Renegade Run 2014

525572_396422050428356_228846865_n* From: Evan McAleaer

* Event Details
This was both my first Renegade Race and trip to Wompatuck State Park, and both are things I’ll do again. I decided to break my review into 5 sections: parking/bag check, setting/venue, course/obstacles, complaints, and verdict.

Parking/Bag Check
Any time you attend a race and either of these are free, you expect that it’ll either be a pain in the ass or corners will be cut. I was pleasantly surprised with the ease of each of these, but must admit that I arrived pretty early. The bag-check was easy for drop off and pick up, but was not exactly expedient. As I left, I noticed that many people had to park along the road or in lots that were further down the road than the main one next to the main venue. But, did I mention that both of them were free? These are small complaints, as most other races charge for these services and are either no better or much worse than Renegade Run’s operation.

Wompatuck State Park is a wonderful location for a race or just a ramble in the woods. It is a clean, densely wooded forest preserve with a variety of trail options and easily accessible camping spots. This sort of thing is important to a guy like myself, as I grew up in the country and get a serious rise from feeling solitary in a natural setting. Aside from wanting to go back for next year’s race, I plan on taking my family there for some camping in the future.
The venue itself was very intimate and user-friendly. Plenty of stuff for kids to do, beer, food, bathrooms, vendors, bag check, registration, the finish line, and the main staff office were all within throwing distance of each other and clearly visible from the main gathering lawn. The only thing that you couldn’t see from the central lawn was the starting line and any of the course.
There was a live band playing some classic rock and basic top-40 standards, and although they were played well, the music was relatively unremarkable.

* Race Details
This race was advertised as being 5 miles and having approximately 15 obstacles. My watch (which isn’t terribly accurate when factoring elevation change into mileage) tracked the race at about 4.65 miles. So, it was probably about…5 miles. I’d say that about 1.5 miles of the race was paved, but the rest was a mix of dirt roads, wide trails, and technical single track, and other than a small handful of puddles, the course was pretty dry.
What the race organizers were not honest about, however, was the number of obstacles. Instead of having “about 15”, they had 20, most of which were well constructed and pretty well thought out. There were some inclined rope walls, a tire pile, a series of balance beams, a series of see-saws, a grueling set of over-unders, four tubes to crawl through, two small gravel piles, a number of walls between 4 and 8-ish feet, a spider web thingy, a small field of wooden jacks, some webbing to crawl under, some stairs, a warrior carry, and two cargo-nets. All of the walls that were above eye level had a footboard that would either help you reach the top or spring upward on a run-up. I’m sure I’m missing something, but all in all the variety of obstacles was satisfying.
At the starting line, they announce that there were 20 obstacles. Each them was numbered, so as you ran, you were able to tell how many you had left. There were many volunteers throughout the course directing, encouraging, and watering at the three water stands. It was a very good course.

I really only have a few small complaints. Two are about obstacles, one is about the absence of water, and one is about visibility (my most important criticism), but none of them are serious.
1. The crawling tubes were not held in place with anything, and there was only one route through them, so not only did they cause serious bottle necking, but they also moved in and out of place as they were used.
2. The warrior carry is fine for a race that’s not timed or that doesn’t offer any kind of prize, but if you’re offering any kind of accolade for placing, it shouldn’t be used. For those of us who want to push for time or even for the possibility of a prize, having to wait for a slower runner or to do 20 burpees is aggravating. Perhaps a heavy log carry should replace a warrior in the case of being a lone runner.
3. The race organizers were clear and up-front about there not being water obstacles, but I’m the kind of guy who loves to run, crawl, fall, sleep in the mud. I wanted mud and only got a couple of pockets of it.
4. Although many things were visible and easily accessible, none of the course was visible for spectators. You wouldn’t be able to see the starting line without walking to it and could only see the final obstacle if you wanted to.

I loved this race. The obstacles were solid and well thought out. The course varied between pavement and challenging single track, and was pretty challenging overall. The venue was convenient, well-staffed, and both family and festivity friendly. I will definitely be at Wompatuck State Park again next October.

* Rating
Above Average


* From: Ann Priestman

* Event Details
Everything seemed really well organized. There were plenty of signs leading to parking (nice since it’s a long way down from the entrance) and lots of staff directing everyone on where to go. It was nice not having to pay for the parking, too. The event volunteers/staff on the course were all fantastic. Everyone I passed was super friendly and encouraging. Oh and it was a bit chilly when we started and they gave out headbands at the starting line to anyone who wanted them.

The race packet had a nice quality t-shirt and some coupons, and the medals were great.

* Race Details
According to my Garmin, the course was about 4.75 miles, over pavement and trails. I feel like more of the course was on trails but I wasn’t really keeping track. There were some hills but nothing super challenging, and overall I thought a nice variety of terrain. I believe there were 20 obstacles total. I wouldn’t mind more obstacles, but there were definitely enough to keep it feeling like an obstacle course race and not just a run through the woods with a wall here and there. All the obstacles felt sturdy and well built, and there were always volunteers around to explain things or help out if needed. I especially liked the obstacle near the end that was sort of stepping from swing to swing – I’ve never done one like that before.

