Bone Frog Challenge 2015

bonefroglogo* From: Stephanie O’Keefe

* Event Details
From pulling into the parking lot I knew I’d be in for it. We pulled in and went face to face with that terribly steep looking hill. They were trying to put the fear into us before we even began haha The parking attendants did a great job, it was easy to find parking, and to exit safely. They had a lot of bathrooms so there wasn’t really any waiting which is always nice! We briefly visited vendor tents but honestly I found most of them to be REALLY expensive, so I didn’t buy anything at this race. I do enjoy the medals they handed out at the end and the shirts are really comfy 🙂

* Race Details
Believe me, it was a lot more than I expected!!! I knew it would be challenging but they really went above and beyond to try and break my spirit. If anyone knew me well, they’d know that I don’t like hills….like at all. Well at least when it’s for time, and this course was ALL ABOUT THE HILLS. Carrying ammunition boxes at the end up a steep hill after a calf cramp is NOT a good time. Hiking up what seemed to be Killington in the middle of the race to sign the Memorial board at the top. BUT, don’t get me wrong. There were a lot of really fun obstacles that I enjoyed. There were a total of I think 50?? Give or take one or so. My favorite obstacle was climbing the water rafts in the pond, luckily I was in the elite heat so I got to go through pretty quickly. Another part I thought was really cool was climbing through those obstacles in complete darkness after carrying a tire up yet another hill. Overall, the race did what it was designed to do. Challenge. It put me through some mental
challenges, along with obvious strength and endurance.

Thank you Bone Frog,

I’ll be back.

* Rating
Above Average


* From: Michael downey

* Event Details
parking was onsite if you got there early for $10.00 and a 2 min walk to registration does not get much better than this.

was nice to have a actual indoor bathroom at a race for once although it seemed rather soon due to the over use they lost all there water pressure, no fault of the race but something the building owners may want to address.

you earn a very nice medal for finishing the race and a very nice finisher tee shirt.

* Race Details
this one is not for the faint at heart, this race is the real deal and after doing the most recent SPARTAN RACE beast in Nj i can confidently say this race was harder even though it was 4 miles shorter, most of the climbing was harder and steeper and there is no compassion on the obstacles bonefrogs obstacles are just amazing and the fact some of them are permanent installations only helps them in being able to make them amazing. my favorite obstacle of the day had to be the boat crawl, we got there early and only waited about 10 mins so that wasent to bad but i heard later the wait grew to 45 mins. this is something bonefrog seemed to have a issue with was several obstacles with very long wait times. the 3 biggest waits were the boat crawl, the cargo net at the peak and the traverse ropes ( both of them) thinking maybe cutting the heat size and longer gaps may help on that issue. if your going do this race the best advice i can give is work on your hill climbs and grip strength the
better you are at those the better you will do.

overall this race lived up to all the positive reviews and gave us the best bang for our buck i have seen to date. if i could i would rate this even higher than excellent

* Rating


* From: Nele Schulze

* Event Details
Parking was right on site and therefore awesome. The facilities were great, inside bathroom and inside area. The only slight downside was I heard the hoses to shower off ran out of water, but I cleaned up in the bathroom so it wasn’t so bad. There were so many vendors including frogfuel and Sinergy/shale hill/ice bugs. Lots of tents and vendors to visit. The schwag once you finished was a nice good quality medal and a nice tshirt. The tshirts also differed between the sprint and full course, which I liked.

* Race Details
The course was AWESOME. Lots of difficult obstacles and great use of the terrain. I really like the memorial wall and other SEAL related obstacles on course. I liked the ‘elites must finish every obstacle’ rule although I didn’t actually see if it was enforced. The obstacles ranged in difficulty and creativity. I loved both monkey bars and the obstacles in pitch black under the tarps. The only problem was lines. I got caught in about 30 minutes of lines in the elite heat (especially at the inflatable boats, the traverse over water, and the green strap monkey bar-style things).

* Rating


* From: Sean Scanlan

* Event Details
Parking was on site, standard 10 dollars per car. Set up was a little funky having to go in for registration then back out for bag check, but there were lots of bathrooms inside so big plus there! Festival area was just big enough to be comfortable. Not many tents, but the vendors were friendly enough. Didn’t spend too much time there.

Finsher medals and shirts are kickass. Nicely done.

Beer selection was top notch. 4 different brews from Founders Ale to choose from? Yes please!

