Civilian Military Combine MA 2014


* From: michael downey

* Event Details
Yet another very solid run event at amesbury sports park, so we all know the venue well so no need to hash over this a lot its a great place and we love it but i will say the only thing i would like to see improved is the shower situation . this was CMC second year at the venue and year one it as very low key not much for vendors and things to see or do. this year was totally different they had a bunch of great vendors, zoobells, wreck bags, rage fitness and a clothing company whos name escapes me, so there was a lot of fun things to see and buy for fitness / ocr stuff. schwag was the usual post race tee shirt and finisher dog tag.

* Race Details
this race went above and beyond amazing. we started with the 5 min pit ( two min reduction from last year ) and the rep count changed to 5 overhead press , 7 burpee box jump and 9 kb swing. this year they offered 4 different divisions to choose from so you could better scale the PIT to your abilities. once we finished that the race started and took a rather different path and we went up the hill and took a right turn at top going right to the big field where we got a few small 5 ft walls and ladder walls then went down the long slow decline path that we normaly go up in a race and got out to the sand pit area where the block drag is usually and had a nice low barbed wire crawl through sand after that we took some new turns and spent a bit of time in a lot of new trails and off trail area there was a ladder incline wall thrown in there as well as a few nice steep hills that got us back to the big field and a bunch of obstacles with a few 8ft walls, incline walls the mud barbed
wire crawl rolling mud pits ( same from SHS but with no water in the pits) balance beam there own rolling mud and then a water slide we then were back on the main hill with a incline wall with rock climbing 10ft wall with steps and a rope to help us over the wall and then down the hill to get a wreck bag and go up down up again down and over a 5ft wall then a 5ft wall, ladder wall and cargo net crawl through what they called THE BEAST then back into trails for about another mile or so and then back down the dirt path on the big hill to the beast that included a 10 ft cargo net climb up then across a bit to monkey bars and then back down again to the finish. overall this was a amazing race and a big step up from last year with the village and the course better than before. but there were two noticable obstacles missing. the wabbly ladder and ranger ropes. but overall i give this race a 8.5 out of 10. my only real question i have…….when is CMC 2015?

* Rating


* From: Kristine Dreher

* Event Details
This was my first trip to Amesbury Sports Park and participating in the CMC! I was NOT disappointed in the least. The ride up from Rhode Island was very easy and only a minor glitch from my trusted Google Maps once I was close to the park. Upon arrival, and after seeing a few NEW folks already warming up and in line for the port-a-john – I made my way to check in. It was not as crowded as I expected and te process was quick and easy. I had a fellow ocr friend with me visiting who wasn’t running the race, but made friends with a staff member..he was able to score a “staff shirt” so he could take photos on the course. It was nice that there was no spectator fee! The layout of the vendor area seemed to be very organized – each booth was really well marked and you could
see where to get drink tickets, food, swag, race times, etc. The finisher shirt is another favorite of mine and one I will actually wear and the ID Tag Finished medal was great. It was nice to have a sack as I forgot a trash bag for my wet clothes. I did purchase food from the tent and while the woman selling it raved about the chicken was just ok, the beer was cold!

* Race Details
First off I have to say even if you don’t CrossFit or for some reason have never heard of CrossFit don’t let this top you from going to CMC and participating! Alpha is a level anyone can do if you are a beginner! Even though I did CrossFit for a year, I’ve been away for 4 months so I opted to go with Bravo. Being a member of the Army, I loved to see the Marine’s in uniform, hear the SGM pump us up and the National Anthem played!! The Pit was laid out very well, very well organized from lining us up in the corral to participants to scorer. When I approached my scorer she was very thorough. At the start of the time I was able to hear her count my reps and she cheered me on. My adrenaline was flowing fast so I almost felt like I couldn’t move steadily due to that..I was excited. At the end of the 5 minutes I was wiped out..but it was awesome and I really liked that aspect. On to the race…the hill out of the gate was steep…yeah I didn’t run it and by the time I got to the top
I was tired, hot but ready to run. Overall I loved this course. The mix of running trails in the sun, the wooded area and the obstacles really made it fun. I was excited I was able to complete everyone of them and keep moving…the run part had a few challenging, steep hills which I struggled to run up – so I power walked some and kept thinking this is training for the Beast. At the hill with the Wreck Bags I certainly thought we were almost done only to go back onto a trail for maybe another half mile to a mile. The Monkey Bars were intimidating but after getting over the height issue I have….I made it through and then crossed the finish line. I had hoped the course was closer to the 5.5 miles so I could see how I would do..but all in all it really was a great race. I am definitely signing up for this again and maybe even the race in MD this year. Another great race with NES and so proud so many placed in the Top 3 both individually and our teams..along with a few of us
qualifying for the OCR World Championships.

