The 5k course will include 14-16 obstacles on the scenic trails of Wason Pond in Chester, NH. Be prepared to run through tires, scale walls, and get wet before crossing the finish line to bask in the glory of your accomplishment. While you trade war stories with friends, enjoy music & good food. Walk or run the course, either as an individual or as part of a team.
11 thoughts on “Wason Pond Pounder”
Waiver and Bib information came in leading up to the race, it made check in go smoothly. While at the race, they were great about saying when the next wave was about to go off and giving the details/warnings because of the weather – very rainy and wet!
Venue & Festival:
Small and compact, but a great family friendly atmosphere. If the weather cooperated I’m sure it would have been bustling more than it was. There was food, some venders, porta-potties, and a DJ. The changing tents were definitely appreciated by the end of the day.
Course & Obstacles:
I’m kicking myself for not doing that second lap. The course was fun! It was beginner friendly and the obstacles were spread out tot he point where it didn’t feel like you were going on forever between them. There was a mixture and some I’d yet to see at races before. The rain made for some slippery situations throughout, but as long as you used your head, it was good.
Swag & awards:
It’s for charity. That’s reward enough.
But for finishing you got a t-shirt. I liked the darker gray with red writing.
I have never done a Wason Pond, but had heard all about how much fun it was as an event, and finally 2017 was the year we decided to go as a family, 8yo son and new-to-OCR friend in tow 🙂
I was fresh off a red eye flight in from California and no sleep, so my wife drove us there. About an hour and 30 from our house. Parking was offsite, and free – and the shuttle bus picked us up from directly in front of our parked vehicle within minutes. The ride was easy.
The venue is compact – festival area is what you’d expect from a smaller event – good, family appropriate DJ, food vendor, merch tent with older gear, changing tents and portapotties. Some local vendor tents and picnic tables. Unfortunately, the rain was putting a damper on the social side of things, but not much a race can do about that!
The start line was easy – we moved up a few waves to avoid the weather, and didn’t feel like we were in anyones way or over crowding anything. Our wave had plenty of kids from local charities who were there because of extra donations made by runners, which was AWESOME to see them out there!
The course is a fun, flat trail that hit about 3 miles. Obstacles were well built, well spaced, and nothing CRAZY challenging. Appropriate for a new comer to OCR, and to our 8yo. No penalties if you failed or skipped, which is how it should be for an event this friendly. Our son had NO problem with many obstacles, and totally skipped others with no problems. Some water obstacles, but nothing over your head. One slide right at the end onto the gravel was a bit steep and gnarly, but the venue was aware and had added ropes and made efforts to reduce any problems with it.
Also, they made multi lapping *really* simple, so those who felt the course was too easy, can do it again and again …
Overall, this was awesome fun. We all had a great time, and I would strongly recommend this event for new comers. Every single penny you give them goes to local charities, so they don’t spend extra on medals (and were out of my son’s size shirts by the time we finished) – but thats small beans compared to the fun we had!
After having run a dozen OCRs between last year and this year, I got home from WPP this year and my usual running buddy (who couldn’t attend) called and asked me how it was. I said “hands down the best OCR I’ve done yet.” Mind you, I’m a weekend warrior, and the Spartan Sprint was a challenge for me, so if you’re looking for endurance or training for really tough obstacles, this one will probably not rank high in the books. But for the person or family or team that is looking to have a good time and be occasionally challenged but mostly just have fun – come to the WPP.
No issue with communications, provided you are smart enough to actually read the informational material they send you in advance. I knew exactly what to expect. Parking was free and easy, and we took a bus to the start line. Didn’t wait at all for the bus to or from the race, which was really nice. The bib number lookup book on the bus to the race was greatly appreciated!
Venue is beautiful and I’d like to go back there someday in a non-race capacity. The park is gorgeous and the trails are well maintained. The venue was well set up. Bib check in for me took 30 seconds because I followed the instructions in the email and had my waiver in hand. My running buddy for the day did not and ended up taking him 5 min max to get his bib and swag. Not much swag – T shirt and some coupons – but everything at this race goes to charity so I don’t mind that. As another reviewer said, if they want to replace the tshirt with a medal, that’s fine too. Though I have had several comments on my shirt already (“why does it say you survived something?”). Brought up good conversations and I’ve ended up recommending this race to several strangers.
