* From: Miles Trudell
* Event: Benson Bear obstacle challenge #1 (5K option)
* Date: 2014-05-03
* Event Details
This Event was held at Shale Hill Adventure in Benson Vermont on 3MAY14. This obstacle course has everything you are looking for to get started without the unnecessary fluff. First off the parking is free and quick which I like a lot. Once I get to an event I just want to get going and Shale Hill really plays into my eagerness to get started. It is a short walk to the Barn where you go in, get greeted by the staff and check in, sign your waiver, get your bib and T-shirt. Quick, easy and efficient. There was food and drink available for anyone needing a last minute gulp of chocolate milk and there were port-o-lets close to the start line which I thought was an added bonus. At the racers meeting Rob Butler did a good job of making sure everyone had a good idea of what they were going to embark onto…I especially like the fact that he explained the differences between the 5K course and the 10K course. Both share certain parts of the course and the lanes are clearly marked
with the appropriate color that your wrist band is. The 5K had red wrist bands, thus follow the red arrows and you will be ok. The Schwag we got was good. I love the new finishers medal…Its gold with a Bear in the center and the Shale Hill logo. It spins and has a green ribbon. The T-shirt is the Classic Shale Hill Logo-My wife’s says Get your Gription On. Plus Bananas and chocolate milk at the end.
* Race Details
The 5K course itself is suppose to be designed for beginners and intermediate athletes of OCR. With 3.1 miles and over 30 obstacles, I can honestly say that the design was fun and challenging with obstacles evenly spaced out and allowed you to catch your breath before tackling the next objective. One big feature of this 5K is that it allowed the participant to make choices based off from ability. One example of this is one of the water sections. For the 5K, the participants are supposed to swim across the pond, but they can take a crack at the Tyrolean traverse if they feel up to it. Keep in mind the water is still cold either way…There were several points during the course where you could scale-up if you felt strong or scale back if you needed a breather. To me and my crew, this made the course very enjoyable and this was the best feature of the 5K. The penalty system was 5 push-ups, jumping jacks or sit-ups-So again the focus was about trying the obstacles and seeing
where you really stood on them versus smoking yourself with penalties before finishing. The obstacles focus on upper body strength mainly, with several that require balance and technique. Most obstacles are individual based. The terrain that day was wet, with parts that had mud, but with other parts with grass fields and stone ledge. To me, a good mix of terrain instead of just a mud pit to operate out of. The obstacles are permanently placed which adds to the quality and sturdiness of them-Nothing is going to fail or fall over on you as you are attempting it, which gives you the confidence to stay and tackle it several times if you choose. Some obstacles were easy, but some were a challenge and were the same ones that the elite 10K participants had to complete. I’m finisher of a Tough Mudder, The 2013 Killington Beast and this year’s polar bear, to name a few. What’s most important to me is not where I finish, but the company I have with me during these events. The
5K at Shale Hill creates an accessible option to the local populace of New England. Bringing new folks into the OCR community will only grow the sport even bigger, create healthier lifestyles and opportunities for us all. The positive energy, infectious vibe and sense of community is what got me involved in OCR in the first place and keeps me coming back. Well, I’ll be back and I’m bringing some great friends and first timers along with me for the next one-Hats off Rob…You nailed it.