The Woo Challenge

7 thoughts on “The Woo Challenge

  1. Okay, I have done many small races and many big races so I feel as though I have a vast previous quality to go based on.

    Communication I gave a 7 because it was in my opinion average.

    The venue and Festival I gave a 4.6 because honestly in my I was a bit disappointed; I am not a beer drinker and it said there would be beer and I didn’t see it. There were food trucks on site for food but when I finished none of them were up and running so post race I was offered a cup of water and a banana. Many of the other vendors were really aimed at the general public (LuLaRoe, pampered chef, some other random company)….there was a live DJ however,

    Course & obstacles I gave a 5.5, advertised as an OCR there were minimal obstacles; the course was approximately 4.5 miles as advertised and all the obstacles were basically clumped at 3 points otherwise it was all running. The obstacles were definitely of a fun nature not challenging. One of the obstacles was a slack line with a rope above to walk across and was still being set up as the first wave of runners arrived.

    Swag and awards were average a tee and medal for everyone that finished.

    Overall, a major downside was that I was assigned to the 8am heat, at approximately 7:50/7:55 the DJ announced for all runners for the 8am heat to head to the start line…..the 8am heat did not start til approximately 8:30 which left many frustrated and people said afterwards they didn’t start the 8am heat til a lot later because there were not enough runners; in my opinion then the waves should have been assigned the way they were. Also it was disappointing to see that members of the same team were not all assigned to the same wave. Many people that had run it last year said it seem very disorganized and I would say that it still seemed a bit disorganized this year.

    I don’t think that I would rush to run this race again although it is a very good race for a first timer who wants to get their feet wet into a race/OCR.

    1. This was perfect for my skills ability I loved every second of it I thought communication was fine I got my email about early packet pick up and parking start times etc. a few days ahead of race day.

      Swag I think with a big sponsor like T&G there could have been a better swag bag but T shirt and medal were cool and good quality

      The course running route was not hilly and all obstacles were do able or at least easy to try I would recommend this race to any one looking for a good fun race

  2. The communication both prior to the race (via emails) & during the race was great!…lots of volunteers who were specific in what you needed to do/where you needed to go …but were always shouting words of encouragement!…the course was well marked and really liked our police escort (and presence thru out the course) …given the fact it was inner city I understood the obstacles placement and the course was fun/rewarding!… plus the weather was great …do the Woo!

  3. Communication: Leading up to the event I felt that I received ample communication as to what to expect. The day of there was some hiccups with getting everything started and under way. But once a system fell into place, it seemed like things started to flow a bit smoother.

    Venue & Festival: I was not around the festival area much as I was out on the course volunteering, then completed the course before coming back as everything was starting to pack up. I think the location was great for where the festival was held though.

    Course & Obstacles: I love the urban aspect that this course had to offer. I can understand the obstacles being more clumped because the park was utilized. I loved the use of the hill for a slip and slide, I thought the chamber of cars with paper carry was a unique was to use the tunnel and the sponsors.

    Swag & Awards: White t-shirts identified volunteers. Participants were given a small sports bag with flyers, and swag from the sponsors of the race. There was also a red shirt and a medal for those who completed the course.

    Over all it was a fun day, my favorite part was the use of the urban landscape as the location for this race.

    1. I went to this race knowing it was a first run and it was in the city. I do not enjoy running on pavement at all, and will normally avoid races with too much road time. However, the RD is a NES member & I wanted to support the new venture.

      Parking was free, easy, and a quick walk over to the venue on the common.

      The race was well marked overall. Streets were often blocked with road blocks and there were a ton of police officers at intersections to keep runners safe at crossings or turns along the course.

      The obstacles were easily doable by most. No walls were too high or without a support step. The sandbag carry caused a brief back up. As the event grows, I expect the obstacles will advance. I hope those new to obstacle course racing enjoyed the variety and at least attempted the walls and traverse wall. Special notice of the nod to Worcester with the newspaper carry. I would love to see more “Worcester” obstacles in the future.

      After running, I volunteered on the kids’ course. That kept me moving! The kids were extremely fast and ran the loop for about 2 hours straight. The tunneled, balanced, tire hopped, delivered news papers, ran through pool noodles, hay, pools, and a slip & slide, etc. Note to families-kids approx 10 and up are going to find the course too easy. Depending on the child and the race rules of the year, older kids/tweens may like running the family heat instead.

      Best wishes for future growth.

  4. We arrived at 8 and had no trouble finding parking on the street close by the venue; we were originally aiming for the library but never found it. The festival area seemed like it was still being set up at that time, but we were registered quickly and ready to go.

