunch of calls tomorrow, personally I felt that was one of the less safer areas of course. the other notable thing was the lack of “hacks” foot blocks for women on some of the higher obstacles,. Most women aren’t tall like Courtney, and I saw one woman I met at tree hugger who was on the short side, who could not negotiate and get over the 9 ft? wall…..a few other obstacles, rigs, cargo nets ladder and monkey bars( saw tooth) were variation on a theme that we have seen before….Twirly Bird, last obstacle, though I lost band , still gave it a dozen shots( ego) , have been working a lot of grip training and this was the only obstacle that really taxed it, actually my biceps more……Had Wheel world worked out better, I would’ve tried multilapping for syndicate medal, otherwise standard issue OCR medal, cotton tshirt, beer , pizza , icecream and burger after the race.. while I didn’t spend much time with the vendors. I know inov8 was there., ran in my own inov8 thanks to a Jason burrill post, , krave , not sure what else. will I do again absolutely, not only at C&S but other venues next yr.

  15. This was my first Savage Race, and probably not my last.
    Overall the feel was very similar to the now defunct Battlefrog, and I look forward to using their multi-lap option next year.
    Starting from the top!

    Good emails after registration indicating links to forms and how to be prepared, as well as site directions. There was a threat of thunderstorms leading up to the race itself, and I dinged them a bit here since this was only updating on their Facebook site. That site however had no updates the day before or morning of, so I only assumed it was either on (w/o comments) or off (and they would have posted something.) A quick blast out that morning would have clarified the anxieties from myself and other racers. Had I paid better attention (or it been better relayed) I most likely would have signed up for the multi lap.

    -Venue & Festival
    This was run on a paintball location, and most of the entrance and venue was setup at the established entrance. Getting from one area to another was very easy. Not super active however, with only a handful of vendors, who mostly had information rather than samples or coupons.

    -Course & Obstacles
    Being on the paintball course the trails were well established, and ran through pine forests. They could have done a better job of prepping some of the branches and cutting them further back and closer to the trees as they stuck out jaggedly. If someone slipped or was not paying attention they could easily have been jabbed with a few. Loved the variety of obstacles, with an even split between upper and lower body, balance and endurance, overcoming fears (cliff jump & pipe scrambling) and the usual. VERY obstacle heavy with nearly 30 here spread out across the 5.5 mile course 🙂 Prep your hands as best you can as I hadn’t and ended up tearing out the tops of my palms. Gloves only helped somewhat.

    -Swag & Awards
    Nice medals, and the two lap Syndicate medals were REALLY nice – next year for me! T-shirt material is great, but they are nearly the opposite of fitted. To accomodate my height I typically get XL, and this is as flattering as a mumu dress or a kite. They offered two beer choices but you HAD TO PAY EXTRA to get the “quality” Blue Moon, otherwise you get stuck with the watered down Miller Lite 🙁 I wouldn’t have minded paying for a quality local craft brew, but macro-brewed Blue Moon?? Other than the medal, shirt and beer, that was about all you got…

    Like I said I really enjoyed this. I’ve been wanting to sign up for one the last year or two but couldn’t make it work. Just two weeks after signing they announced the MA venue, which would have been better for me, but I still enjoyed the drive out there. My original battle buddy backed out, but luckily there were a number of Spahtens who signed up likewise, and I ran with them.
    The biggest question is would I run again? Absolutely, and I’ll make sure to sign up for the Syndicate option and build up some calluses on my hands better 🙂 I’d rate this in my top 5 favorite races.

  16. The course was beautiful and the obstacles unique, the shirt was average and it was a great time!

  17. The 2015 PA Savage Race was my first OCR. I had little expectation other than what my brother had told me about his first OCR – a Savage at a different location in 2014. The communications were great – the website was informative, the pre-race emails were clear, and there were no surprises on race day. The race was at Skirmish USA – a paintball venue. Parking was great. It was right on site in a field and convenient – no shuttles, just park and a short walk to the entrance. I wonder if this will change if the event grows. It was a rainy day, but I didn’t see any issues with cars sliding or getting stuck. Due to the rain and cold (50 degrees), I didn’t really pay attention to the festival so I can’t fairly evaluate that piece. Showers were advertised, and I didn’t see any, but that may have been weather related. The last obstacle – Colossus – pretty much washed everything off anyway. I enjoyed the course itself. Started with the incline wall to get into the corral, and I don’t remember the order but here were most of the obstacles: various walls, log hurdles, weight pull (cinder block), inverted wall, shriveled Richard (ice bath), rope incline wall, balance beam, wheel world, sawtooth monkey bars, log carry, teeter tuber, cargo net, barbed wire mud crawl, and Colossus. Some are standard, but now that I’ve done other ocr events, I have a better appreciation for Savage’s unique obstacles. Sawtooth is the toughest monkey bars I’ve experienced, so I was proud to complete that one. Wheel world dropped me in the water pretty quick so I’m anxious to get another shot at that. Colossus is the big quarter pipe with a rope, followed by a short ladder climb to the top of the giant water slide to the finish. The course was fairly flat, a lot of rocky trails through the woods. A lot of single track in the woods, but the mix of terrain was good, and the course was well-marked throughout. Even though the obstacles were great, my only negative was the placement near the end. There were several that were close to each other and that’s where the main backups were. At the end of 5 mile run in a rainy 50 degrees, standing and waiting is not fun. Swag and awards were good too. The t-shirt is great, feels similar to the Spartan ones this year. The medal is good quality. I’m not sure about the biggest team, or even if they acknowledge that. Full disclosure, I wasn’t even aware that was a thing until learning about the NES later in the summer. Overall, I thought this was a great race. It was my first, and like many others, it sucked me in and I’m hooked. After running in a couple Spartans, and some smaller, local events, my appreciation for Savage has grown. I’m planning to return to PA in 2016 since it’s the closest Savage currently gets to New England. I’m hoping the word keeps getting out on these guys and they can find a way to get to New England. (And I’m hoping to get some better weather next time too.)

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