Rock the Gauntlet 2015

rockthegauntlet-logo* From: Joe Thayer

* Event Details
So I just completed the Rock the Gaunlet in New Haven, This 5K race was a great trail run today. The whole race was well organized for a local race. The facilities were better and easy going compared to most OCR races, the event staff to include voluteers were very helpful, friendly and easygoing and supprtive from Start to Finish. The vendors were Fantastic! The Pizza vendor had some of the Best pizza I’ve had in along time and I use to live in Naples Italy… Northface and Denali was great vendors as well.

* Race Details
The obstacles were really good considering is was a trail run with some obstacles vice a typical OCR. The trails and the course outline was well plan out and a fun place to run. Minimal difficulty and would consider running again. The price for the race was very reasonable and having the opportunity to do extra laps for a donation fee was a benefit for those over achievers who are running the Race Local series.

* Rating


* From: Danielle Carrier

* Event Details
The venue is right off the highway and easy to find. There was plenty of free parking either at a local high school (just a short walk to the park) or on the road right at the park if you got there early enough. Registration was easy. After picking up your bib, you grabbed a tech shirt (one of the nicer ones I have received at a race) and your timing chip. The whole process took less than 5 minutes. There was real restrooms available for use which was nice surprise since most races only have the dreaded port-a-potties. The festival area in the park was very nice. There were some vendors off to one side including the Denali tent, Trimino Protein infused flavored water giving out free samples, and a Prosecco tasting table. There was a stage with a live band playing some decent music. Runners also received 3 pieces of pizza from the Old World Pizza Truck and 2 beers from Thimble Island brewery. There was no bag check which was not an issue since parking was close.

* Race Details
My GPS measure the course 3.1 miles making this a true 5K. This was nice to get what was advertised. The course itself was a mix of running in grass, on pavement, stone steps, wooded trails and wide flat hard packed dirt. The only backup I experienced of the day was at the first wall which was a slanted wall with a rope you had to climb up and down the back side. The wait was not long, only a minute or two but it definitely knocked me off my rhythm so early in the race. After the first obstacle, the race immediately sent you up the side of the hill, up little big steps and then around the parking lot up to the summit. During this stretch there were a few obstacles including a couple of 4 ft walls. I wasn’t crazy about the walls being on the pavement but there was at least a soft 1 inch mat on the far side to help absorb the impact of the landing.

At the summit, I stop for 15-30 seconds to take in the view. From the summit you can see all of New Haven and New Haven Harbor. On a clear, sunny day like today, the view doesn’t get much better than that, at least in Southern CT. For me, the view from the top made this race worth running.

At the top there was a “heavy” bag carry, I believe either 10 or 20 lbs around the monument. Then it was across a field over a 5 ft wall and then a crawl through a tunnel before you were sent back down the hill. The decent terrain was all trails, with lots of rocks, sticks, leaves and roots. It was definitely a challenge of its own to stay upright and not lose control going downhill.

The race finished up with some flat, hard packed dirt trails with a few obstacles, including a tall ladder style A-frame, a cargo net crawl, crossing some giant tractor tires, over some hurdles (made of plastic road barriers) and then a nice jump into a dumpster full of cold water.
After coming out of the water it was a short run on grass to the finish. My favorite part of this finish was that as you were coming across if the man on the mic could see your number he was announcing your name as you crossed the finish line. This is the first race I have been to where the majority of races, fast or slow, received this level of recognition.

Overall, it was a nice race. It was not overly challenging, most people finishing only 5-10 minutes slower then there normal 5k pace. It was well run, a ton of fun, and best of all was raising money for a great cause. After this experience, I am definitely planning on attending the Run the Gauntlet in the fall and will be attending this race again next spring.

* Rating
Above Average


* From: Sandy Rhee

* Event Details
Parking was easy and a short walk from the festival area. Close enough to leave your stuff in the car while you raced. It was also free, which is rare these days and very much appreciated.

There were porta-potties as well as on site restrooms. There were vendors, but as is the norm, I didn’t explore them at all. There was pizza for finishers and spectators that was delicious, and beer which Vince enjoyed for me.

Schwag included a nice tech t-shirt. There were no medals as the idea of the race was to raise money. Money spent on medals would have reduced the amount being donated. I am fine without getting a medal and actually picked up the t-shirt!

Registration was painless and quick. We were also able to register for additional laps at a nearby tent. You could prepay for one or two extra laps, or pay for each one at a time. I paid for my second lap in advance, but decided on a third after the second was complete. Vince had all our money in his pocket, so I told Amy I was running and that he would stop by with the $10. She marked me with a ? for lap 3 and changed it to indicate the lap once Vince paid up. There were only 3 heat times at 9:00, 10:00, and 11:00, so no one was going to get more than 3 laps.

A live band played almost the whole time we were there. It was nice to hear them. They were good and they played familiar, fun songs which always has a way of brightening the atmosphere.

* Race Details
The course was billed as a beginner type course so far as the obstacles went and they delivered. The first mile or so of the race brought us to the top of the hill and the last part worked us back down towards the festival area. We went up the steep side and down the shallow side, which was a really good work out, especially 3 laps in a row!

The obstacles were well planned and open to all fitness levels. This was a good race for everyone to do. I like that kids were running it along side their parents. Most of the kids I saw seemed to have a really good time too.

The waves were pretty small and the first part of the race did not have any single track. I wish all races made sure to limit single track areas, especially close to the start when people haven’t spread out yet. There was a little bit of a back up at the very first obstacle, but it was no big deal. The only single track came after that and was only a couple hundred feet long anyway. So, there wasn’t a lot of having to figure out how to get by or let people pass.

One last nice touch that I liked was that they had someone close to the finish line relaying bib numbers to the emcee who announced as many runners as he could as they hit the finish. That special recognition of hearing your name over the speaker makes the race very personal and has the power to really make people happy.

I enjoyed the race and would be excited to do it again.

* Rating
Above Average

Leave a Reply