The course was really fun. For a non-elite, non-competitive OCR person like me, the obstacles were hard enough to be fun and challenging but not so hard that I gave up on any. The only wait we had was at the sand crawl and even that was very short (I feel fortunate that I wasn’t in the family waves later on or it might have been a different story). The race directors very intelligently scratched a water obstacle before the race because the weather was cool enough that you got cold once you got wet, but you still ended up in the water multiple times and it was actually a nice refreshment after a while. There weren’t many long stretches between obstacles and somehow many of the obstacles felt organic to the course – as if they were grown that way naturally – so kudos to the course planners on setup and materials planning. If I were a nitpicker, I’d just say that there were a couple of over/unders that weren’t clearly marked, so the running buddy and I did whichever we felt like. Had no effect whatsoever on our enjoyment level.
There are two opportunities for water breaks during the race if you don’t end up drinking pond water, and they were placed appropriately. The course volunteers were all extremely nice, including one lady who took my cell phone before our slide into the lake and took pics of my running buddy and I while we were wading through the pond. Since there weren’t any other photos of us mid-race, that was really appreciated! The volunteer kids at the obstacle where they hit you with balls were hysterical.
We got a bottle of milk/protein drink/water at the end along with some fruit or yogurt, which was nice. The changing tent was appreciated and I really liked knowing that all of my purchases for the day went to charity. All of the cops were super nice. Everyone just seemed very happy there – unlike many of the OCRs where everyone is grimly focusing on ‘being the best’ and ‘beating my time’, this was just a happy, fun family event.
Truly, I can’t wait to go back. I might even plan on doing a 2-lap day next year if it pans out. Thank you, race organizers, for such an excellent job.
Great race for beginners, early season, etc. I ran two laps, one where I pushed myself in the competitive heat, where obstacles were mandatory, one in the open where they were not, this was at my girfriend’s pace. This was my first time in a competitive heat, and it was great. There were no backups, except at the sand crawl, which could use two lanes. There was a good crew of competitve local athletes, and I feel we pushed each other, though without any animosity – a testament to the atmosphere of this race!
The second time through also saw no real backups, except, once again, at the sand crawl, and a bit at the hay bales when not everyone could clear them on the first try and was going again and again. Two lanes might be good – though people let the faster pass with no issues. It was my girlfriend’s only second race, and a much better experience than her first, at the 100 Acres Challenge. Having a lot of small obstacles was perfect for someone like her who is a little uneasy with heights.
If you are looking for really tough obstacles, there really aren’t a lot, but if you want a fun course, this is a good one – its what I expected going in, so I was really happy. The presence of a competitive wave was good for those looking to push the pace. The only swag was a cotton t shirt, gift certificate and a flashlight, but its an inexpensive race that goes to charity, so that’s really not a big deal.
I also want to say, that the atmosphere was awesome, the event staff did a great job, as did a number of the larger groups, in fostering a great environment. I also liked that it was easy to get near the course to photograph friends in other heats without causing any interference. I definitely recommend this race.
I originally selected this race to challenge my 8 year old on an ‘Adult Course’
He really enjoyed it and so did my wife and I!!
I’ll start with my one tine gripe. Being in the family heat means we went at the end of the day. When we got there an hour and a half early we collected our swag and as is the case for me at most races, there were no XXL shirts left. One cool thing about getting a medal is that they always fit. 🙂
But hey, it’s for Charity – not for my T-Shirt collection!! On to the good stuff!
They have some really fun obstacles like the Floating Docks and DodgeBall. On the tire drag he tried to walk the wheel like a dog to minimize the amount of work he had to do. It was only a car tire, but he’s only 8!! That was fun for him!
The water was cold. The temperature was cold. WE were cold. But we had a blast still! He walked through that pond in water up to his chest and kept on trudging along and grinning from ear-to-ear about his conquest.
Transportation and parking were easy and accommodating.
Check in was fast and easy and the free bag check folks acted like the 7th time I asked for my bag was the very first time every time. “Here ya go!!” with a smile.
We were among the last finishers in the final heat and the volunteers continued to cheer us on every step of the way. They weren’t standing by taking things down as we jumped over walls or ran down paths. They all acted as if they had nothing better to do and it kept everyone comfortable.