Overall the course was perfect for me – the obstacles and terrain were challenging but doable, and the atmosphere created by all the helpful staff was fantastic.

* Rating


* From: Kevin Fitzgerald

* Event Details
Type One Renegade Run returned to Wompatuck State Park in Hingham Massachusetts for their third year on a warm and sunny Saturday morning. I followed the signs and the directions of the volunteers to the parking area. Parking was free (awesome), and just a two minute walk from the starting area.

There were no lines at registration, and the volunteers were friendly and eager to help. I didn’t have any bags to check, but if I did, it would have been free (awesome). The lines to the porta potties first thing in the morning were reasonable, and they were reasonably clean.

There was a beer vendor offering Coors Light, Sam Adams Oktoberfest and Sam Adams Rebel IPA. All 21+ racers received a free beer (awesome).

Smokey Stax BBQ was the main food vendor, and I had myself a delicious pulled pork sandwich and some cornbread. All racers were given a $5.00 coupon which I thought was fantastic. When I went to purchase my $7.00 meal, I handed them my ticket, $2.00 and dropped an additional $2.00 in the tip jar. The woman working there gave me a look, and I asked if the coupon was good for today. Apparently, in small print, it says that you had to buy $10.00 worth of food to redeem the $5.00 coupon. I said no problem, took the coupon back, and handed her a $5.00 bill. As I walked away, I realized I could’ve just requested an additional $5.00 worth of food, given her the coupon and paid the same amount. Oh well…

There were several other vendors set up offering chiropractic services, hot cider, liquid pain shots, flavored water, chips, salsa, hummus, Advil, deodorant, fruit bars and Panera cookies. At the finish line, there was a tent set up with water and bananas which were handed out by volunteers along with the medal.

The medal is decent in quality and modest in size. “Renegade Race” is on the medal along with the running man that appears to be their logo.

The tee shirt is identical to what they gave out last year. They run small. Typically, I wear between a men’s small and a men’s medium. For this race, I received a men’s medium which fit incredibly tight on me. The shirt is a high quality technical shirt, but for a shirt that fits so tight, it has almost no give or flexibility. For those that are muscular, or a little husky, order two sizes above what you normally wear for a comfortable fit.

Between the start and finish lines was a live band which I believe was called, “The Lisa Love Experience”. They were talented, full of energy and played contemporary music with their own twist. They would be an awesome band to have play at a wedding. There were just a few people dancing at the tent, but I despite everyone doing their own thing, we all appreciated the energy that they brought to the event.

The music was pumping at the starting line, and the volunteers made their way around handing out some headbands which were free (awesome). As race time approached, an enthusiastic MC explained the dangers of the course and what we should be expecting. He counted down from five, and then we were off.

* Race Details
I didn’t bring my GoPro, so I’m going to go by the list of obstacles from the website, so it’s likely out of order. One thing I will say is that I loved the spread of the obstacles and pacing of the course.

“Renegade Crawl” had us climbing up a 6 foot wall onto a cargo net over to another wall which we climbed down. There wasn’t significant bottlenecking when I reached it, but I can see how larger groups could get caught up there.

The “Balancing Act” was next. This obstacle reminded me of the see saw obstacle at F.I.T. The difference here was, the long board wasn’t secured at the fulcrum and the boards were extremely slick. This obstacle had the potential to seriously hurt people. Volunteers and racers alike had to readjust this obstacle constantly just so the racer behind them could attempt it. Despite being at the front of the pack at the start, there was noticeable bottlenecking here.

“Mountain Climber” was a well-constructed twelve foot A-frame cargo net that I remember completing just before racing to the finish line.

“Fish Netting” was light netting that you had to crawl under. There was almost no challenge to this.

“Crawling in the Dark” was a series of tubing probably 18”-24” in diameter that we had to crawl through. They were tight, and they weren’t secured to the ground, so they rolled quite a bit as we tried to make our way through. I’m not a big guy, so I didn’t have too much trouble, but I saw some larger Spahtens struggling to squeeze through, so we took turns holding it steady.

“Incline Walls” were spread throughout the course. These walls had ropes to assist if needed. Upon descending, it was a straight drop. There was a board set up to step down to make the drop a big easier, and that was appreciated.

Throughout many of the obstacles including the incline walls, there were these purple safety mats set up to soften our landing. I appreciated the thought, but landing on that type of surface with wet feet actually made my landings more dangerous as the pads were so slippery. When I cleared my first wall, I wasn’t expecting to land on one of these pads and actually lost my footing. Hay or sand works just as well, though it’s probably more of a pain to clean up.

“Up and Unders” actually got my heart pumping pretty well. There were several four foot walls to scale, and saw horses to duck under. One or two would have been easy, but I think there were like four to six of each.

“Six Foot Walls” are self-explanatory. There were ledges about a foot up to make the wall more accessible for those who are vertically challenged.

“Ten Foot Wall” was more of giant ladder. Climb up and down. This was very easy so long as you don’t have a fear of heights.