* Race Details
The mountain itself was a gentle giant of sorts. Driving up, it looked really big, but it wasn’t so bad once you set foot on it. There was a decent amount of climbing, but a nice balance of trail running. I would much rather run a race than constantly climb, so overall the terrain was well balanced. Despite running in the morning to mid afternoon, the course had bugs EVERYWHERE. EVERYWHEEEEREEEE. Bugs have never bothered me, but I couldn’t even think half the time with buzzing in my ear and swallowing bugs multiple times through the race. I’ve never experienced so many bugs in the middle of the day at any point in my entire life. That was no fun. The race advertised itself as averaging obstacles every 1/4 mile. This got me pretty excited. I love obstacles and love challenging myself. I knew it wouldn’t actually be every 1/4 mile, but I was curious to see the layout. Well, it became instantly clear that this course was designed for the elites. Not so much because the obstacles were so
difficult that only an elite athlete could do them, but because they were designed to be one at a time. Having so many sold out heats, there is no excuse of a surge or race day registrations. The amount of time spent in line was sickening. Within the first mile of the course there was a huge backlog at the raft obstacle. After just getting warmed up and into the race I was expected to wait in a line that moves so slow the RMV would cringe. I never skip obstacles and usually scoff at people who do, but I was not going to wait in line for an obstacle that I had 0% chance to fail at. After scouting ahead I ran back, grabbed my partner and we ran around the obstacle. The log carry had some nice dry, light logs which made it almost enjoyable to do the log carry. After some unbalanced monkey bars came the tyrolean traverse, and wait #2. The wait wasn’t too too bad, but there were only 5 ropes so you could only move so quickly through it. After making it through the this, I was greeted by
an even longer line for a traverse wall. Let me reiterate ONE traverse wall. For hundreds of people per heat. Now I’m starting to get antsy. I ran and waited and ran and waited and now I’m waiting again. How can there only be one wall? It was a tougher wall than it looked for sure, which only added to the wait. I got real impatient and jumped on the wall right after the person in front of me. Bad choice. I had to wait even on the wall (which was definitely my fault there), so my forearms were burning from that. After completing that I go around the corner to see a handle crossing thing. Pretty damn cool obstacle. Tough obstacle even if I had fresh arms. Had to try it on my own and didn’t get even halfway. You beat me there, Bonefrog. Then used the “teamwork” method and got across. Knowing how many obstacles were in such a short stretch, I figured there would have to be some open running soon. Thank goodness there was and I was able to calm down a little and just enjoy the scenery.
When I wasn’t inhaling bugs. I finally felt like I was able to get into a rhythm a bit. After some climbing, crawling and a tire carry, we came up to a tarp covered obstacle. After crawling in and seeing how dark it was, save for some glowsticks, I remembered I had my headlamp still packed in my bag from the NJ Beast. I flicked it on and saw there were walls with holes in them and a small backup. After getting through the first wall I noticed there was even more of a back up. By the third wall I’m standing still and roasting inside a hot box that a black tarp on a sunny day will create and I’m just dying to get out. Eventually I do get out and breath in the sweet sweet buggy air once again. The next “obstacle” I remember was a hill. Yup, they counted a hill as an obstacle. A decently steep climb, they called it stairway to Valhalla. You just walked up the only part of the mountain I really consider “steep” and back down. No carry or anything like that, just hiking a hill. At the to
p there was a memorial board to sign. Pretty cool idea to actually have the board in the middle of the race. After taking in the nice view, it was back down and on with the course. We came into a narrow track in the woods where we got stopped to be told a story. After hearing the backstory to the 31 heroes, we were expected to do 31 burpees with sandbag presses. At least the volunteer admitted there was a baglog here and encouraged us to do burpees before and then press as we announced the names of the fallen. This wasn’t much of a challenge for me, but my girlfriend struggled a lot pressing the sandbag over her head. Having no male or female sandbags, I felt as though the bags were very light for an in-shape male, and moderately heavy for an in-shape female and very heavy for a casual female. C’est la vie. After waiting between the burpees and presses it was time to move on. We moved up the mountain where there was a rope climb. The rope wasn’t that long of a climb. maybe 15-20 fee
t or so? but it was near the top. My gf is afraid of heights, so being up the rope and seeing down the mountain was a test of her courage. She toughed it out as a trooper to the top then had trouble coming down. There was nothing at the bottom to catch or pad a potential fall. No hay, no water, nothing but hard ground. I had to stand underneath her and coach her down and catch her. It seemed pretty silly for there to be no sort of softer landing area, as a fall from the top could do some damage to a person. At the top of the mountain, there were 5 obstacles within 100 yards of each other. First was a rope/wall climb into monkey bars. Decent idea and originality points here, but with only one of these stations and a couple or ropes it caused a bag log. That log was nothing compared to the log at the cargo net on the other side. This was probably about 25 feet tall and enough to fit about 3 people on at a time. Very slow moving and when two people got to the top at the same time, it c
aused even more waiting. Like the rope climb, there was nothing to cushion a potential fall, only adding to the danger. The wait was around 20-30 minutes and the only reason I didn’t skip it was because a 50 pushup penalty was excessive for an obstacle I knew I would not fail. After waiting, I was at my limit. There was a log hop and crawl followed by another climb over a wooden tower-like thing. This was easy for me, being 6’2″. A lot of the shorter men and women had difficulty with the gaps. With there being nothing soft to catch them on a slip, it was an obstacle to be very careful on. Knowing I was nearing the end, I just wanted to finish. I had waited in line for too long and it stretched the race out for me. More trail running followed and when we came up to the solar panels we were met with soldiers asking questions. First what charities does Bonefrog support? What? Are you kidding me? I guessed Wounded Warriors. Wrong. Go find the banner somewhere over there with the 3 chari
ties and come back. Eye roll. Ok check off the three charities I will never donate to and recite them. Moving on. Oh hey another one. Ok what’s your question? Oh I have to go over there and down some gully to read a banner. No thanks, how about you ask me the question and maybe I’ll get lucky. No? You wont ask until I go read the banner? Fine have it your way. Where the heck is this? Oh someone found it way over here ok lets go here. WHAT THE HECK?!?!?! This is the same M4 fact sheet they told us to read earlier, which I did. [Insert not so nice words here]. More time wasted on the course. Answer question and move on. Exaggerated eye roll here. Moving on. Is this course done yet? Almost, alright lets just get this over with. Move on in the course and come up to a sort of tower with a downward sloping tyrolean traverse thing. Two ropes. Two ropes. Two ropes. No more then two people at a time. The line backup on this was too much. I saw some people doing burpees around it and a lot of
people waiting. I saw where people were running to after the obstacle and decided to walk around. I had enough waiting for one day. This was the deal breaker for me. I had my patience tested throughout the day, and this was too much. I started walking around the obstacle and heard a volunteer or someone else shout out 20 burpees. I didn’t even look back and waved my hand. Enough is enough. I will do penalties all day for failed obstacles, but I was not going to do burpees for an obstacle that would take me about 30 seconds to do. No thank you. Moving on. Long winding single track trail towards the end. I was still mad but walking single file gave me time to cool off a bit. Fast forward to the home stretch. Come around the corner and you get to pick your poison. Ammo box, heavy and compact vs crate, light and bulky. I take light all day. Carry the box up part of the mountain and back down. No problem. Get over the high wall, and its balance log time. This was tougher than it looked,
as the log was given space to roll just a bit. I enjoyed this unique challenge, and it was so close to the end I thought I would end on a positive note. Then we got to the log pyramid obstacle. Three logs, successfully higher to get over. After noticing again there was no hay or anything soft at the bottom I had bad thoughts creep into my head. Seeing the 10ish foot drop off the top log didn’t help. Then watching a man fall from the top and land hard in front of me was just not good. He didn’t seem hurt, luckily, but I was a little fearful for my ankles and knees with a fail. The man directly in front of me barely made the top log and started sliding back. I will never forget the look of absolute terror in his eyes. He caught himself and didn’t fall, but the unnecessary risk here is inexcusable. I made it over just fine, with a little tumble on a rough landing. We had another rope wall/monkey bar thing with a 5-10ish min wait at the finish line. The bars were not very secure and tu
rned at random slots, so lots of people fell to the netting. After being helped they all seemed fine, but it added to more backlog. After this we had to dive into water under ropes and crawl under ropes in sand I think? There weren’t any ropes left, so it was just like a silly flopping and rolling. Finally, the finish.

Other Notes:
-Several water stations were waterless. There seemed to be no reliable system to get water up to the volunteers. This was not a problem for me personally, as I carry a 3L camelbak with a gatorade for distance races. Several other people were left thirsty after passing multiple stations with no water.
-The monkey bars were pretty high up with no step ladder. This just seemed silly for the shorter crowd.
-Course seemed decently marked up. They told us to watch for blue markings, which I never saw. A little confusion, but I never really got lost.

