* From: Jesse Appel
* Event Details
Positives parking, bus ride and registration were quick and easy. Obstacles were very cool loved the marshmallows and the pickle barrels my favorite was the up hill rope pull in the barrel with water spraying at you. After race the camp fire was a great for food (im a chef) I had the pulled pork potatoes and slaw it was fantastic. Beer never had that kind before I like it and 16 oz cant beat that chefs like to drink. Showers privet and warm water not some yahoo with a cold garden hose 4 star’s. Course set up was the most spectator friendly I have ever seen easy access to all big obstacles.
Negatives. Course was a bit dangerous running around all the rocks in the woods I did trip a few times but skilfully never fell down. I know many of us were worried about rolling ankles. Ruining in the “river” was especially dangerous. Timing should be some form of chip I like others ran twice and may have screwed up the recording of time. Porto potties I think they had 2 in front and 3 in back by starting line should have been 4 in front and 1 in back most didn’t know of ones by starting line causing a long uncomfortable wait. Swag shirt was great and I liked the shopping bag but I’d rather have a finishing metal over a pint glass (chefs hate washing dishes).
Overall I give this race a 4 out of 5 and will be back for next year.
* Race Details
* From: Sandy Rhee
* Event Details
We arrived at the on-site parking just in time to be one of the last 4 cars to park in the lot at the race itself. Signing up for an early wave and arriving early has its benefits. Registration was super easy with short lines for each alphabetical group. T-shirts were at a separate table and again, were very easy to pick up. They had our packets marked with our requested shirt size, so they were guaranteed to have the right quantities for everyone who registered later in the day. The facilities were excellent and allowing teams with more than 10 members to bring a tent was a welcome bonus.
* Race Details
The course was very much like I remember from May, which is a good thing! Many of the trail sections were very technical with a lot of rocks and roots to watch out for. There were also a lot of ups and downs on the trails. All of this is good as it gives runners a challenge. My favorite part of Tuff Scramblers though is the unique obstacles. There are very few obstacles that you will see in other races. They utilize concrete pillars, concrete filled barrels, and PVC pipes in some great ways. We’ve all seen walls to climb over before, but rarely do you get to climb over PVC pipes stacked on top of each other instead? The difficulty level is average, so beginners can be successful. More advanced runners can really go for time. I think first place was somewhere in the 25 minute range which amazes me!
All in all, this is a great race with a lot of unique obstacles and a good amount of technical running in between.
* From: Jesse Jamnik
* Event Details
Tuff Scramblers is a local obstacle course race and is a low key event that is held in Rehoboth, MA on a working farm. The farm is pretty much located in what seems to be the middle of nowhere, which makes this in my mind the perfect spot for all of us crazies to get together and have some fun “MUDDIN”! The fact that it is also in the fall during peak foliage in New England didn’t hurt either. Leaves are changing colors and are as bright as ever, which makes for an awesome backdrop for this event.
The location itself is extremely easy to find and there is plenty of parking available. If you get to the race early enough, they have a small lot literally within walking distance to the venue. If you arrive after that lot is full as I did, there is another huge parking field just 1/2 mile up the road. Both spots cost only $5 bucks for parking, and if you do have to park in the additional lot, they have school buses taking people back and fourth (super nice ladies driving these buses as well I must add).
There are plenty of port-o-potties for people to use and this year they even had 2 separate horse trailers (one for guys and one for girls) to get changed in and working showers with somewhat hot water and a bottle of shampoo! WHAT! Yes you read that correctly! Warm water and shampoo to clean up with after a OCR race! This was definitely a much welcomed addition in my book. Hopefully the newbies at this race didn’t get to spoiled with that as we all know this is NOT a norm at majority of the races we do. Typically it’s more ice cold water to clean off with, and maybe if we are lucky a tent which is usually covered in more mud to change in.
