Blizzard Blast 2013

Blizzard Blast 2013

  • Name: Jessica Wohlen
  • Event details (parking, facilities, vendors, schwag etc):

Travel/Parking:

The trip to the location was super easy.  Literally right off 495!  Parking was ample and free.

Facilities:
We checked in INSIDE a building which was where we stayed until it was time to hop the bus to the starting line.  After the race we returned to the same location.  Indoor plumbing, FTW!

Vendors:
Best Fitness – one of the sponsors.
Lincoln Technical Institute – thanks for the hot cocoa!!

Schwag:  Long-sleeved tshirt and a pretty neat medal for bling!
Winners received a BB sweatshirt, hat, and free entry to next year’s race.
Free Chowdah/Stew and a Beer for racers.

  • Race details (course, obstacles, difficulty etc):

Being optimistic that there would be snow, this was billed at a 5k snowy OCR.  However the weather did not cooperate on the snowy part so much.  As a result several truck loads of snow were delivered so we could enjoy some of the wintery stuff they had planned.
The bus literally dropped us off at the starting line, so it was cool to hop off the bus and BAM we were right where we needed to be.

The course was a good mix of trail and pavement running.  I wore my Inov-8s in hopes there would be more snow to tackle, but they served me well.  Sadly there was little snow to run through, but there were some icy spots to maneuver and some man-made snow piles to traverse.   The starting line had us going up and over a reasonable sized mound of snow and the we were off!

The big review will have more details so I’ll keep the rest of this fairly short.  There were some decent hills to ascend on a switchback paved trail.  There was also a fun “Winter” theme where we had to dodge through pool noodle/sled saucers hung from above at various points in the race.   There were  things to climb – A Through-Under-Over, a wall with footholds, a ladder wall built over a rather tall section of fence, and we literally had to climb over a short fence too!  And while we didn’t have to carry heavy stuff, we did have to do a Christmas Tree Drag/Carry.  My *favorite* obstacle of the day though… sledding down the hill with Lisa and Jen (the trouble twins!).

I think this race would definitely have been more challenging if snow decided to visit, but it was a lot of fun.  I will definitely be on the lookout for the 2014 registration, and hope that next time the snow cooperates!

Just one kink to workout:
– I’m not sure what happened with the heat times, but somehow everything was behind by about 15 minutes.  While this didn’t bother me, others may have had tight schedules and this could have cramped their style!

I’m looking forward to seeing this race again!

  • Rating: Average

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  • Name: Shannon Lynn
  • Event details (parking, facilities, vendors, schwag etc):

Finding the location was very easy. After driving two hours, the last thing I wanted to do was get lost right off the highway. The directions were simple, the location was well marked and there was ample parking. Best part? It was free!
The facilities were great — large indoor meeting room, decorated nicely with large round tables and chairs. There were volunteers that met you at the door when you arrived, gave clear instructions on where to go and what to do. There were tables around the perimeter of the room, clearly marked and well organized to make check in simple. The volunteers running the tables were friendly and helpful. Especially the folks at Bag Check. I had to retrieve my bag after checking it in, and they were very pleasant about it despite being overwhelmed by racers.

The vendors were great. The entertainment was fantastic. I was very pleased with my experience at this event. My only complaint would be that it was very hard to hear the MC and the live music sometimes over the crowd. It was difficult to hear key important announcements.

  • Race details (course, obstacles, difficulty etc):

The course itself was a lot of fun. A combination of trails, paths, grassy fields, hills, snow and ice. It definitely opened my eyes to the need for more practice on trails (and actual trail shoes!). The obstacles were placed at a decent distance apart. We climbed over large piles of snow and dirt, did sprints carrying bricks, dragged/carried Christmas trees up hills and tossed them over a wall, climbed through a bus, sled down a big hill, the traditional over-under-through, ran across logs, climbed a cargo net and over several fences – by using the fence on its own as an obstacle, as well as a man-made climbing wall that brought you up and over a very tall tennis court fence. Overall, I thought the obstacles were great. Challenging for a beginner, but not impossible. The path to travel was well marked with yellow caution tape.
The hardest part for me was the running. Recovering from the flu, I found that I struggled with the hills and the cold air. The ice and snow on some of the uphill climbs was difficult in plain running shoes, but not impossible. The volunteers on the course were helpful and supportive – giving guidance on how to position myself to get over some of the bigger walls, as well as providing a brief cheering section as I made my way through the course.

I really enjoyed Blizzard Blast, and would definitely do it again. It was great to get out and do something challenging during the off season.

  • Rating: Excellent

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  • Name: Jennifer Tadeo
  • Review:  I came, I saw, I ate meat.
  • Rating: Excellent – for a small event.

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  • Name: Mark Gearin
  • Event details (parking, facilities, vendors, schwag etc):

I ran in the first event “Panic in the Park” and I thought the venue was good but I know they needed to do more if they wanted to drag in more OCR people.  I went to Blizzard Blast hoping they stepped up to the plate.  Mother Nature didn’t cooperate as much as hoped but they had snow trucked in and made it work.
The parking was ok as there was plenty of it and it was free.  The Facilities were adequate for the size of the group.  The Food and drink were good and the people were all friendly.  The Bling was a huge upgrade from Panic and the vendors were friendly and had some nice giveaways.

I didn’t feel like it was a huge cash grab like some other events and the event staff worked hard to cater to the needs of everyone.  It was comfortable and run ok.  there was a scheduling issue but I didn’t mind the delay.  It was a short bus ride to and from the venue and there were plenty of volenteers to help out.

  • Race details (course, obstacles, difficulty etc):

I have run,walked,played baseball,had bootcamp,been sledding, been chased by zombies and now I can add Blizzard Blasted.  I enjoyed the course set up as it used all the terrain very well nd it used a huge portion of the park.
The course was part paved and part trail and well marked.  The obstacles had some challenge to them and included in no particulaur order A christmas tree drag, Cargo net, Dumpster dive, brick suicides, a log walk, Tubbing, wall climbs and lots of other neat uses of the terrain.  I can only imagine what it would have been like if Mother Nature cooperated but hopefully she will in 2014.

I found the race to be challenging as it was 20ish degrees out making the run that much more difficult. I was also happy to have a race set in January that was very local to me.  You can bet I will be registering for this event next year and I can’t wait to see what is dreamt up for Panic in the Park.

  • Rating: Above Average

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