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* From: Sandy Rhee
* Event Details
Parking – Easy, since we were one of the last cars to fit into the lot. Those who came after us – parking on the road was not impressive. Overall, it was very convenient and free! I give it 8 out of 10
Facilities – these were fine. The picnic tables and umbrellas were really nice and we had a large enough group to warrant having one to share. We also had someone who was there only to cheer rather than run who was able to watch our bags. Since there was no bag check, this was helpful. I believe that bag check is a must though. There are a lot of groups that only have a small handful of people, so there should be some secure place for them to be comfortable leaving their things. The pre-event announcements said that the water park was going to be open during the event, but I didn’t really see much evidence of this. They did have the water fountain running, so that was nice for cooling off. Restrooms were actual restrooms and not porta-johns, so that always gets extra points from me too. We didn’t get food, so I did not visit any concessions and cannot comment on that part of the facilities. I give it 8 out of 10
Vendors – there were a few vendors, but I didn’t really spend any time investigating them. I can’t really score this one based on my lack of effort.
Schwag – The tech shirts were really nice and I especially appreciate that they weren’t black like so many others. No medal for this one. 🙁 I give it 7 out of 10 (would be 10 out of 10 if there was a medal to hang on the wall).
* Race Details
Course – this was the second event held at Liquid Planet. I had done the race in 2012 that was held at McIntyre. I heard from many people that this venue was “a lot harder” than McIntyre, but I’m not sure that I agree. It was a good course that really used the hills to its advantage. I really liked it. There was a good mix of out in the open and back on the trails that kept things interesting. There are only two suggestions I would make. First, is to have a little more open running room right at the beginning to stretch people out a bit. We quickly hit a single track area that bottlenecked almost immediately. Slower runners (who had lined up near or at the front – probably because they didn’t realize they shouldn’t) then slowed everyone up behind them because there wasn’t room to get around. Second, there was some confusion for some at the water station where you had to go straight if you were there the first time, or to the right if you were there the second time. My small g
roup of 3 didn’t get confused, but others did and it cut a good chunk of the run (and some of the nastier hills) off their route. This caused some incorrect times that threw off rankings and cost some people the chance to do that section of the course. I think some clarification on the trail right BEFORE runners get to the water station from both directions would easily and effectively solve this. If these are the only things to find fault with, the organizers did something right! I give it 7 out of 10
Obstacles – I like the variety of obstacles. It wasn’t the same thing over and over and over. Some were easy, some were harder. Some took a lot of concentration, some could be flown through if you had the ability. I really think they did a good job of choosing what to use and where to put them. I only had one problem on one obstacle and that was because I lost my focus and ended up falling. It stinks to fall, but it is good to have a course that requires your attention and demands your respect. (It also gives me a chance to give the medics at the festival area two thumbs up for seeing to my needs after the race!) I give it 9 out of 10
Difficulty – I think I touched on that in the previous section. I give it 9 out of 10
Overall a really fun race that is accessible to everyone.
* From: Eric Sset up wellurawski
* Event Details
Parking was set up well (I was a volunteer so I got there super early and left late, but looked out at lot several times throughout the day and saw no issues)
They had both mens and woman changing tents, 2 larger restrooms and a family restroom – I never saw any lines or back ups
Vendor tents were lined up and easily accessable, food was great (lines moved fast) and the band was awesome!
I was hoping for a finisher medal, but the finisher tech shirt is really nice
I was glad to be part of this event!
* Race Details
course was clearly marked, and had some steep parts and covered alot of woods
obstacles were sturdy and well thought out, I would have liked to see more but I beleive they had 16 total. The Crossfit Gym put alot of work into them, and made some crucial adjustments based on feedback from last race.