This go around was my third time running the Tuff Scramblers and each and every time these guys seem to have their stuff in order. The registration area and bag check area are extremely easy to find and navigate. Upon checking in, you get your typical race packet with your bib, wrist band, FREE beer ticket, pins, and a goodie bag or SCHWAG if you will. For this race, you get a Tuff Scramblers reusable nylon (grocery) bag, a Tuff Scramblers Pint Glass, and a Pretty decent Tech T-shirt! Got to be honest here about something and say that I would much rather prefer a cotton T-shirt, No Pint Glass, and a Finishers Medal instead that can be hung up and displayed. Not sure why these guys chose to not have medals and have glasses instead, but I have seriously thought this the past 3 times I have raced now. I know I have heard the same types of “complaints” if you will from numerous people, so hopefully this is one thing they will change for future races.
As for vendors, these guys always have a nice handful of people at the race. This year they of course had a DJ, The Air Force, Rack Mania Productions, Core Power Protein (who passed out samples at the finish line), Reebok had their traveling store there and Unleashed (a local indoor racing/training facility) had a couple physical challenges set up that if you completed, would earn you a FREE entry into the next Tuff Scrambler Race.
They also had a huge tent set up where you could go and get your FREE beer as well as some food if you wanted to. Each person that finished the race received a beer and a slice of bakery pizza if they wanted it. They were also passing out FREE yogurt pops to the kids as well as FREE Chobani Yogurt. There were also separate meal tickets that you could purchase either before hand or day of that got you some roasted potatoes, a couple pulled pork sandwiches, and some cole slaw I believe. I think these tickets were only five bucks if I remember correctly. I can’t tell you if the food was any good or not, because I choose not to eat it and went with the lunch I packed for myself instead.
* Race Details
This course is not one of the tougher courses that make you climb up endless miles of rugged mountains and stuff, but it is an extremely technical course as they use the natural landscaping they have very well. While most of the course is flat running, you are constantly in and out of trails that are covered by rocks, sticks and holes. This is an easy course to roll or snap an ankle for sure if you are not paying attention or have not built up those little muscles surrounding your ankles yet.
We started off with a little run into the woods and through some mud. There was a TON of mud on this course which always makes for a nice fun FREE day at the spa. After a little jog through the woods, we came up to a couple steeps mounds of dirt we had to climb up and over. Coming down the second heap, they had a new obstacle in place which was pretty much a mud crawl under some plastic fence type material. It was on this wonderful obstacle not even a mile into the race where my face and nose met one of the steel poles and had a little battle. Needless to say, the steel won and left a nice gash on the top of my head and my nose. Once out, we had another big dirt pile to climb up and over and away we went with a little more running through the woods.
Once we emerged back out of the woods, they had a steep hill to make your way down and then onto the water barrel crossing. Basically a mud pit underneath with some plastic barrels spaced nicely apart that are filled with sand. Once you made your way over the barrels, your were faced with a nice steep climb up and down a little man made mountain and then up and over some boulder’s. Definitely needed to take your time here as one wrong step would have left you feeling some serious pain!
Once over the boulders, we ran for a little bit and pretty much the rest of the race was obstacle after obstacle. They had some cement pillars you had to make your way up and over, about 4 or 5 different log hops as you ran through a muddy path, PVC walls to jump over and muddy pipes to crawl through. One of the pipe crawls actually takes you uphill and they do a great job making sure nice cold water is spraying you in the face the whole time as you climb up using the rope inside the tube. From there, they also had a pretty nice size cargo net you had to make your way over, big huge hay bails that look like giant marshmallows to go up and over, and chain link monkey bars that had water spraying down from the top and a mud pit below to meet in case you fell.
After you make it past the monkey bars, you are in the final stretch of the race. You make your way through some waist high river and lots more mud until you reach the final obstacle which is a lake crossing. This year it seems like they either drained the lake a little or it was just lower than usual as I remember in the past 2 events this was an all out swim as you could not touch the bottom. This year was different and I could easily walk across the lake without having to all out swim. They probably did this for safety reasons as I do not remember a life guard or anything in the water the last two times I have ran this race.
