* From: Sean Gifford
* Event Details
Here goes my first ever OCR review – Fitathalon
Date: August 31, 2013
Location: Smith Middle School, Glastonbury, CT
Race Website: http://www.fitathlonchallenge.
Cost: Varies depending on when you register, but is the same no matter what fitness level you choose.
First, I am very excited to review my first race for the Spahtens – I am even more excited because the Fit Athalon series was the FIRST OCR I ever completed – I did it with my fiancee Brittany. From that stand point, it may be obvious I am a big fan of this one.
This event is a great example of local guys that were looking to put together an event to promote fitness, encourage folks that were getting fit to become engaged in a community race, and challenge all to push their physical limits in a safe and supporting environment. Each time I have participated in this race, I have found that to be true.
While I have ran this race twice, once as a “Newbie” and once as a “Competitor” I will review the 2nd of the two, in which I ran in the competitive wave, which is the most challenging offered.
Venue: While in the past this event was held at the prominent Rentschler, the RD has favored smaller, local venues for most of his races. This is a HUGE plus, in my opinion. The costs for participants remains low, the sense of community is strong, and you have committed folks that WANT to be there for the fitness of what the event offers.
Spectator Quality: Excellent – spectators had access to 99% of the course and were encouraged to cheer participants on and provide support to all.
* Race Details
Race Course: Very good – I would love to stamp this with excellent, however, from an OCR standpoint the race lacks the “mud” and “get down and dirty” aspect so many OCR fans are accustomed too. The difficulty of the course is completely racer driven – you want easy? sign up as a “newbie” – you want hard? sign up as a “competitor”! This option is VERY unique and I believe adds a neat element that will draw the novice and the most experienced runner alike. That said, the obstacles are WELL built, and man was there a variety – I requested a full list from the RD, but here is what I can remember:
Side note – depending on what fitness level you registered for, your requirements at obstacles were different – i.e. “Newbies” did 10 burpees and 10 push-ups to start the race vs what I have listed below. Also, during parts of the race such as the tire flips, “Newbies” filpped 3 times vs 10+.
Before the race started we lines up at the start area and did 20 push-ups, sprinted 100 yards, did 20 burpees, and then sprinted back to the beginning point – we did that 5 TIMES….. then the event started.
Here are the obstacles I remember:
1. Over/under sprinter hurdles (guessing 50 of these)
2. Farmer carry 45lb weight (I would guess 250 yards)
3. Tire flip 5 down and 5 back
4. Get over 6ft walls, 5 of them I think
5. Side plank crawl – 15 feet
6. Tire field, hurdle hay bales, tire field
7. Run – run, run…. pavement, then trail, then paved trail, then woods..
8. 15 ft incline walls with ropes
9. Horizontal cargo nets x2
11. Grab 45 or 50 lb ruck and walking lunge… A LOT
12. Scale “A-Frame” with ruck
13. More walking lunges up hill
14. Finally drop ruck… (I was wore out)
15. Climb another “A-Frame” without Ruck
16. Grab a wheel barrow with 90 lbs on it and a flat tire – push it for 100 yards
17. 2 hand/fist rope slams – 60 seconds
18. Sprint to Finish
19. Free Massage 🙂
Runner Support: Excellent – multiple water stations, with Gatorade, final station at finish with bananas and granola
Race Bling: OK – you get a great t-shirt, but not much else. I wish there was a medal, but I appreciate trying to keep the cost down. I am not sure that the RD is familiar with the “bling” importance or he may have had it.
Timing System and Results: OK – with the exception of the competitor wave this event is untimed and completely geared toward promoting fitness and accomplishment. For the competitor wave it is hand timed by the RD and there are cash rewards.
Staff, Volunteers and Directors: GREAT- The RD for the event is really awesome. He has a clear goal of promoting fitness and health and he uses this event to do it. Volunteers are given bright colored shirts and placed at EVERY obstacle – they don’t just explain the obstacle they cheer you on, and even participate with you. I have done this race twice (again, the first time being the first OCR I ever did) and I can say that the community for this event is strong and would fit in WELL with the Spahtens.
Final Thought: This event may not offer all the fanfare and fancy-schmance stuff that have become the norm in so many OCRs recently, you will not find a crazy “festival” with drinking and loud music, and you may not walk away covered in mud from head to toe. That said, you WILL find an event that promotes a challenging and spirited approach to fitness and community. You will find “newbies” socializing with “competitors” and helping one another on the course. You will hear words of encouragement and see lots of high-fives. You will want your families to be a part of this. This a great local race that I am proud to support and I would offer up for the “pepsi challenge” (yes and 90’s reference) any day. In my opinion this race offers that attitude and approach to OCRs that the Spahten’s promote each day on the battle field – this cornerstone event is one to be added to the list and a great one at which to recruit new Spahtens!