* From: Rob Fournier
* Event Details
The unofficial start of the summer racing season in New England began on June 1st where runners were again faced with choosing between three races. For the hardcore athletes, the 10-12 mile Tough Mudder was being held at Gunstock Mountain in New Hampshire. The Mountain Mucker and Adventure5k were also being held in New Hampshire. With the explosion of Obstacle Course Racing in recent years, you can pretty much find a race (or three) every weekend throughout the summer. Runners need to decide which ones are worthy enough to spend your hard earned money on. I signed up for Adventure 5k early on because I had a good time running it last year. Dirtie Girl made her way up to The Mountain Mucker and will also be providing her review within the next few days. Don’t worry Tough Mudder, I’ll be coming for you soon…
After about an hour and fifteen minute drive, I arrived in Candia, NH and parked in the Liquid Planet parking lot. I had an early wave (10:00AM), so the parking lot was still filling up. I was able to get a spot right in front. Other participants with later wave times were not so lucky. When I was leaving around 12:30ish, the cars were parked all the way down the street, leaving a fairly long walk to the venue. There was no charge for parking (a rarity nowadays). By mid-morning, the temperature was already in the 90’s. What better place to be than a water park! The venue for the race was at Liquid Planet water park and as an added bonus, runners and spectators were welcome to enjoy the park pool. Spectators were charged $5 ($3 for children). The kids remained entertained with the pool and a giant basketball hoop. There were indoor restrooms along with a designated bag check area. There was no fee to check a bag and they wrote your bag number right onto your bib so that you
weren’t troubled with finding a place to store the tag in order to retrieve your bag later. The third annual local race again benefited Moore Mart, a Nashua-based non-profit dedicated to bringing comfort to the troops serving abroad.
There were two windows to register, broken up by last name: A-M and N-Z. When I arrived, neither window had a line. We had previously been sent an email explaining that runners would need to bring thier ID and a signed waiver to pick up you bib and electronic timing chip. For those that forgot to bring their waiver, a table was setup with extras. It couldn’t have been easier. I had plenty of time to check out the park and find the starting area. Being a local race, there was no hype man: just an announcement of upcoming wave times. There was no checking of wave times either, so you could essentially run whenever you wanted.
* Race Details
The beginning of the course could have been planned a little better. Within a couple minutes of starting, all of the racers bottle-necked into a narrow path which eventually turned into a single file line. Everyone was immediately reduced to a slow pace. Not the way you want to start a race. Once the trail widened, the course featured some flat areas and some really picturesque trail runs. There were a few steep hill climbs that would have made a billy goat envious. The route snaked through the woods and it would have been fairly easy to get lost if it wasn’t so well marked. The volunteers also did a great job of directing racers. There were plenty of water stops throughout the race to help combat the heat.
Here is a rundown of all of the obstacles encountered. While nothing was out of the ordinary, they did offer something for everyone.
Oil Spill – Not quite sure what they were going for here. Unless I missed something, it didn’t even appear to be an obstacle, just a simple run up a small hill.
After a run on the gravel of the parking lot, we came across the following obstacles:
Hay What! – climb over three stacks of hay bales
Black Out – a crawl through a couple of corrugated tubes.
The course looped back around the parking lot and continued back into the water park for:
Tarzan – a set of ten monkey bars.
After rounding the park, we headed into the woods across some bridges and towards…
The Monster Plunge – A wall painted with a cool green monster face that runners needed to scale. Each runner had three options of how they wanted to climb the wall. The more advanced ones could attempt to climb the wall using just a straight rope. The intermediate runner could try the knotted rope and the beginner had the option of a knotted rope along with some wooden foot rails. I went for the middle knotted rope and headed towards the “plunge” part of the Monster Plunge. A dumpster filled with water that racers needed to swim under a plank to the other side. It was a refreshing break from the stifling heat.
After winding through some scenic trails, we encountered:
Upsy Daisy – a five foot wall
Slinky – a set of five over-under wooden structures
Gravity Defier – cargo net climb
Black Widow – tangled bungee cords that you had to maneuver through
Land Slide – a shin-high mud pit
The Beast – 10′ cargo climb
Burn Rubber – long stretch of tires (tire drill)
Plank – up and down some wooden ramps
Splish Splash – cross the edge of a pond in waist-high water (another refreshing break!)
The Burrows – military crawl under a stretch of black netting mounted on top of hay bales
Ain’t No Mountain – 6′ wall
Adventure5k upgrade the shirt from a cotton blend to the technical kind that most races offer now. Maybe next year they will offer medals. As with most races, you were also given a choice between a free beer or water ticket. As an added bonus, all runners where allowed to cool off in the pool. There was a concession stand offering a few options and a local band was also playing throughout the day. Runners were able to wash of the mud at a water station with about six hoses and change in the two changing tents.
While it was a hot day, Adventure5k was well prepared for the heat. They offered multiple water stations and allowed runners and spectators to take advantage of the pool at the water park. I, on the other hand, was not prepared. I remembered to bring everything but the sunscreen. I can assure you that will not happen again! All the volunteers were friendly and helpful and the course offered some wonderful views. Adventure5k is not trying to compete with the other extreme races out there. It is booked as a fun local 5k with some challenging obstacles. All in all, it was a well run event for a worthy cause.
For photos and video recap of all the obstacles, pleas visit my site muddywarthog.com!! Thanks!