All in all, this is an awesome local race and definitely provides you with a nice Saturday. This race is also extremely spectator friendly as the spectators are FREE to roam the property and can pretty much see just about every single obstacle. This made for a great time for my wife and daughter who love to come to these things with me and cheer me on.
From a perspective of a person who has run about 13-15 of these types of races now, I would give this race a solid thumbs up. This is a nice little challenge for people who are fit and run a lot of these races and it is also a nice race for a beginner as well, although as a beginner, you should take your time through the course and make sure you stick with a running buddy.
As much as I like this race, there are a few suggestions that I personally would make if this was my race.
1) I would absolutely opt for a cotton T-shirt, no Pint glass, and make sure that I have finishers medals to give away. Seeing that these races are pulling out a ton of past sports players as well as people looking to accomplish things they never thought possible, having something like a medal to hand up and show your hard work for an athlete I think is way better than giving them a pint glass.
2) I have no idea why in the world they have not figured out timing chips yet. I have not hosted one of these races personally, but knowing pple that do, I don’t think having a company to come in like race wire and host the times is all that much money. I could be wrong, but I bet it would make a lot of pple happy to get an actual time instead of a hopefully accurate time. As it is now and how it has been the past two times I raced here, they just take down your bib # at the finish line and calculate your time based off the time you were supposed to start.
* From: Amy Lillis
* Event Details
Tuff Scramblers was held at a lovely farm in Rehoboth, MA. The venue was easy to get to and parking was plentiful. We got there after the smaller lot on site was filled, so we parked down the road and were shuttled in.
Registration was easy and the staff was very nice. Once we picked up our number packets, we went to the next table to get the schwag. We got a small reusable grocery bag with their logo on the side, a tech tee, and a pint glass. The shirts are nice, and they had grey for men and pink for women. However, my medium shirt just feels huge. It’s wider than a typical medium, and the sleeves are ridiculously long for a short sleeved tee. That being said, I still wore it to the gym, which I don’t do with cotton tees, so it’s a win for Tuff Scramblers.
There were a few vendors there, but I didn’t have a chance to shop. There was food available. I didn’t love that I had to prepay for food, but they did end up having enough to sell on race day. Sadly, all of the food was stone cold, so most of my kids left hungry.
There were only a few porta johns. It was OK most of the day, but when we first arrived there was a heat about to go off and the lines were 10 minutes deep everywhere. Later in the day, the lines were much shorter.
There were 2 things that I loved about the venue. First, if you had enough people on your team (10?) you were able to bring and put up a 10×10 tent. This was a great way for everyone to have a place to meet and mingle. Secondly, they had built a fire. It was such a nice touch to have someplace to warm up on a chilly morning!
* Race Details
This was a great course. I was a little concerned because I had brought my uncle and his girlfriend for their very first OCR and I was afraid that some of the obstacles would be too difficult. However, everything was very doable, while still being fun for me. The trails were very rocky, so we had to be careful. The race made good use of the terrain, and we felt like we had to be aware while we were running through the woods and fields. The man made obstacles were quite fun.
While many obstacles were similar to what we’ve seen at other races, Tuff Scramblers seemed to put their own spin on many of them. Their cargo net went almost straight up to a small platform and then back down a looser net, so it felt different than climbing the typical A-frame. The balance beams were made of PVC pipes, so they were round and slippery. The monkey bars were on chains. The log hop was on pillars, and later they had pillars of varying heights to hop across. The hay bales were wrapped in plastic (which I was very afraid would be slippery) and were stacked in a very tall pyramid.
In my opinion, while it was not the most difficult course I’ve done this season, they did a lot of things right, and Tuff Scramblers is definitely on my list for next year.
* From: Nikki Enberg
* Event: Tuff Scramblers, October 19, 2013
* Event Details
Location of the race was in Rohoboth on a farm. Very picturesque, natural setting. Especially scenic with the colors of autumn. Parking was a breeze. I got there early at 8:30AM and there was a small lot, which was right next to the registration and facilities. Literally within minutes, parked my car, got to registration, walked in and started warming up near a big bonfire. The bag check was right at the front too. I felt like the registration, bag check were very organized and easy to find.
