Renegade Playground Challenge MA 2014

Renegade Playground Challenge logo

* From: Chris Marinin

* Event Details
Race was held in Marshfield MA, at the Marshfield Fairgrounds on June 21st, 2014. The venue was easy to find and well marked. Parking was a breeze and free!! Registration was a bit confusing for the runners and the volunteers. Renegade had emailed our Bib #’s to us and at registration they had told us there was a numbering issue and the bibs were different. This led to some confusion but it got sorted out. We were given our packets, a tech shirt and a glass with the Renegade logo on it, pretty decent swag package to start the day off. Vendor area was laid out well; my only complaint was there was really only 1 food vendor. They had plenty of porta potties, hose clean off stations, even a vendor with real showers and soap.
There was a free beer given with registration, I gave mine away as I don’t drink so I can’t comment on the quality. Walking around before my run, I was impressed at the finish line. Cases of water, bananas, and Dunkin Donut Bagels awaited the finishers. The only complaint I had was the changing tents had windows. I don’t have to tell you why that is an issue. Finishers medal with good quality and was sporting the Renegade Playground Logo. Lastly Renegade used Racewire for the timing. At first results were a mess and many racers were complaining about incorrect data. I received my first email and it was incorrect. Seems like a few hours later Racewire had it sorted out but still leads to all sorts of confusion.

* Race Details
The course was marked well, but the marking did allow people to skirt mud pits and obstacles. If you don’t force the racers to the obstacle they will look for a way around it. The run started off with some pavement and then quickly got on the trail. The trail was all well groomed so footing was no issue. Obstacles were not challenging at all, and it seemed to me that Renegade Playground really likes small hurdles as they were the majority of what was seen on the course. One thing I made sure to relay to other runners on the course, was that many of the hurdles did not have large support bases and almost tipped over when jumping over them. There were some good obstacles (Monkey Bars, Cargo Net Climb, small water slide), but all and all I would have liked to have seen more challenging obstacles. The other major issue many runners pointed out quickly was the course was only 2.5 miles but advertised as a 5K. Also talking to other runners in the afternoon, the monkey bars had issues as the bars were not secured into the frame. In summary, the course was ok, it lacked challenging obstacles, was not the advertised distance, and could have had a few safety issues.

* Rating
Below Average

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* From: Zak Champagne

* Event Details
Parking: Super easy right on site I was there early so front row parking meant I was 30 seconds from the registration table. O and parking was FREEEEE!!!! That’s a A+ in my book.

The venue itself was open an spacious, with a lot of picnic tables. There was two changing tents (male/female) but from what I heard were just a big enclosed tents. As for as vendors go there were only a couple, Unleashed had a tent, along with Super Candy ( which I got to try for the first time, YUM)a local cross fit gym, and some other company that had a lot of backyard style games to play. A big plus was the Bath Fitters who had two functioning showers with soap to use to wash up post race, nice alternative to just the low pressure hoses. They also included a VIP team tent area for groups of 15 or more, in which each team had there own tent with table and chairs. You know the Spahtens would have taking over if we weren’t beastin CMC.

Schwag: Everybody loves some good schwag especially when you get a nice medal, tech t-shirt and a pint glass, not a bad deal if you ask me.

* Race Details
Ok now for the race aspect of it. I am not sure of the official distance but there is no way it was a 5k, the top time was right around 18 mins. Someone with a GPS watch I think tracked it at 2.5miles. I am not familiar with the surrounding area but I feel they could of made better use of the land. The one thing hate when running a course is zig – zagging which there seemed to be a lot of.
Right out the gate you made your way into a field and hit your first “obstacles” set of about 3 walls or maybe hurdles about 4ft tall. From there you zigged zagged around some horse stables. Over and through some mud pit mounds a 5 ft wall, and a monkey bar set. For me the next part of the race was the worse, it was a straight shot down on some hard packed gravel make a U-turn and come straight back, littered with more of the wall/hurdle things. It was probably at least half mile down and back of my shin splints kicking in. Finally we ran on some trails!!!!!! O wait now were are back onto a field boooooo. Through some sprinklers and a oil drum maze, up a small hill and down a water slide. Yay more mud kind of, cargo crawl through some muddy water. You then came up to a mud pit which everyone avoided, a short balance beam, small mud hill and finally a decent sized cargo net. From there it was a straight shot to what seems to be their signature obstacle hanging racing tires
maze. Heading towards the finish you looped around the beginning field with more small hurdles then into a school bus to jump out the back door into a mud pit and across the finish line.

Pros:
– Course was very beginner/family friendly
– The looping around the fields made it so you could always see and interact with your team
– Plenty of water stations I think there was 3.
– Decent spectator views

Cons:
– Short course
– Limited obstacles and variety
– No trails – all open field and hard gravel running

Suggestions:
Again not knowing the surrounding area, but use more trails, plenty of woods in the area. There must be some trails through the woods. It would break up the monotony of back and forth and ad a little distance to the course. Keeping in mind you want to be family friendly but all walls/hurdles were ladder walls, if that’s the case add some height to them 4ft ladder walls are boring. I know this is hard to monitor in any race, and especially when majority of the volunteers are young kids, but there were a couple cases of the top finishers avoiding every obstacle, and actually complaining about having to get muddy, o well. My BIGGEST suggestion – and this goes for all races. As a RD you need to force people into the mud/water! If you give people a way around a mud pit they will take it. I am guilty it myself not so much because I don’t want to get dirty but it slows you down. Force people to get dirty it is a MUD run after all.

Overall it was a decent race, but basing off of what I saw I wouldn’t make the drive or pay the entry for next year.

* Rating
Below Average

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