Not listed were your standard monkey bars and an obstacle that I had never seen before. I suppose the best way to describe it would be a series of narrow wooden swings that you step across while holding a rope above for balance. This was a bit trickier than expected, and it had me doing splits and got me laughing at several point.

Throughout the race, there were signs with Type One Diabetes facts listed, obstacle names and cute little sayings to make you laugh or to try and mess with you. I know at one point, I read a sign that stated; “It’s all downhill from here. Be careful what you wish for!” After a somewhat technical descent, I made a turn and saw a rather steep climb with a sign in the distance. I said to myself, “I bet that sign says, ‘Just Kidding!’”. And it did…

The course was mostly flat with a few light rolling hills. I feel with they made the best use of the terrain that was available to them. It wasn’t a very challenging course, but it was certainly more difficult than last year. There were no water or mud obstacles which in October is fine by me.

At the finish line, I was challenged to a sprint by someone in a werewolf costume, and it looks like everything was captured on a GoPro hovering over the finish line. I don’t know if having the werewolf at the finish was part of the race, but I watched him do the same for several other runners, and it made the finish a lot more fun.

This race for me is my last OCR until spring of next year. I ruined my knee at the Vermont Beast, talked to my doctor about it and took a month off as he suggested. After doing some weight training and rowing, I decided to go ahead and run this race as I had already registered. My knee gave out at mile three, but I was able to push through the pain for a respectable finish.

Overall, I enjoyed this race. It wasn’t challenging, but it was fun. Most of the obstacles were well constructed; the volunteers were plentiful, helpful, encouraging and friendly. What I really appreciate is something that you don’t see anymore, free parking and free bag check. The race wasn’t a money grab, and it was a fantastic value. Even race day registration for $75.00 was a great deal in my opinion.

I would recommend this race to anyone that wants to get their friends to try their first OCR. I’m confident next year will be even better.

* Rating
Above Average


* From: Carrie

* Event Details
Wompatuck state park in Hingham perfect place for a 5mile race it’s a beautiful state park. Plenty of parking and well marked signs on the mile long drive threw the woods to get threw the lot.
Venders Advil, Hint, First aid shot therapy a new one to me. They had a recovery drink that kinda tastes like 5hr energy, so thats a acquired taste,but the effects did seem to help.I ran this race last year this year and I definitely will do it again next year.the band at the afterparty definitely deserves major props Lisa love experience they were great and kept the vibe going all day.

* Race Details
20 obstacles over unders, 6 foot, 8 foot, 10 foot walls, through the tunes, buddy carrie, monkey bars just to name a few I loved that on the down side of the higher walls was a mat to save my ankles! (Wicked thanks)
My favorite obstacle was the swings you walked across something like 10 swings with a rope in the middle to hold on to. Not a hard obstacle just a fun one.

* Rating
Above Average


* Jeanine Peirce

Race Review: Renegade Run
Location: Wompatuck Park, Hingham MA
Parking: Free and a short walk to race area.
Vendors: Chiropractor with 2 tables, BBQ food, amazing amount of freebies offered from Hint water to Advil.
For the Kids: a huge blow up obstacle slide that was $5 for unlimited time. Bonus points to Renegade Run on that call.
Schwag: Medal & nice quality t-shirt along with assorted coupons

Renegade Run has improved their course each year since it began in 2012. This year’s course was approximately 5 miles over trails, pavement and through the beautiful Womaptuck Park forest.

They included 20 obstacles:
*walls (slanted with ropes, ladder climbs, 5′ staggered as over-unders with horses between, cargo net topped, and taller standard walls)
*tires-piled in a mass to plow over. Not much of a challenge.
*spider web of ropes for over under
*see saws-these were in a series, but the first ones were a little hairy and could use some re-engineering for safety because they were not secured.
*tube crawls-3 in a row with a few feet between. I like the tube crawls to be more of a challenge. By draping netting between the tubes the crawl could have been extended or the tubes could be placed a different angles to increase the difficulty.
*balance beams-solid, sturdy, wide & low. Bring in something to carry across such as a slosh pipe, water bucket etc.
*cargo net
*monkey bars-all at one level, but the bars have a bit of slippage increasing the difficulty
*The all new and super challenging swing walk-this was a series of wooden swings to walk across while holding onto a rope overhead that ran the length of the obstacle. This required every bit of core strength to have a hope of having any control as you made your way across. Great addition to the obstacles!!

*Terrain-most would probably say flat, but there were some hilly sections that challenged. The trails were not too rocky either so footing was pretty good. Only a few downhills that let you get off a good dash. It would be fun to run this race set up with snow on the ground.

3 water stations. We asked about a trash barrel at the first station and were informed that a Boy Scout Troop was coming in to do clean up to work on a merit badge. Trash barrels in the food area were also emptied and the site appeared to be in pretty good shape when we left. I mention this because littering has been an issue at other sites and wanted Spahtens to know that Renegade had a plan in place.

*Post race, Paul (I believe he is the RD, correct me if I’m wrong) came over to ask the group of Spahtens I was with what we thought of the course. He thanked us for supporting Renegade Run and is looking forward to our reviews. I appreciate that he took the time to swing over while he was still in the midst of running everything.

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