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#racelocal 2016

13227554_1051730974915248_7846188274938240777_oand like that, we’re done!

I just closed out #racelocal 2016.

For those who maybe new to our community, or have seen this hashtag flying around – you may be wondering what #racelocal is?

Four years ago, we made the decision to support locally owned and operated OCR businesses in a tangible and effective way, and started #racelocal. When you participate in #racelocal, you are putting your money into the New England owned and operated obstacle course race scene. We’re giving you awards and swag and medals for racing small, local businesses. As a concept, it’s simple – as a program it’s been very successful.

We ran up mountains, we ran in onsies, we ran around for multiple laps, we did relays, we were awarded medals by Navy Seals, we ate the worlds greatest pizza – we ran in 5 of our 6 states (sorry Maine!)

It’s always interesting to go through the numbers a little. What did 2016 actually look like?

First, we can’t go further without thanking the races and brands that hosted us.

13 brands entered 28 races.

13116286_1044608058960873_4826819008624577923_oSmithfest Events – Blizzard Blast, Runzilla and Panic in the Dark
FIT Challenge – Spring and Fall
Bone Frog Challenge – Spring and Fall
Shale Hill – Polar Bear Challenge, Jills Folly, 24 Hours of Shale Hell, Tri-Obstaclon, Relay, Halloween
Endurance Society – Frigus, Infinitus,
BoldrDash – Winter Dash, In the Mud, Fall,
Gauntlet Races – Run the Gauntlet, Rock the Gauntlet
Wason Pond Pounder
Heart Challenge,
Samurai Sprint
Wicked Mud Run
Team Mike McNeil virtual race series – 5k, 10k, 1/2 marathon

Next, thank you to the athletes. You guys. Without you, it’s nothing.

13483192_1029636340476829_7597706453345778681_oThis was our first year including kids – so before we start, lets give a shout out to every kid out there running miles and laps and giving the grown ups something to chase. Big shout out to Callan Grant who covered over 100 miles all by himself, age 9! He will be earning the only kids size Century Club jacket in existence 🙂

So lets look at that – who made it to the top ten of the Century Club? (defined as logging over 100 miles)


Next up – lets look at race finishes? How many races did the top ten athletes complete to get these miles?


and this is interesting, because the top spots aren’t the same. Why? Because multi-laps. Races that support multiple laps get more people, and athletes that run multiple laps gain more miles.

14708011_1169949499760061_8462276688719680486_oSome quick, final stats:

1,000 entries were logged.
8,084.5 miles were ran.

Top 3 races, by miles earned were


And 2017 is fast approaching.

15181180_1202175609870783_4996041140091092098_nIf you are not already, please join our #racelocal Athletes group – it’ll give you the quickest and easiest way to get new information on the #racelocal program. The following events have already committed to 2017, so get registered and support local businesses!

Blizzard Blast
Shale Hill – Polar Bear Challenge
FIT Challenge – spring
Wason Pond Pounder
BoldrDash – WinterDash 2017
Bonefrog -spring

See you all on the race course!

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The Kids Are In The Game!

Benson Bear

Soon, the 2016 #racelocal Grand Prix will be on us.  Walls will be climbed, heavy things carried, miles will be run, mountains will be scaled.  There are medals to be earned.  One of the items we are very excited, and very proud, to announce about ~this year’s~ 2016 Grand Prix is it’s not just for *you* any longer.

It’s time to get the kids into the game!

A few early details for you: Some races will have a minimum age requirement, some will not.  Some will have a minimum age requirement, and require the child to run with their parent.  But this year your children are going to have the ability to run, crawl, jump, get muddy, and #racelocal right along with you! FULL details are coming very soon!

MaAlong with the registration information, there will be information about how to register your child for #racelocal as well.  While you are earning swag for your races, so will your child (or children). Oh, wait…you didn’t think we’d save all the cool stuff for the big kids, did you?  Oh, no…we have a lot of very cool things lined up just for the kids division!  The more they race, the more they earn!

What could be better than spending the day together, racing, and earning cool swag?  That’s what we thought, too…nothing!  Which is why we’ve put this whole thing (and prizes) together!

Racing should be able to combine all of your passions together, and now it can.  We told you the 2016 #racelocal was going to be bigger and better than ever, and we mean it.

Now, look – medals and prizes are fantastic, we all enjoy earning them.  We have all crossed a finish line with friends, our battle buddies. Imagine taking on a race with your family! Helping each other on the course, building memories as you finish the race together; those would be memories which would stay with you, and your family members, forever!  Ultimately this is the big goal, to bring us all together.  #racelocal #strongertogether


We hope you have questions, and we hope you’re as excited as we are! Keep your eyes peeled, more information will be coming soon!  All questions will be answered soon!

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#racelocal 2016 – Provisional race list …

racelocalmedal#racelocal 2015 is coming to a close. FIT will be the last race on the calendar in little over a week.

So of course, it’s time to start teasing. Apparently I got a reputation for it this past year. No idea why.

2016 will be the biggest year yet … more races, new challenges, new #racelocal swag.

12118830_10205954742122336_1636307180214149510_nNew England is so so very lucky – we have so many amazing events, with such a thriving OCR community. Our goal is to get you away from the big box races a little, and try the smaller events who try hard, provide quality, and will be there to shake your hand at the finish line. It’s worth it. They rock.

So – who are we talking about? Which races will you see as part of the 2016 #racelocal Grand Prix?

Disclaimer: this is provisional, and may will change. Full confirmed race listings will be shared in due time!