Final Thoughts:
The bad outweighed the good. I was excited going in, and couldn’t wait to get out of the venue once I was done. The race took me over 5 hours to complete. I would have done it in about 3-4 without the waiting. Unacceptable. For a race that has been around for multiple years and looking to expand into other parts of the country, there should have been a better flow to the course. Constructing more obstacles at the bog down points would have helped. There is an acceptable wait time in obstacle races, and this went way beyond that. Multiple times. Real real sour taste in my mouth after paying so much for a race that was designed to race about 5-10 people at a time instead of the waves they launched off. The bugs being everywhere added another uniquely sour taste. Not sure there was anything they could have done for that, but it adds to the negative feeling surrounding this race. By far the worst offense, was the fact that so many of the obstacles did not have any sort of cushioning and
just a feeling of danger. I did not personally see anyone get injured, but I did see people in carts with icepacks on the ankles and knees, the areas I was most fearful of hurting on these obstacles.

Would I recommend this race to a friend? Maybe if they lived close to the course and got a free entry.

Would I do this event again? Not a chance.

1.5/5 Stars, for a degree of uniqueness and some challenging obstacles, but an overall bad experience directly related to course design.

* Rating
Below Average


* From: Kristin Parker

* Event Details
Parking was methodical and it was only a 2 minute walk to registration/bag check etc… It was nice to have indoor bathrooms for once and a nice warm lodge to relax in pre-race. We went the night before for packet pickup and they made it worth our while with the re-race dinner. Everything went smoothly, and I was surprised when I wanted to bump up my start time by 30 minutes to run with my friends that it was a non-issue. The kind staff told me just to go to the timing tent on race day and let them know what wave I wanted to run. It literally took me 30 seconds to change it the next morning. That would never happen at a Spartan.

* Race Details
This was my first Bonefrog Challenge. I had been hearing about it for over a year. I love that it is smaller, and seems like it’s much more of a niche race for people who truly love OCR. It’s not as commercialized as many of the other series. Upon arriving race day, just looking around, I could see that this race draws serious athletes who are physically fit and looking for a real challenge.

I was looking forward to the large number of obstacles that this race advertises. It didn’t disappoint. These obstacles weren’t all run of the mill either. All of the walls required a lot of upper body and grip strength. The two traverse walls required grip and balance. I loved the combination of the rope/wall climb to monkey bars to rope. Two of my other favorites were the raft obstacle and the one with all of the walls in the dark because they required communication and teamwork with others. I loved the number of heavy carries and the steeps hills that really challenged strength and endurance. There were some nice trail and access road runs at just the right times when my lower body just wanted a change. My other favorite part was the 31 Heroes obstacle. As brutal as it was around mile 8 to do those 31 sandbag overhead raises and burpees, it was a meaningful and memorable task.

The volunteers were so nice. They were very encouraging and helpful. They were clear in all of their directions.

Every race has its own vibe. Some races I find that people are quiet on the trails and not really speaking to one another. This was not the case at Bonefrog. People were shouting encouragement to one another, or just saying, “Great job! Keep it up.” in passing. People were sharing salts, mustard packets, gels, and water for people in need.

My only complaints, and they are minor, were about the bottlenecks at the rafts, tyrolean traverse, traverse walls, and cargo net. Maybe those obstacles should have been spread out more, or they needed more ropes, more walls, a 2nd set of rafts? I feel like those waits affected people’s finishing times greatly. I would have finished a whole hour sooner had it not been for those lines. The only other thing was the water stations being a bit inconsistent and unorganized. Tables would have been nice so cups weren’t all over the ground. One water station had water jugs that had mud all over the spouts of the bottles. People could potentially get sick from that. The way other races do it with tables for the cups and water jugs make it safer and more easily accessible.

I had a great time, and I will definitely be coming back next year!

* Rating
Above Average


* From: Josh Chace

* Event Details
Bonefrog was my favorite race of the 2014 season. It was also the race that started my season both last year and this year so to say the expectations and excitement was high this past weekend would be an understatement. It’s held at a venue that nobody else uses (and they really should start looking at it) and it offers obstacles that nobody else does. It’s a recipe for success all around.

Bonefrog, to me, is the epitome of obstacle course racing. It’s an event that is about one thing – OBSTACLES. So many times races use terrain as the major obstacle at their event which ultimately leads to a cop out on the part of the race that’s really important to me and that’s the obstacles themselves. Any company can throw some walls up or dig some holes in the ground and fill them with water. Bonefrog has obstacles like no other race and has them in bunches. They also mix in the perfect amount of trail running as well as hill climbing and descending with their event. I can’t remember ever seeing a descent and thinking “I really don’t want to climb that.” It’s a balance that is hard to find in this industry but Bonefrog has it nailed.

Arrival at the venue was very easy. Berkshire East is a ski resort so parking was plentiful but still tested by the crowds. Standard fee of $10 was collected (or waived if your promotional discount included parking which mine did. I didn’t have to show receipts or web pages.. just a simple nod from the volunteer that I was free to park, which was great) and you were lined up just a short walk from the festival area. The registration set up was a little “off” this year. You lineup up to head inside to pick up your race packet then had to double back for bag check. There was originally a forecast of rain so perhaps they kept it inside this year for that reason. Not a huge problem just not logistically the most efficient way to do things I don’t think. The one logistical issue they did have this year was with the bathrooms. Seems the resort bathrooms couldn’t keep up with the aquatic demand of a large amount of high-protein diet racers. They had a few port-a-potties outside bu
t when I say a few, I mean literally 3. Might be a good idea to have a few more on hand just in case. Beyond that they festival area was great. A few vendors, some great beer, REALLY good merchandise, and enough seats indoor and outdoor for both racers and spectators alike.

* Race Details
The race itself is the highlight of the day for any event, so I will try and give the obstacles the respect and attention they deserve, but at 50+ it does make it difficult to get them all in. Walls, mud crawls, and carries (tire, sandbag, ammo box and log variety) were all plentiful but it’s the ones that you don’t see anywhere else that make Bonefrog one of the best racing experiences out there. You were never more than a few minutes away from a challenging obstacle. Traversing life rafts that were tied together that you had to navigate. Traverse walls that didn’t only go sideways but went vertical as well as you scaled them added another layer of challenge. And what I think more race events need to do, “Operating Red Wings” which was a group of 11 obstacles in a row that broke up the monotony of endless trail running and hill climbing. You had rope climbs, slick walls, monkey bars into more rope climbs before you scaled a HUGE cargo net then over a wall, under some wire,
over an A-frame. You know.. what obstacles course racing should be about – OBSTACLES! There was also an obstacle that was what I think an Over/Under/Through but I’ll never know because it was under a tarp in PITCH BLACK. I actually really enjoyed having to talk to other races to figure out where to go and what to do. A+ plus on that one. Then there was the 31 Heroes salute. This one really impresses me. They listed 30 fallen SEALS and 1 combat K-9 (RIP Bart) that you had to pay tribute to via a Wreck-Bag shoulder press burpee combo after reciting the name of each fallen soldier. Amazing and exhausting all at once. Bonefrog also has one of the best finishing sprints out there. A sternum checker which for a tall guy that can jump turned more into a cup checker, if you know what I mean, which fed you right into a rope climb where you had to scale a set of inclining monkey bars in front of a huge American flag for the entire festival to see. Last year I will admit that I chickened
out and didn’t attempt it but this year I was going to nail that sucker.. and I did. You were rewarded with a dip in some nice cold water and some sand before a few Navy SEALS handed you your medal, shook your hand, and ushered you over to get a (in my opinion the best) race shirt before you exit the course. All in all, I think Bonefrog is the best race within the New England and this year didn’t change my opinion of that.