If I had only one “fix”..while the tunnel-o-water was refreshing and cold…having access to hoses would have been nice to clean gear, etc but I sacrificed my body to the “arctic blast” and cleaned up in the tents they offered.

Hopefully they can market this race more and draw a bigger crowd, people would not be disappointed.

* Rating


* From: Dan Stowe (The Dude from Minnesota)

* Event Details
Since this was my vacation (i live in Minnesota), it was my first experience ever doing an OCR race on the East Coast. This was an excellent venue. The race was held at the Amesbury Sports Park, which is a frequent host to many OCR events and it’s easy to see why. The CMC setup was excellent, clearly marked and set up was very clean and professional. Signage was abundant and clear. If I had to really split hairs on anything, I would suggest more trash bins spread out across the whole park, but that’s a very, very minor issue in my opinion.

We arrived there very early, so registration was a breeze. Having your waiver signed and ready to go helps move things along as well. Getting the t-shirt and dog tag at the end was cool, t-shirt was decent quality. Having the dog-tag in place of a more traditional medal is a nice touch and part of what sets CMC apart from other races.

I can’t speak much about the vendors and/or food, since I did not partake. The only vendor I could really speak of was the crew from Lindon Fitness selling the Wreck Bag. I carried the 50 lb. bag up and down hills during the race. I was so impressed by it that I purchased the 50 lb bag and had it shipped back home! Excellent people at Lindon Fitness, be sure to check them out.

* Race Details
One reason why I chose this race was the PIT, which is another thing that sets CMC apart from other races. PIT is a 5 minute AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible) that 4 levels to choose from with different exercises/weights associated with the level you chose to do. I chose to do Charlie, which was this cycle:

5 reps Shoulder to Overhead Press (75 lbs.)
7 Burpee Over Box Jump (20″ box)
9 Overhead Kettlebell Swing (American-style) (44 lbs.)

The judge I had was very nice, clear and concise with his instructions. I had zero”No Reps” which means all of them counted. Don’t let the PIT psych you out of doing this race. There were many, many people there that have never done CrossFit etc… and did excellent! The judges are also very good at figuring out your abilities and are good at adapting their judging based on those abilities. You do the PIT for 5 minutes, get a short 1 1/2 – 2 minute break (get some water, catch your breath etc…) then it’s off to the course start line.

The course… wow.

Distance, I heard many different numbers but if I had to average out the numbers I heard from other participants, I would say approx. 5 miles long (CMC advertised @ 5.5 miles but I did hear from multiple people they lost GPS signal during the race so take that with a grain of salt).

It was my 1st time on the course and it was satisfyingly challenging! There was a lot of hills to conquer. There were some points during the race I wondered “Is there ever a decline to this course?” CMC did an excellent job using the terrain available, going through thick brush, deep deep mud (had to use a nearby sapling to help a fellow racer out of some real nasty mud!), and some overall great single track trails. Can’t beat the scenery either, it was beautiful.

Obstacles were challenging as well. CMC was very wall-heavy when it came to obstacles. Back home, we don’t have the incline walls so that was a new thing to me (conquered ’em though thanks to the ‘ol leg hook technique!). Some of the other stand-out obstacles was the long mud pit crawl under barb wire (very thick, almost clay-like mud), the “sand bag” carry using the Wreak Bags up and down the hills (see my info about those in the Event Details), and the slip-n-slide into the straw water pit.