For people in the later heats, there was a parking lot 1/2 mile down the road, and they had shuttles taking people to the venue. Parking for both lots was $5.00.
Facilities were good. A few port-a-potties, near the front, then some more near the starting line, which I thought was very convenient and not near as crowded as the ones at the front. For changing areas, they used horse trailers. There was one for men and one for women. The women’s had three curtained areas and a chair where you could get changed in private. Though I did not use the showers, they had them too. I heard that there was even hot water and shampoo. Now that is pretty luxurious if you ask me. Again, I have to mention the bonfire – this was so nice after the race to warm up, after being in the cold lake when the adrenaline has worn off and the shivers start to set in. Too bad they didn’t have marshmallows to roast. Maybe next year they will have a s’more station 🙂
There were a few vendors there. Reebok had a trailer there, selling some shoes, work-out gear and a Reebok tech Tuff Scrambler shirt if you wanted to buy a nicer version than what you got for free. A protein shake company was giving out free samples near the finish line. Unleashed (an indoor obstacle racing facility) had a couple fitness challenges set up, and apparently if you were able to do it, you got a free race entry.
They had a large tent with plenty of tables, near the finish line, where they served food. Meal tickets were available when you registered, but they did have a limited amount of food they could sell that consisted of bbq pulled pork sandwiches and pizza. If you ran the race, you received a free beer and a piece of pizza. They handed out free Chobani yogurt as well.
It would’ve been nice to have something there for children, like a small obstacle course – but that being said, it was a great venue for spectators. Spectators could easily walk around to view most of the obstacles.
Schwag: When you picked up your bag, you got a bag (a reusable grocery bag), and in that was an okay quality tech shirt and a pint glass. There were no finisher medals, which I would definitely take over a pint glass any day. If you ran in the elite heat, you also received a black, cotton shirt after the race. There were also cash prizes to the top 5 male and female racers in the elite heat. I was very pleased with this, as I won 4th and received $125 cash. So, at least it paid for my registration and a little extra. Not sure what the other payouts were.
* Race Details
Let me first preface with the fact this was only my third obstacle course race. First, being the F.I.T Challenge, then the Diva Dash and now Tuff Scrambler. I have not done a Spartan yet. To a newbie, like myself, the obstacles were pretty intimidating. I walked around before I started the race to see what I was in for. To be honest, I was scared. This was also my first mud experience. Folks, there was A LOT of mud. You cannot be afraid to get dirty or wet. If so, this is the wrong race for you.
The course itself was extremely technical, yet most flat. Running through all the rocks was the most difficult part of the race for me. My main concern was rolling an ankle, and I’m sure there were a number of people who did this. The course was marked with tape, arrows and markings on rocks , yet, at times it was easy to get off track. This happened to me twice, and I wasn’t alone. Would’ve been helpful to have a couple more volunteers in the back trails to point out the right way at places where it wasn’t so clear.
I was impressed with the creativity of the obstacles. There were large mounds of dirt to climb up, boulders to scale, narrow tunnels, mud pits, wood walls, PVC walls, a huge rope cargo net, chain link monkey bars with a mud pit underneath, with water spraying on you as you cross, and my favorite, an inclined tunnel with a rope inside to climb up, while getting sprayed in the face with water.
The last stretch of the race was the hay bale (marshmallows) obstacle, which was especially intimidating, considering how high and slick they were. Next came the monkey bars as mentioned above. The grand finale was a short run through some more rocks and a lot of mud, maybe even a little manure. The final natural obstacle was crossing the lake. At that point the cold water was invigorating, even at 45 degrees outside.
I would definitely do this race again. I don’t think I would recommend this to a first-timer though. If you’re looking for some adventure, technical running, and don’t mind a few scrapes and bruises along the way – then this is a great one. Plus, you kind of feel like a bad ass when you’re done (but that could just be the kool-aid talking)!