There were some areas to improve on and some areas that lacked a little from last year so the easiest way I think is to simply list them in Pros and Cons.

Timing Chips – Velcro bands you wrap around your ankle – PERFECT! DO MORE OF THIS OTHER RACE DIRECTORS!
Location. Location. Location – Berkshire East is a great venue. Amazing views. Just enough elevation. Open enough to enjoy.
Obstacles – Did I mention these events are about the obstacles?
Race Swag – Medal/Shirt is the best combination in the industry.
Volunteers – All of them were genuinely excited to help and I thanked them when I could.
Course Fuel – Offering Frog Fuel on the course is a GREAT idea.

Bottlenecks – I didn’t see it much in early waves but the water obstacles were so close to the start of the race that there were LARGE wait times for the two water obstacles. Last year they were atop the mountain but that “lake” looked very low this year so maybe they couldn’t do it there.
Water Stations – No tables at the water stations made for BIG messes as it was really just a free for all getting your cups and water. Should have volunteers at each one to help clean/manage it.
Bugs – not really the RD’s fault but what was with the bugs this year? Seemed like they were bad. Again.. not a huge deal.

All in all still far more pros than cons from me. I like that Bonefrog is trying new things and usually with that comes learning opportunities so I am ok with them having a few areas to improve on. I’ll be back for sure – and so should you.

* Rating


* From: Erick Coleman

* Event Details
Parking was quick, easy and $10. We pulled almost to the building, a mere 300 or so yards from the festival area. The race offered bag check, however – with parking this close – it was possible to do without (if you’re clever with your car keys).

The registration was pretty quick. We were directed inside the building. I *always* read reviews of races before doing them myself. Not for “should I do the race,” but for tidbits on registrations, what to expect for lines, bathrooms, vendors, maybe some “inside info” on terrain and if a true trail shoe would work better than studded trail shoes, etc. The reviews I read on last year’s event mentioned long lines at registration, and only having two people manning the table, even early. Walking in the building the first thing I saw was a very long line. I immediately thought “crap, they didn’t listen to our reviews” and got into line. Next thing I know, I’m at the table, bib in hand. This *very* long line fed into a table system with about eight (8) people with a list of participants. Quick in, quick out. On my way! I was in line for maybe a 2:00 minutes, and 1:30 of that was spent talking to Sandy (I could have been through quicker). Well done, BoneFrog! Very good improve

The bathroom situation needs some help. There were a few port-a-pottys outside the registration, and the lines for *those* were ghastly. The building itself had toilets. Lucky us, we entered just as building staff mentioned the water stopped working.

I saw a decent amount of vendors, including other races – which is amazing. I love when RDs work together. Here is the bottom line: We, as a community, are all going to either succeed together, or Obstacle Course Racing will some day be a “MySpace” thing you’ll look back on. A fad, something we “once did.” When races like Shale Hill, Viking, BoneFrog work together – we ALL win.

As a participant it’s important to have your eyes open and think. “I LOVED this race. It was everything I wanted it to be. What were those other races *they* allowed on *their* property?? Huh. In order for them to do that, those races must stack up as well!” This is the point of #racelocal. While, sadly, The Viking Obstacle Race at Sunny Hill isn’t part of the Grand Prix due to it’s location only, NES *strongly* encourages you to try this race, and to support all local OCRs. If we support it, it’s for a very good reason.

Like wise, as an Army guy, it was awesome to see the Seals and Army working together at this race (the Army had some things set up at the race, and also had soldiers set IN the race – more on that later).

There seemed to be decent food choices (we didn’t partake in any food, or beer). Finishers received a medal (sprint or challenge) and, like wise, a finisher shirt (again, either a sprint or challenge shirt). I’d like to say about the shirt: It says 36+ obstacles and I feel like putting an “x” through it, and writing “52!” 🙂

For spectators, there were plenty of places along the course where you could view your loved ones run. I encountered lots of places with folks taking pictures of their “peeps.” There was also a very high and cool looking zip line, and the chair lifts were running all day.

For the kids, there was a kids race with a cool like OCR set up for the little ones. It was a nice family feel to the lay out. Well done.

* Race Details
Before I get into the course details, I want to cover something which I feel needs to be covered. This is an issue with not only this race, but each race which participates in the OCR World Championships. BoneFrog was a qualifier for the OCR Worlds, which – on face value – is a nice touch. I believe if the OCR Worlds wishes to keep it’s integrity, they will need to change how they allow people into the field.

Let’s compare the OCR Worlds to the Spartan World Championship: Similar, in a way. In order to be “in the running” for the “money” you have two distinctive methods to qualify for the “money” heat. Spartan requires you to “earn the coin.” Otherwise, if you want to go to Tahoe and run that day…just sign up. No big deal. They’ll take your money. Go, have fun, earn your medal and shirt which states “World Championship.” OCR Worlds aren’t quite the same. You qualify at specific races, by EARNING your place at a specific time slot. So, at BoneFrog, the top 15 in each age group earned a slot at the OCR Worlds.

There are two factors at play here when we are talking about **EARNING** a slot into a race like an OCR World: Bottlenecks, and cheating. Cheating in our sport is a massive hot button subject, and a sore one at that. Folks take sides, and quickly. I am going to state this very firmly: Whatever someone does within their individual race does not matter. It just doesn’t. They paid for their race, and they can do what they want. Pogo stick your way through the race naked singing show tunes, whatever makes you happy. Go for a hike, skip all the obstacles. If you’re comfortable with your medal, and your shirt, that’s all that matters.

It’s different when your “earning” a spot in a race, a spot only 15 people in your age group get. If you have claimed a spot someone else may have rightfully **EARNED** by skipping obstacles and / or skipping entire MILES of the race, you’ve cheated. You’ve cheated another person out of a slot at the OCR Worlds, you’ve cheated BoneFrog, who was designated as a qualifier, and you’re cheating the OCR Worlds.

What can be done? Ideas similar to elite heats, for starters. If a race is a qualifier for OCR Worlds, have racers where a plain white wrist band – and have volunteers on the course in areas where the racers simply don’t know where they are (along with volunteers at each obstacle). The band is marked at specific “check points” to ensure each racer has actually completed the entire distance of the race. A person who finished in the top 15 of their bracket should be able to show out they’ve gone “a -z” on the race, in the least, prior to taking a slot from someone else. They qualification could be stricter, much like the elites as well. A special wrist band. If you don’t complete everything, you’re out of the running.