    The starting queue had a wall to hop over; after that there was a mile + run before coming to an area with several obstacles: over/under; spider web; army crawl; balance beams; sandbag carry; slide; dodge ball; and a 6 or 7 foot wall. The spider web was not very long, and also not to the ground; it being right after over/unders, I saw some people go under. The army crawl required you to really get low, which many people (me included) did not do sufficiently, which pulled the buckets holding it in place down, and the volunteers kept setting it back up. The slide was fun (though it doesn’t really seem like an obstacle); on the second lap we both slid several feed beyond the end and were quite dirty (not a complaint). Dodge ball was kind of weird – because of that initial long run, the runners were well spread out at this point – you weren’t dodging, you were literally a target – volunteers aiming at right you – it didn’t hurt to be hit square on in my (padded) stomach, but I think other body parts (my head/face) would not have been so happy.

    This was followed by another decent run to a short set of tires to step through in a large field – it definitely felt like some more obstacles could have been here. Then more running to a newspaper carry in a tunnel. Then another decent run to the end, where a short traverse wall, an inverted 7 or so foot wall, and a slatted wall were right in a row up to the finish line.

    We did not have to wait at most obstacles, and everything was solid and well-constructed (except the army crawl). Overall I would not rate the obstacles as especially challenging. Volunteers were plentiful.

    There were almost no arrows on the course, just volunteers and even police giving directions. Some street crossings had no one at them – one even had a traffic signal and I thought “am I supposed to go here?” Some streets were closed, some half closed, some not at all – it was not clear what was what, so I didn’t know where I was supposed to be running. One section had runners going in both directions, but it was not marked who should be where, so there was a bit of dodging going on.

    The water stations had bottled water – I don’t understand this, and it’s happened at a few races recently – I can’t drink an entire bottle at a water station, and I don’t want to carry a bottle of water on an obstacle course. I was, however, grateful for 2 stations on course; we shared a bottle, and because there were longish distances of running, it was ok to carry a bottle after the second station (but you don’t know that when you take it).

    There were only four port-a-potties, and at 9:30 they were out of toilet paper – ouch. The festival area was lively later in the morning with music and vendors. I never saw where we were supposed to get our free beer, but it was too early for that anyway.

    I had asked in advance if we could run multiple laps, as I didn’t want to make the drive just for one lap. E-mails in advance provided info, but when we went over to pay our money no one had ever heard of such a thing. We paid our money, but didn’t know if we were supposed to get new bibs, etc.

    I think most of the above “negatives” (if you want to call them that) were due to this being the first time. Overall it was a fun event, and the volunteers were all cheery and helpful.

  5. The festival area was easy to find, right off the highway in the center of Worcester. Free parking was available on the street and behind the library and was a short walk to the common. Volunteer check in was a little confused as there were no tents or tables set up and no one really new where they were to check in. It was also a bit confused as to where people were going and how they were going to get there but ultimately it got straightened out eventually and everyone got to their stations before the first runners came through.

    Registration was a bit back up in the morning. Not sure if it was unorganized or if there were actually too many people trying to do the same thing. There were lines and some confusion as to what people were supposed to do. Racers were given a nice little duffle bag a cotton t-shirt, some pamphlets advertising other events and a frisbee. Volunteers and staff were given a white t-shirt which made it easy to spot who was helping. Finishers received a nice unique medal, although a portion of the last wave did not receive them and had to give a name and address to have them mailed.

    The course was good. It was advertised as 4 miles and my GPS logged it at exactly 4 miles. For the most part their was a volunteer or a cop at most of the intersections to direct runners. The course could have used a couple more signs or volunteers to point people in the right direction. Most of the course was road running. The course was incredibly flat which was appreciated. Most of the obstacles were in Institute park. There were over-under-through walls, a spiderweb thing between two trees, a crawl, a sand bag carry up a hill, a water slide, running through a tennis court while dodging tennis balls, and a wall (6 ft maybe). The run to the park was long enough that people were spread out and there were little to no back ups at the obstacles. After the park there was more road running to another field where there were some tires to step through. This was one place I thought they could have utilized space a little better. It would have been nice to see a couple more obstacles in this field. After that runners were back on the road for a bit until you hit the tunnel. There was a newspaper carry while walking in between some cars, before running back to the common. On the common there was a traverse wall, an inverted wall and a ladder wall before the finish line. There were two water stops along the course and water at the end for finishers.

    Overall I think the amount of obstacles were appropriate for the length and since it is in the city it is understandable that they would be close together.

    The festival area was pretty well set up. There was some music playing, some snack for sale, a sand art table, and some other vendors that I didn’t check out. It looks like there was a food truck around for people to buy food after. Runners received a free beer either Wormtown or Bud Light.

    Overall, this was a good race. Volunteers were taken care of and were able to run before or after their shift if they wanted. One thing I can say is that the race staff was agile. Water stations ran out of water and they had replacements fairly quickly and only a few runners missed out. I think they had more people then they planned for as they ran out of water, I heard that they ran out of t-shirts, and they ran out of medals (or at least the finish line didn’t have anymore).

    I will definitely be looking for this race again next year and definitely plan to run it again.

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