The last obstacle deserves its own dues though. In a nutshell, it was a rigging that had cargo nets draped all over it with some monkey bars at the top. You climbed up the net to one level, rolled across the net and then climbed up a rope to another level, had a choice to either go across on the monkey bars or roll across the cargo net, then went DOWN a level to roll across another net, then climbed down the net to the finish line. In short, it looks like something that was conceptually a great idea, but in practice I can see it being a little more difficult to execute. I, among other racers, were able to get across without too much difficulty but there were more than a few I saw that were more confused on how to get across. A great piece of obstacle manufacturing and a eye-grabber visually but with it being a new piece (as far as I know), an instructional video or diagram that could have been easily sent out with the PIT videos would been beneficial.

Overall, great course, great time and will definitely have this on my race list for 2015!

* Rating


* From: Stefanie Mary

* Event Details
We parked in the NE Spahtens VIP parking right down the street. He’s such a sweet man!
This year the set up was way more organized and had some great stuff to offer. The registration tent was quick and easy, the port-o-potty’s were as nice as can be, and the layout was great. The vendors ranged from clothes to healthy snacks with a free muscle milk on the way out! The end of the race swag was a bag with the dog tags, some discount post cards,and the t-shirt. This years shirt design was awesome and they had fitted female shirts! They definitely came a long way from last year!

* Race Details
Man I cannot say enough about CMC. This was by far my favorite race I have done so far. I did the race last year too and the changes and strides they have made were AWESOME!
First, lets talk about the pit. Last year the pit workout was a 7min AMRAP (7 burpee box jump, 7 Push Press, 7 American KB swing) and with one weight option for males and females. It enjoyed it but for a friend I introduced to OCRs, the 44lb Push Press was almost impossible. This year it was a 5min AMRAP and there were 4 options: Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, and Delta. I chose Beta since I’m battling a torn rotator cuff and labrum and Charlie seemed a bit too aggressive. SO Beta was 5 Shoulder to OH with KB (26lbs), 7 burpee box jump, and 9 Russian KB swings (26lbs). (Charlie was 44lbs OH, 7 bbj, 9 American KB (26lbs). Anywho. It was brutal. I was hurting after only about 3 times through, right around when he announced 3 minutes to go! Oy Vey!

As soon as you finish the PIT you have about 3 mins to get into the race starting corral, have a drink of water and then your off. Right up the hill. Once at the top you went to the open field where you did some walls/ladder walls then mostly trail running. I think we did about 2mi in the woods/trails with a cargo net/wall climb here and there. You emerged to the first water station (which at the point I would have done anything for water). After that you did a bunch of obstacles in the open field. Forgive me if forget a few but there were quite a few new obstacles including 10 ft walls, inverted walls, rolling mud hills, slippery wall with rope, balance beam, a really cool sort of Ninja warrior style horizontal wall climb over water. My self and another chica did a happy dance when we made it across! Then there was the token mud crawl in a very thick soupy mud bath. Then we were back in the woods on the trails. I don’t really remember much until you start looping back to t
he main area where you do a rock wall climb, into a slip and slide, to a wall climb with a rope, down to the sand bag carry (up and down twice with a 4ft wall for kicks), down the starting area for some ladder walls, cargo net then back into the woods on the left side of the mountain. Again I don’t remember much of this part, I think maybe there was a few more cargo nets and ladder walls. Finally you emerge and make your way back down to the finish area where you climb a tower to monkey bars over cargo net and then back down with 10ft to the finish line. Forgive me for the blurry details but I was just having so much fun and really just in awe of all the new and awesome obstacles and my ability to complete them all without dislocating my shoulder! They had LIVE photographers and awesome volunteers throughout. They all cheered you on and offered tips. I hope they have more and more of these because CMC is the most fun, challenging and awesome race yet. It hasn’t become ov
er run with the sort of “sell out” feel I get from Spartans now. They don’t charge for spectators and everyone involved is awesome. I still love Spartans but the feel and vibe I got at CMC was amazing. No greed just an all American race set to get people working hard for the finish line! I love that everyone there is super competitive and there were no lines or waiting for obstacles. Everyone helped hold the base of the cargo nets and as usual awesome and friendly. Did I Mention it was awesome?!?!!?