Or make qualifying more like Spartan’s. Earn a “coin” in designated elite heats, and then anyone (not just “teams”) are able to sign up for the Journeyman division.

Otherwise, the whole system is flawed.

Why am I bringing this up here, in a race review, in such a long winded way? Because this race, BoneFrog, is THE perfect race to have as a qualifier for the OCR Worlds, as long as everyone is playing by the same rules. The race is beautifully brutal, and the first climb sets the tone. It feels as though you’re spending the entire day climbing, or carrying something and climbing! Some of the carries we encountered on this day included a log carry, a “fill your own” (nice touch) sand bag carry, and a tire carry (after marching up a hill for a long time already). As the race was winding down, we made our final descent. People were cheering for us and saying “almost there! Just a half mile more!” My buddy says to me “see? They aren’t sending us back up again!”

Famous last words.

He no sooner had those words leave his mouth when we rounded the corner and found the ammo box carry, straight back up the hill. Because what would the race be, without another carry, feet from the finish line?

The obstacles were brutal, and great. I think my favorite of the day was the boat crossing. We waited about :20 minutes to get into these things, and then God knows how long to get across. It took everything you had to get yourself, and people around you, from boat to boat. I was constantly pulling boats together, leaping from one to the other, pulling people into another boat, having people fall on me…it was fantastic. We made quick friends with the guys in our boat and kept encountering them right until the end of the race. I understand the wait got even longer for this obstacle later. Here is my take on bottlenecks: I won’t wait :15 minutes or more for something I do every day, such as a wall or a cargo net. Something like this, an obstacle you may never see again? My suggestion for anyone who does this race is this: If you encounter a bottleneck at this next year, wait it out. Don’t worry about your time. Do this one, you’ll be glad you did. Easily the highlight o
f my day.

I was stoked to make it across the tyrolean. It was really long, and they were allowing other people on before you finished. A little before I hit the orange stripe, the rope started bouncing…making it a little harder! Hit that stripe, and into the (very cold) water I went.

A suggestion for BoneFrog would be the traverse wall after the tyrolean. Climbing out of the water, the next obstacle was the traverse wall, three walls, level, up, level. The “up” wall? Easily four to five feet above ground with NOTHING under you to break your fall, should you lose your grip. This was a bad day, waiting to happen. Put some hay under that, man. That’s not right. I will be shocked to find out no one way hurt on this during the day. I fell off the first wall and took my penalty.

We encountered obstacles which really punished your upper body, like monkey pegs: Think monkey bars, make them pegs, and further apart. Another fail for me, more pushups! Swinging rings, which I literally did not see one person complete! More pushups, and a lot of laughing from a lot of people as we did them. BoneFrog has walls…and I’m not exactly sure what to call them. My name for them is a “tilt wall.” The wall is almost straight up and down, more sever than a 45 degree angle, and about 20 feet high, with a rope. Up one side, and then figure out a way down (with a rope) on the other (same angle). I’ve never failed this type of obstacle before, not at Viking, not “The Beast” at Superhero, I easily do slip walls at all Spartan races. These walls were back to back (2 of them). No go, more pushups.

There was a series of over / under walls, another traverse wall in the woods (no as high off the ground as the one near the water). Really HIGH walls, including one at the end. I was really stoked I got over it. I THINK it was 10 feet? I barely got my hands on the top.

A very touching part of the race included a memory wall. On August 6, 2011 a Chinook (helicopter) was shot down in Afghanistan killing all on board, including a service dog. We came to a banner in the woods with the names of the people, including the dog. There were wreck bags. We had say the name of each person on the banner, do a wreck bag press, and then burpee. One for each person on the banner.

This was very touching, and I did this with pride. Here is where I am going to give BoneFrog a little feedback, however: We were instructed to do 31 burpees on Saturday. Being the historian I am, and knowing the incident, I did 38. Why? There were 38 souls on the board. I am a veteran myself, and I severed, and fought, side by side with men and women from other nations. We spilled the same blood in the same mud. On board that day were:

*25 American special operations personnel
*five United States Army National Guard and Army Reserve crewmen
*seven Afghan commandos
*one Afghan interpreter
*U.S. military working dog

I highly commend, and respect, paying my respect to the American lives lost that day. Those burpees were done swiftly, and with honor. There were soldiers, fighting side by side with our soldiers, also lost. I feel that should never be “lost in the shuffle.” God speed: All gave some, some gave all.

The end of the race was how a race should end: A platform to monkey bars. You have to work your way up a 10 foot wall, with a rope, to the platform. From there, cross monkey bars in front of Old Glory, down the platform, across a small mud / water pit under wire, across what was supposed to be the fire pit (it was missing), and across the finish line.

Over 10 miles, with 6,000+ feet of elevation change. 52 obstacles and they were HARD. They had walls set up in a tent. In the dark! Oh, I didn’t mention that?! A rope climb, inverted walls, two sets of monkey bars, a cargo net that looked like it needed FAA clearance. A climb to a memory wall that everyone can sign. I clocked it, it’s .12 of a mile, straight up…and straight down. People were literally on their hands and knees crawling.

BoneFrog doesn’t pull any punches when you visit their web page: “You must be functionally fit to complete this race.” They have two versions: The sprint and challenge. It’s an amazing race, and one to put on your calendar for next year. Do not be scared of this race, use it as a goal, something to shoot for! But let me leave you with these parting words:

Last year’s Killington was almost 5 miles longer, and took me almost twice the time to complete. I am three times as sore after BoneFrog!

* Rating


* From: Amy Lillis

* Event Details
Bone Frog New England 2015 was held at Berkshire East Ski Resort in Charlemont, MA. This place is really in the middle of nowhere. However, once we were on site, it was really quite nice. Parking was simple and there is an indoor lodge with real, flushing toilets. There were several hoses for cleaning off after the race – definitely necessary! The hoses were no better or worse than at other venues, and I always appreciate being able to get the worst of the mud and sand off before driving home.
There were several vendors outside, including Ice Bugs, Shale Hill, and Viking Race. Breakfast and lunch were sold indoors and there were food trucks outside selling lemonade, corn dogs, and milkshakes.
The only complaint I have about layout is the location of the team tent. It seems to be happening more and more often that the NE Spahtens bring the biggest team to a race and are graced with a team tent or team area. The problem is that the area tends to be really far away from the rest of the festival area. It almost feels like we’re being pushed off site. Maybe there are too many of us, but I like to be inside the festival area.
As for schwag, each finisher got a nice tee and medal, each specific to the distance completed.

