I don’t know why, but Gauntlet Races (Run the Gauntlet and Rock the Gauntlet) hid under my radar until recently, when I had the pleasure of meeting Amy, one of the organizers of the event and I wanted to put a bit more of a spotlight on them – they’re a CT based event, put on and backed by Denali stores. They put on two events a year, and have done for a couple of years now – and September is right on the beach making it something relatively unique in the area!
With a September event on the calendar – on a quiet Sunday, no less, definitely worth checking out!
What is the history behind Run the Gauntlet, and it’s involvement with Denali?
Over the past 5 or so years Denali has embarked on a mission to increase our community involvement and support of local non-profit organizations specifically those that promote access and preservation of green space as well as those that teach youth about leading healthy lifestyles and becoming future stewards of our land. To that end we have planned and hosted 10 or more events each year either in our stores or outside that can provide a fun filled or educational experience. Any event we put on is a benefit so its a win-win relationship with our non-profit partners. Run the Gauntlet this fall will be our 4th race in 3 years and we plan on continuing the event for many years to come. It is a great race for a great cause and participants, staff and volunteers alike all have a fun time.
What is the distance, obstacle style – and how competitive is Run the Gauntlet?
Run the Gauntlet is a 5k race with 14 obstacles along the course. Most obstacles are considered family friendly but some are rather challenging such as the 8 foot wall called “Get Over Yourself” and the Hammonasset Hurdles. Another challenge is the location itself with around half the course being in the sand at Hammonasset Beach State Park.
What charity partners do you work with?
Run the Gauntlet is a benefit race for The Shoreline Greenway Trail. This organization is an all-volunteer organization dedicated to building a 25-mile continuous path for bicyclists, walkers and hikers on the Connecticut Shoreline from Lighthouse Point in New Haven through East Haven, Branford, and Guilford to Hammonasset Beach State Park in Madison.
As the organizer, tell me more about your OCR background?
JB Sports is the actual race director. They are an event management company that organizes some of New England’s top running events and health walks. They have over 30,000 participants annually, and have raised over $2,000,000 for charity. There are two of us on the race committee that have OCR experience. I have done 4 Tough Mudders, 3 GORUCK Challenges, 1 Merrell Down and Dirty, 1 Warrior Dash, GORUCK Nasty, and 1 GORUCK Light. Andrew has done 2 Tough Mudders, 2 Merrell Down and Dirty, 2 Warrior Dash, 1 Spartan, 1 Zombie Apocalypse, 1 Rugged Maniac, and 1 Super Hero Scramble.
Who do you hope to bring in to run the event, and what are the goals?
Run the Gauntlet is an event with broad appeal. Our goal is to provide a race with enough challenge to entice experienced racers but we also want this to be a family type event that appeals to our local community in support of a good cause. We employ a very experienced RD who has put on hundreds of road races but few obstacle races. Obstacles add a complex element to putting on a race…you have to be creative yet able to handle the logistics. It has been a learning experience for sure but we have grown our race attendance each year and hope to continue that trend. The race course is changed and improved upon year after year with new routes and different or additional obstacles. Our intention is to grow Run the Gauntlet each year by increasing racer registration as well as community involvement in the event through sponsorship and vendor participation.