My only sort of “negatives” were: 1) they got off to a late start. Usually I wouldn’t mind starting 30mins late but I had to rush out and get to a family event.
2) There could have been more water stations. The first one at about 2.5 mi would have been great about 1mi before.
3) Something out of their control but still a pain was the air quality. Something in the air weather it was kicked up dirt or pollen… my lungs felt like there were on fire and I couldn’t stop coughing for hours! Never had that during a race before and could certainly do without.

Can’t wait to do another!

* Rating


* From: Maureen MacGregor

* Event Details
Parking: Parking was on-site but I parked down the road elsewhere so I’m not sure how crowded the parking lot got.

Facilities: Not too many bathrooms and sadly they ran out of toilet paper for a while. Thankfully someone knew this ahead of time and had brought some to tide me over.

Organization: Extremely well organized. When you handed in your waiver they had an envelope with everything in it already set for you. On the finishing side as well-after completing the course you got in line to have your timing chip snipped off and they gave you a bag with your dog tags, a shirt and a couple of advertisements.

Clean-up: There were private tents for men/women which was handy. They hooked up the water to the snow machine blasting us with cold needle-like water. Effective enough to get most of the mud off anyways.
Food: Your normal burger/hot dog/fries…etc. Free beer was Coors Light with an option to upgrade your beer or purchase Sangria.

* Race Details
Before even starting the flag was presented and a recording of the National Anthem was played. We had an amazing speech by a Marine who pumped us up to remember to leave our fear behind us and let no obstacle overcome us.
We started with a 5 minute PIT. Being a newbie with the goal just to complete the race I chose Alpha (5 burpees, 7 box jumps and 9 sit ups). There were 4 different divisions (alpha, Bravo, Charlie & Delta) which allowed different level athletes to compete where they want to be. We had a quick 90 second break including having to initial our score for the PIT, down a quick sip of water then off and running. We went up the hill on the right hoisting ourselves over the retaining wall. There was a nice long barbed wire crawl (through sand, not mud this time), some include walls, what seemed like several hills, more walls/hurdles, dry mud pits (it hadn’t rained this past week) and a waterslide. Waterslide hose was helpful to wash off any of the cake-like clayish mud still sticking to you from previously and to get some mud out of my gloves. You splashed down into a water pit with some hay in it and got to cool down. There were also few cargo net climbs and a balance bean.
We went down towards the main area to pick up our bags (either 25# or 50#) to go up and down the front hill a few times. Got a chance to crawl through a cargo net and thought we were done. Nope! Quick water station then off to the left side of the mountain. Some of the other obstacles included a traverse wall traversing just along the edge of a 2×4, rock wall, many high walls (thanks to my battle buddy for giving me a hand here), some ropes to climb up a wall and ending with monkey bars. The trail was fairly well marked except in one area (add 5 minutes onto my time for this mistake).
The preliminary map had shown some obstacles that weren’t present at the actual race which was disappointing, and they added in monkey bars up high (cargo net to catch you) as a surprise. CMC stated the race was 5.5 miles but NES racers reported between 3.8-4.1 The only hard part about that was when you get your score your mile pace is determined by a factor of 5.5 miles total.

As always, NES members were fantastic and I love seeing so many of us running. Hopefully by the next race I’ll have my own shirt-I settled on a temporary tattoo which had to suffice for the day.

My only real issue was the incorrect mileage and that’s more for my own knowledge as I’ve never done anything over 4.2 miles before. CMC was a fantastic event. Very well organized, fun and challenging course. Hope to be there 2015!

* Rating

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