* Race Details
I really liked this course. It is the one race on my schedule this year that really had me nervous. I saw videos from last year with lots of monkey bars and rope climbs, and I had heard about the elevation and steep slopes. None of those disappointed. There were three sets of monkey bars and several climbs using ropes. There were a couple of places were there were backlogs. The boat crossing was a mess. People were crowding into boats and pulling them together making the last leap nearly impossible, which was backing things up even more. The line and obstacle took us over 20 minutes. We did one more obstacle (maybe 2?) and were at the tyrolean traverse, where there was another 20 minute wait. It was just so long that it took a long time for everyone to get across. Were they good obstacles? Yes. But waiting in line for so long is just too much and it makes everyone a little cranky.
Every obstacle was solidly built. However, there were a few places where the safety measures could have been heightened a bit. For instance, there was an obstacle with monkey bars over some sort of platform, but the platform ended before the monkey bars. If someone wasn’t paying attention to the landing, they could easily drop from the last bar, miss the platform, and hit the supports on the way down.
What I did love were the innovative obstacles. The “Rave” was really fun. Carrying ammo boxes was terrible at the time, but a nice diversion from the standard buckets or sandbags. The tires strung on a log at chest height that we had to leap over were quite a challenge!
All in all, the Bone Frog people were right on the money when they said that racers would have to be functionally fit to complete the course. I had a great time and will certainly return next year, hopefully in better shape. For now, I’m going to practice the monkey bars.

* Rating


* From: Nicole Sibley

* Event Details
I waited three years to attend the New England Bone Frog Challenge, a 9 mile race with 53 Navy SEAL inspired obstacles that takes place at Berkshire East Ski Resort in Charlemont, Massachusetts. When the race was first announced for 2013, I desperately wanted to go. No luck; I had a scheduling conflict. In 2014? The same thing; I had to work. For 2015, I pledged to make it to the race, and it turns out I almost didn’t. I signed up in early registration, but then two days before the race, had a terrible bought of illness that left me so dehydrated I wasn’t sure I could make the run. So I chugged down some coconut water, put together a good nutrition and hydration plan for race day, and waited to see how I felt on Saturday morning of race day.

As luck would have it, I woke up feeling mostly okay. I was going to go for it. Turns out, I am so glad I did. Bone Frog is one of the best races I’ve done, and I killed it on the course failing only one of the 53 very challenge obstacles. I am going to give myself a pat on the back for this one and say that while I was not the fastest, I did a great job on the obstacles. The hard work I put in during training, and all the technique I have practiced at Shale Hill really came into play and made this race a success for me.

I live in Western Massachusetts, so something in Charlemont is really a #racelocal event for me — it was just around an hour drive from my house. Bone Frog Challenge is run by former and active Navy SEALs, and the race has a legitimate nationalistic and armed services-feel. The course is advertised as having around 6,000 feet of elevation change. To me, that feels like a touch on the high side. The walking up and down the mountain felt like work, but it was never the focus of the day. The star of the show were the 53 top-notched Navy SEAL-inspired obstacles. The obstacles are some of the best around; they are both unique and challenging. These obstacles felt as if they were part of a permanent course instead of obstacles created for a one-day event.

I arrived at Berkshire East a little over an hour before the 10:00 a.m. NE Spahtens team heat. The day had forecast for rain, but it turned out to be sunny and in the mid-seventies; perfect obstacle course racing weather in my mind. Parking was $10 per car. Other than an optional $5 bag check, this was the only cost for the day. Spectators were free. The parking was onsite and a very short walk, like a minute, to registration. I quickly filled out a waver and was directed by a volunteer to the inside of the ski lodge for picking up my packet. It was good that there were volunteers around to direct traffic because the area was lacking in signs, and a couple of us got a bit turned around trying to find where to go at first. There was no waiting at check-in. I showed my ID and was able to pick up my bib and timing chip. (Note: I cannot say that there was no wait at the bathrooms. Only a small number of toilets in the lodge and three portable toilets were not quite up to the task of so m
any athletes’ pre-race needs. This line was a bit longer. Fortunately, I had time.)

From there, I headed over to the Spahtens tent. Bone Frog Challenge was a #racelocal event, so over a hundred members of the team had turned out. I chatted with friends, joined in the team picture, and got ready to head off to the starting line.

I had plans to run with one of my co-Spahtens, John, that I raced with at Tough Mudder 2014. I met up with John, his wife, Linda, and a few of his friends Matt, Linda, and Dan. We walked over to the starting line together. The starting line speech was short and sweet with a few reminders about course markers, a Hooah, and some video snapped by the drone camera above, we were off!

* Race Details
The story of the Bone Frog Challenge course is best told by the obstacles, which I’ll list individually in detail. With over 50 of them covering a nine mile course, there was an average of an obstacle every quarter mile or more. To be successful good grip strength and a strong upper-body were mandatory. I am not a great hill climber, but I am good at climbing obstacles and swinging from things. This course played to my strengths. Unlike some other courses, where you spend a lot of time hiking up and down and up and down the mountain, Bone Frog had us do a limited amount of up and back. We basically climbed out way up the mountain during the first half of the race, spent some time doing some switchbacks up there, and then came back down. I loved this! No padding miles into a race with hiking. We were able to focus solely on the obstacles and let them be the main point of the day, which is why we all do obstacle course racing anyway, right?

This was a tough course with challenging obstacles to tackle. The penalties for a fail obstacle ranged from 20 to 50 push-ups. To do Bone Frog Challenge you should be able to hike briskly for four hours and at least be able to do some pull-ups (assisted is fine) and push-ups. This race is no joke. The only more challenging course I’ve done in terms of obstacles is Shale Hill. The only harder race I’ve done is the Vermont Spartan Beast, which I won’t categorize as a obstacle course race as much of as an endurance challenge. Plus it wasn’t fun at all. Bone Frog Challenge on the other hand, was a blast!

Here is my write-up of all 53 obstacles. I’m using the course map as a guide but in some cases my memory slightly differs. I have left blank any obstacles that I cannot quite recall.

1. Low Crawl: All the crawls at Bone Frog Challenge were very “civilized.” By that I mean, they were over soft mud — no rocks — and with flat wire overhead instead of barbed wire. Nice all around.

2. Train Station: Throw your body over a large pipe on the ground. I rolled off and had to re-attached. Assistance was rendered by others.

3. Pot Holes

4. Drag Race: Take a tire attached to a rope to a stake and drag it up the hill. Then walk the tire back.

5. Low Crawl

6. Re-Supply: This was, I believe the first of many carries of the day. We had to grab a sandbag (probably less than fifty pounds) and bring it up and down a short climb. The length wasn’t bad, and I was able make this without too much trouble.

7. Tarzan Swing: Different from the Tarzan Swing at Shale Hill or Spartan, this swing had you grab just one rope and swing across a small divide. Think a rope swing from your youth.