We’ll definitely be there next year – probably for the Multi-Lap option.
The pre-race email told you everything you needed to know. Multi-lapping was also super easy.
VENUE & FESTIVAL
A massage table was set up in the festival area, but there was nobody staffing it. Sad! Everything else was good. I liked the music that was playing.
Logistics were easy. No issues with registration or the short shuttle bus drive to parking. The team set up shop at one of the picnic tables in the festival area.
COURSE & OBSTACLES
I’d never been to Wason Pond before. The trails through the woods were nice! The best obstacles were the slide into the pond and getting knocked off a balance beam by volunteers with bouncy balls. Monkey bars after going into the water and with a little rain were more slippery than usual.
As others have said, the course was very much geared towards families / kids. Obstacles were evenly spread out throughout the course. Mostly climbing over and under things.
SWAG & AWARDS
I’d gladly pay a few dollars more or sacrifice a timing chip for a finisher medal (I know it’s for charity and all).
One of the lowest-priced races around, and still a well executed event. I had fun with my teammates and helping random kids along the way. So yes I’d come back.
I love this event! How much do I love this event? Enough to leave a 48 hour event at Shale Hill at 5am and drive 3 hours to participate!
But seriously. The Pounder is a great, family friendly event for people of all levels to run/walk and enjoy. The set-up of the course is fantastic. Obstacles are completely do-able – which I appreciate. I love seeing the families running together. The volunteers are all enthusiastic. The venue itself is great, complete with changing rooms. I’m not a fan of where the porta-johns are located, since you have to cross the course, albeit under an obstacle, to get to them, but they have them, so that’s a plus!
Besides all of the proceeds from this race going to charity, which is a big enough reason in my book, there is one really important reason why I will strive to never miss this event.
In 2015, the Wason Pond Pounder is the OCR event that launched me back into the sport, and got me more involved with my beloved team. I’ve done numerous races, of all types, since then, and have made some very good friends along the way.
I would recommend this race to everyone!!!
This year was the second year I’ve ran this race and I enjoy it . It makes you feel good to know that the money you paid goes to charity. It’s a well run, well organized, home grown type of race. Being that it was a charity race, and very family friendly, the obstacles were fun and not hard.
I think I got two, maybe three emails from the race director. I thought it was the perfect amount and the last one I got, just a few days before race day, had all the info I needed. It gave me the address of where to park, how often the shuttle was running, a link to look up my bib number and a link to print my waiver.
Venue and Festival:
Everything is so close together and easy to get to. After arriving to the location by bus, everything is laid out in order for you. The first tent is the waivers (in case you didn’t have yours pre-printed), the next tent is to pick up your bib, the third is to pick up you shirt and swag bag and the connected to that tent was the bag check. The perks of a small race: free parking and free bag check. I did check a bag and it was easy. The volunteer wrote my bib number on tape, attached it to my bag and then placed the bag in numerical order. It took less than 5 minutes for the volunteer to find it when I went to pick it up. There were changing rooms connected to the bag check tent as well.
Course and Obstacles:
I really enjoyed the course this year. The trail run through the woods was really nice and wide enough that I could run beside my battle buddy. The obstacles are what I really like about this race- I like the water obstacles the best! My favorite one at Wason Pond is the slide into the lake and I was really looking forward to it even though it was cold and rainy. It was announced at the beginning of the race that the added barrels to this obstacle had been taken out since it was cold. There were some new obstacles this year too- instead of wading through a corner of the lake- there was now these three floating boxes to run across. This year we had to drag the tire instead of carrying it. Most of the obstacles at Wason Pond are climbing obstacles- which I like a lot too. Hay bales to climb over, lots of Over Under Throughs, a couple of a-frames and walls. Near the end was a small traverse wall that was fun- I wish it was a bit longer. My second favorite obstacle this year was to run through hanging tires while a volunteer “hit” you with an inflatable ball. I was laughing so hard!
Swag and Awards:
We got a cotton tee shirt and a swag bag that had discount flyers. At the end of the race we got a choice of fruit: orange, apple or banana and a yogurt, along with a bottle of water.