8. Assault Craft: This obstacle provided our first back-up of the day. Back-ups were definitely a big problem on the Bone Frog course. (All said and told, I probably lost between an hour and an hour and a half waiting in lines.) This was fun and worth it though. The obstacle featured five or six inflatable boats tied together. You had to jump from boat to boat, making your way across the pond without getting wet.

9. Log Carry: Choose a log of any size and complete a short carry. To make this one a bit interesting, a small part of the carry went through a brief section of woods.

10. Drunken Monkey: Monkey bars with a twist! I love monkey bars, so this was a blast! Instead of traditional bars, this obstacle featured a board with staggered pegs on either side. Like with monkey bars, you grabbed one in one hand and another in another and swung away. A kind volunteer helped me to reach since my short lady self couldn’t make it.

This actually highlights two trends of the day. 1. Amazing volunteers. 2. Stuff that was too high. The volunteers at this event were the most top-notch of any I’ve had the privilege to encounter. They gave me physical help with reach high places. They offered verbal encouragement. They gave high fives. These ladies and gentleman worked hard. At some obstacles the volunteers were offering a lot of physical assistant to races to make sure everyone was safe and having a good time. This is an amazing thing and Bone Frog is very lucky. Also inspiring was the number of service men and women around the course taking part and volunteering. It was great to get to race and have them as spectators. It really made me bring my A-game.

To my other point about things being “too” high; I had to get a boost a number of times to reach monkey bars and the like. Everyone was awesome, from racers to volunteers, to help get me where I needed to be so I could do each obstacle. Those who taller than my five foot stature were able to reach from the stand provided, but I couldn’t quite make it. Fortunately, this was no problem because of the awesome help I received.

11. USS Miami Traverse: This was a water rope traverse, often called the tyrolean traverse. After we reached the 2/3 mark, we had to drop back down into the water and then swim the rest of the way. I used my normal method of doing half the traverse above the rope and half below. As usual, this proves a good technique for me. I was the only one in the group I was running with to make it.

12. Cliff Hanger: This was a traverse wall with a bit of a twist. The walls were of differing heights. While this make it harder, the wall itself was, overall, probably easier than most traverse walls because there were slight ledges at the top for your fingers and the boards were large. I made it without any problems.

13. Get a Grip: This obstacle proved to be my only failed obstacle of the day. Hanging from poles were ropes with plastic handles attached. You had to swing from one to the other to get across. That would have been fine — I am good at rings — however, the ropes were looped through the handles meaning that they were not fixed and rotated. I took one swing and the handle rotated right under me sending me down to the ground.

14. Grandma’s Attic: This obstacle was set up like a small A-frame. However, instead of climbing on top, there were two sets of parallel rungs that you climbed between. Nice way to mix it up.

15. Normandy: This was a two part obstacle symbolic of the invasion of Normandy. The obstacle began with a crawl underneath tarps in the pitch black. We then had to navigate trenches.

16. Tire Carry: Traditional tire carry. I got a modest sized one, draped it across me messenger bag style and headed out for the carry.

17. Black Out: Very unique! This was another obstacle done entirely in the pitch back underneath a blackout tarp. We had to feel our way along with only a few glow sticks as markers. There were some low and then high “throughs” to tackle as we made our way along. People were great about passing around the glow sticks to offer a little bit of illumination and providing cues about where to go and who was going next.

18. Wall Nut

19. Stairway to Valhalla: A brutally steep climb up a section of mountain. At the top, there was a memorial wall for participants to sign before heading back down. This was probably the most mentally challenging thing I did all day. Some points of the hike up were so steep I was almost on all fours.

20. Snake Pit

21. Spider Wall: The Spider Wall was the second traverse wall of the day. It was pretty basic and marked the start of a section of the course that meandered through the woods on beautifully marked trails. For many races, this would mean that there would be no obstacles. Bone Frog, on the other hand, had great obstacle distribution and kept up the obstacles throughout the wooded section. The more complex obstacles were not, in general, in this section; however, you never ran for more than a few minutes without hitting an obstacle. This kept things very interesting, and should be a source of pride for the course designers, who I think must have made a huge effort to make this possible.

22. Reverse Wall: This was a classic inverse wall, where you have to climb a wall that’s leaning towards you at an angle.

23. Camel Spider

24. Pontoon Playground: This obstacle had to getting over a row of tires hung along a pole at chest height. There were two back to back, and both proved… interesting. Of course, tires on a pole rotate under you, so you had to jump, hang on, and get over these fast!

25. Breaking & Entering: A “through” wall.

26. Solar Walls: Two back to back tall walls that had to be climbed with a rope. Most tall wall climbs with a rope let you take a ladder down the reverse side, but for this one, you had to take the rope down too. As per usual, the Icebugs proved a huge advantage here. I powered up both walls without any difficulty.

27. I’m Up & I’m Down: Two pairs of over and under walls.

28. Filler Up: Take a bag and fill it with sand. Then do a carry. Fortunately, all of the carries — of which there were many — were fairly short. I am not a huge fan of the carry, so I was glad to see that if the race was going to feature a lot of them, they would at least be quick to get through.

29. The Widow Maker: Traditional rope climb. This one wasn’t too tall, and the rope wasn’t too slick. I was able to do the s-hook and get right up there.

30 – 41. Operation Red Wings: As the numbering system here and on the map indicates, this was a multi-part obstacle bonanza! It started with a climb up a leaning wall with a rope. There was then an amazing obstacle where you had to do a climb up a straight wall with a rope, then transition to a set of monkey bars and finally go from the monkey bars directly to a rope climb down. Everyone was failing this obstacle on the part where you had to transition from the monkey bars to the rope (even a member of the US Air Force!), but by using the s-hook technique that I learned at Shale Hill, I was able to hang from the bars, hook my feet, and then descend without incident. From there, it was over a set of logs and then to a tall cargo net climb. There was a bit of a back-up at the cargo net, so we had to wait before continuing onward to a set of hurdles and then a crawl underneath wire. The final obstacle was a very tall wooden ladder.

42. 31 Heroes: This obstacle memorialized 30 fallen Navy SEALs and one K-9. We did burpees and then shoulder presses with a Wreck Bag for each SEAL and said his name.

43. Mind Games: This was a two part memory obstacle in which we had to give the names of one of the three charities that the Bone Frog Challenge supports (One Team One Fight, 31 Heroes, Navy SEAL Foundation) and then answer a question about information we saw on a sign about the M4 gun. I thought that raising awareness and including this component of the race was very meaningful and a wonderful, well thought out addition to the day that dovetailed nicely with the races mission and the previous obstacle.

44. Slide for Life: The Slide for Life obstacle was another one with a pretty descent wait. People were just doing the penalties so they could bypass and move on. It was getting late in the day and we’d spent probably 60 to 90 minutes total waiting on obstacles, so I could appreciate the frustration. At the same time, we wanted to try everything out, so we hung in there. For this one, you had to hoist yourself (or get boosted) through a hole in a platform. Once you pulled yourself up and through, you then did a traverse rope back down to the ground.

45. Mud Slide: For this obstacle, we had to crawl downhill underneath a tarp. I tried sitting and going feet-first, but this proved kind of slow, so I just hunched over and walked down.

46. Trail Crossing

47. Brick House: We emerge from the last set of jogging through the woods along switchbacks to another carry obstacle. The finish line was in sight, but we still had a bunch to do. This carry was the hardest of the day. You had to carry either a munitions box or a large crate up and down the hill one last time. The box was smaller but heavier. I opted for the large crate, still very heavy. I trudged through counting my steps. I didn’t stop or put the large crate down because I knew I would never pick it back up again. Brutal.

48. It’s Go Time: One last wall to end the day. Of course, it was a nice tall one!

49. Rolling Thunder: This aptly named obstacle featured balance logs that rolled back and forth. My unfortunate teammate took a digger on this one. The log really rolled, and it required a lot of focus to stay on. The volunteer at this obstacle was super amazing and offered lots of support and kind words. He definitely helped keep me focused on getting across.

50. Dirty Name: Similar to Gut Check at Shale Hill, this obstacle features a lower log from which you must jump to a higher one. In this case, there are two stacked.

51. Black Ops: After Black Ops I knew I would be home-free. But this was a challenge. You had to climb straight up a wall using a rope, do a set of monkey bars — some of which were moving — and then climb back down. The bars were high and the only thing they were over was a net. That would be a fall to remember. I climbed the rope. At the top, I was completely too short to reach the monkey bars, plus, I was kind of nervous. I considered taking the easy way out and just walking across on the net. A volunteer (perhaps a SEAL?) came over and asked if I wanted a boost to get to the bars. I must have looked a bit dubious because he gave me encouragement. “You can do this. I’ll get you up there and then just go.” I remembered back to Battlefrog last year and how I had not given as much as in retrospect I could have on the second to last obstacle, Tsunami. I had been so disappointed in myself and letting my emotions get the best of me. Okay, I was going to do this. The gentleman got me to
the bars and I started moving along on my very tired hands. About 2/3 of the way though the bar began to rotate beneath my grip almost sending me falling. I hung on so hard, adjusted my technique, and, at last, made it to the other side. Yes!

52. Get Wet: We rolled through a quick tub of water so that we could move on to part 2.

53. Sugar Cookie: And roll around in some sand. Sugar Cookie — get it?

After Sugar Cookie, it was a quick jump up and then a run across the finish line. A retired Navy SEAL handed me my metal, and a kind volunteer handed me a women’s fit size small finishers t-shirt. Job done — pictures and high-fives all around.

I am so glad that I finally made it to Bone Frog Challenge. Frustration aside about the interminable waiting at obstacles, this was a fantastic race. The course was interesting, well-marked, well designed, and featured some of the best quality obstacles I’ve seen around. This is a local race with a big race feel. The volunteers cannot be beat. The race stays true to its Navy SEAL roots in a wonderful way. It’s in my backyard. What more can be said. Hopefully, I’ll be able to make this race an annual tradition going forward.

* Rating


* From: Stephen

* Event Details
So I camped out the night before, which was great, close to all the fun, parking was just as close if you did not park in the camping area. They opened the bathrooms near the camp grounds, it was creepy as anything at night, but it was better than a portapotty They offered a 15 dollar dinner, which was pasta and in was in the lodge, we chose to go around the corner for more of an option in dinner. Typical schwag medals, shirt, typical vendors: army, shale hill, viking obstacle race, and others, i almost never notice the vendors, too busy with the team. they had the bathrooms from the venue, and it was nice, easily backed up in the morning but no worse than any other race. And we got a 15 dollar credit for biggest team!

* Race Details
Both the challenge and sprint were hard, and fun. easily one of the harder local ocrs, keep that in mind, the mountain is no joke! and the rd knows where the inclines are, and how to use them. Some of the hardest obstacles, some big back ups even in the elite wave, with the boat crossing, and traverse rope. I had a big beef with the fact that they had no life vests for the traverse rope, really annoying! if you couldn’t swim, and were not comfortable then you had to wait 2 min, not cool! Luckily i made it across with out dropping, you were only required to make it half way then you were supposed to drop, and i was told to drop, until i said i could not swim, they had life guards, but not good enough, because i would not drop in the water. They had 51 obstacles, and they were really hard, that is all you need to know! they are doable, and have various penalties, but you could also try more than once, so it is awesome. beware, the sprint was all the inclines of the challenges, but less of the obstacles. The volunteers on course were nice, but did not know where the course went, and when i did the sprint, that was really annoying, the volunteers at the end were great, the navy seals were great on course, and at the finish, they were great, it seemed to mean something to the guys giving out the medals and shirts that so many people showed up to the race

* Rating
Above Average


* From: Kelsey Cadran

* Event Details
Parking was easy, the $10 fee was more than reasonable to be within walking distance (and lug tents) of the race start. It was also nice to be only a 30 min drive away 🙂 Aside from a bit of a hiccup in bathroom situations, the facilities were clean (inside) and mostly operational. I’m assuming this is a volume they are not used to, even at ski season, this is a smaller populated ski destination. I looked at the ice bug vendor, and the beer tent, both were good. I wasn’t looking to buy anything but I feel like they covered the bases of what people would be looking for. Founders was a good choice of brewery! It would have been nice to have a local brewery there though, that area has a lot to offer. I liked the t-shirt, the sleeves were a bit long, but comfy, and I will be sure to wear it (show it off) quite a bit!

* Race Details
Other than Rugged Maniac, I am a novice when it comes to obstacle courses. “You will finish” went through my head quite a bit, this race definitely challenged me, and motivated me. Despite the few hangups with waiting (the boats, the vertical wall #1, and the cargo net) the course was quite smooth, and we had enough space to pick up pace when we wanted to. Although it was rough, and energy draining, the Stairway to Valhalla was my favorite. Reaching the top and seeing the wall and memorial set up gave me goosebumps. It was definitely an honor to reach that point.
As far as difficulty goes, it was nice to have some “easy” obstacles mixed in with more challenging ones. Monkey bars and ropes are not my strong areas, I rocked out quite a few push ups because of it. All penalties I thought were fair, although it would have been nice to have more than just push ups as penalties. Extra thanks go to the guy at the end and a few Spahtens who wouldn’t let me take the penalty on Black Ops and helped boost me up the wall and on the monkey bars.
Thankfully I was advised to bring hydration, a few of the water stations were barren. That would be my only negative (and it’s really not that negative since I had prepared).
Overall though, I loved it, I’m proud of my medal and bruises, and it was humbling and such an honor to be presented a medal by a Navy Seal. It gave it more meaning to me to see that.

* Rating

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