I will keep coming back to this race. It’s a plus that it is on the #racelocal list but overall I like what they do. The charity aspect of it the race is awesome. It’s a smaller race but I like that about it. I also like that its family friendly and not only is there a family wave, but kids can run any wave. In my wave, there was a kid who was on his second lap and he was telling me all about the slide and how cold the water was. I think I saw him go out for a third lap! The volunteers were all nice and helpful.
For the second year in a row, I took on the Pounder and this year, made the goal of besting my 5 laps of last year. The weather worked against that one, but it was still one of the most enjoyable races of the year.
This race is entirely charity driven – everything made on the race is donated to local charities, and everything is done by volunteers. There is no giant obstacle budget and no medals to be given at the end of your lap, but it doesn’t matter at this one. There is always just a good feeling from everyone at this event – to have that happen one year, possible, but two years in a row – obviously, everyone working and helping at this event really enjoy being out, even on a cold wet day.
Registration is super affordable – I think I paid $45 for elite wave, and day of was only $60 for the elites! Extra laps for racelocal is super easy, the standard $10 and it was even easier as they let me just pay $40 before the race started for bibs ahead of time – can’t get any simpler! Parking is at an offsite location 2 miles down the road, but free! and a quick shuttle ride away. Bag check was free and while I didn’t use it, seemed easy enough for those that were using it. The fest area had a good music going all day, the local firefighters griling up food as fundraisers for them as well as providing medical attention.
The course was very similar to last year in layout along with some changes to obstacles and locations, but well marked and staffed better than almost any race I’ve run. Every obstacle had a volunteer either very near or right at the obstacle and all were so encouraging as well as amazed at seeing us again…and again…and again. There is nothing at this race too challenging for the average racer – its a great race to bring a beginner or the family to enjoy. All the obstacles were well built and fun – where else do you get inflatable balls swung at you as part of the obstacle?
Upon finishing, there were water bottles, fruit and yogurt smoothies or go-gurt style packs to snack on – more than about any other race around. Swag was a t-shirt, assorted pens, a coupon for a local shoe shop (sometime, I ought to remember to go use it…)
If you haven’t come to this race, you’re missing one of the best race atmosphere’s around. While not all of the volunteer staff are racers, they all get it and truly love seeing us all have fun and that shows in everything.
It was no surprise that this was well run again this year. They have the best system for #racelocal multilappers. You walk up to the table, fill out a brief form, hand over $10. They hand you your new race packet and you go out on the race heat you selected on the form.
This is the 1st year my son, 13, ran it. The weather was raw, maybe 50 with mist & drizzle. The pond was calf cramping cold. While none of the obstacles were difficult, the cold did play into his ability to enjoy lap 2. Good things to know about your kids on less than ideal weather days. He did finish the lap.
A note for newbies and families: this race is a wonderful introduction to obstacle courses. No walls are too high. There are “cheats” on anything that could be considered more difficult (I’ve been racing 4 years). There are no rope climbs or water obstacles that get you more than waist deep (apologies to the height-challenged). The race announcer makes it very clear that this is YOUR race. There are no penalties & you are welcome to bypass obstacles that pose a problem for you. So get out there, challenge yourself, your family & conquer some obstacles.
Free parking & free bag check.
Read up on the fact that EVERYTHING this race does is volunteered or donated. This is just mind blowing that they truly give it ALL to the community. Serious warm fuzzies award! Thank you.
No bling. Yes, I will pay for a medal.
This was an awesome race – let’s peel back the onion – first, please know this is a local, charity event – really a grass roots event put on by the local community to raise money for a charitable cause. With that there are some key things to note – this was such an awesome race – really felt the community presence and “love” for this event. I literally had warm fuzzies the WHOLE day! The cost for the event was very reasonable – under $50 if I recall – an it was clear that the money was being used to put on a quality event with the rest going to charity. There were no awards or fancy schwag, and I was thankful – the money was going to charity and I was happy to see it not being spent on extra fluff and puff at a charity event. The festival area was fun – lots of vendors, fun music, food (fruit, yogurt, water) at the finish, The obstacles were fun, the staff was very attentive to them – at one point, one or two broke and the staff was quick to remove or fix the obstacle. I can not say how much fun it was feeling part of this community while running the trails, playing in the water and high fiving the volunteers. This is one you want to mark your calendar for – it is a great race, with a great cause. I will be back for sure!!!