Blizzard Blast
Shale Hill – Polar Bear Challenge
Bonefrog Challenge
FIT Challenge
Endurance Society: Frigus
Tuff Scramblers
Wason Pond Pounder
Wicked Mud Run
Grit N Wit
Demon Run
Gauntlet Races
Samurai Sprint
Zombie Charge
Team Mike McNeil

It’s going to be an amazing year.

Oh – and for the second year, OCR World Championships will be honoring any four finishes (excluding virtual races) as a Journeyman qualifier for the Oct 15th / 16th event in Ottawa. So thats nice.

This list will have more additions – I have emails in my inbox for more races that simply didn’t get squared up in time. I’ll also point out the obvious – not every race has their 2016 calendar ready …

#racelocal 2016 – the best year yet?

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The numbers of #racelocal

racelocalThis is the second year we’ve held the #racelocal Grand Prix, and this is definitely our biggest year yet.

Here are some of the stats behind it, to date.

At it’s core – we encourage – and bribe – runners and participants to attend high quality, local obstacle course races – putting their entry $ into the local OCR economy, and driving the quality of other OCRs up, in an effort to get in on the Grand Prix.

It’s been wildly successful – more than we anticipated!

11143140_10153385770643338_3061897711170085659_nOver 200 people have registered.
188 of them have ran at least one race so far, and earned their #racelocal 2015 medal, and 89 T Shirts are on your backs already (for 3 races) – 27 of you have hit 5 races and have one of our badass trucker caps and a swag bag.

Our Wreck Bag Mileage Challenge – with prizes for the most mileage logged during the Grand Prix term – has wracked up 3069 miles, in total – and we’re only 8 races in.

No one has managed to do all 8, due to conflicts in dates for two – but 4 dedicated people have managed to do 7 events, and 10 have managed to rack up 6 races.

Blizzard Blast, our first race, had the most #racelocal attendance, at 139 people with FIT Challenge right behind it at 121 people. We made up 20% of the field at Polar Bear Challenge.

Wreck Bag LogoWe’re encouraging people to step out of their comfort zone, and run multiple laps at events thanks to sponsorship from Wreck Bag – with race directors catching on quick and making the process of running multiple laps as smooth and quick as possible.

racelocalmedalBone Frog Challenge saw an average of 10.25 miles per #racelocal athlete, and Polar Bear was next, with 6.7 miles per person – and by charging just $10 per lap, Wason Pond Pounder was able to wrack up an additional $500 on nothing but multiple lap costs alone for their charities! Zombie Charge next weekend is giving their $10 multi-lap fee to the Boys and Girls club – a natural progression of the Grand Prix that we LOVE to see!

We’ve awarded 1301 points so far, with the top three at the end of the year winning cash prizes – and those are almost exactly evenly split between male and female athletes, but the men had 400 miles more logged than the ladies.

The Grand Prix is underway – you’re already too late to get in on it in 2015, but watch this space for 2016 information to come!


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The Best Of – 2014 New England OCR

A recent Facebook Poll of the New England Spahtens was run to determine the top five favorite OCR events in our region.

As we ALL know, polls are not science, and the wording used was “favorite”, which is subjective. Also, Facebook polls allow you to vote on multiple entries – but only one vote, per entry.

All that being said, I think the list is pretty representative of the New England Spahtens, and with good reasons – so, here’s your top five favorite OCR events in the New England region.

Note – the poll is still active and receiving votes, so the results you see *now* maybe different to the results I saw when I started this article. In fact, I’d bet on it.

bonefroglogo5) Bonefrog Challenge

A relative new comer to the scene, Bonefrog landed with a big splash – putting on a longer distance, obstacle heavy format for the true OCR enthusiast. Bonefrog puts on solid, challenging courses that have very quickly become fan favorites. Attracting Elites and average Joe’s, with a Navy Seal theme and inspiration, this series is also owned and operated entirely by retired Seals.

With a #racelocal Grand Prix event in western MA in May, Bonefrog wants to expand – so keep an eye on their calendar for races as they open up.

Next Race – May 2015 – REGISTER

EURO - Polar Bear4) Polar Bear Challenge at Shale Hill

This was my personal pick – 8 hours to run as many laps of the famed Shale Hill course in the snow, in February. I’ve done this event twice now – and countless other events at Shale Hill, and never managed more than a single lap in that 8 hour window – but with an amazing family welcoming you by name, another challenging course thats perfect for the enthusiast, or the weekend warrior looking to push themselves – Shale Hill is world class, and in our backyard. Every event is going to be on the #racelocal calendar!

Next Race – February 2015 – REGISTER

fitchallengelogo3) FIT Challenge

It’s easy to spot why FIT Challenge is a New England Spahtens favorite, and staple in the #racelocal Grand Prix. Race Director Robb is active in the community, from participating as a fellow athlete at events, to answering any and all questions people bring up prior to his races. A good choice of past venues, all in an active region of New England. On race day, people are treated well, with large amounts of community space, the best pricing and treatment rarely seen anywhere else. The FIT course is usually around 5k, and while a solid course in it’s own right, it’s the family and friends treatment that puts FIT above many other similar races.

Next Race – April 2015 – REGISTER

Fenway sandbag2) Spartan Race – Fenway Park

Despite the frigid cold and packed ball park, Spartan nailed it with Fenway. A fun, but challenging course, a space set aside for the biggest team, and a full street taken over by the festival outside. As a community we saw a huge turnout, which was handled as well as can be expected on race day, and you couldn’t turn anywhere without seeing a Spahten shirt, even if they were supporting other communities. Massive volunteer turnout, both in the days setting up, all day on race day and during tear down showed what this community was all about.

Next Race – November 2015? – Registration not open

beastmedal1) Spartan Race – VT Beast

The Grand Daddy of all Spartan Beast events. This particular rendition was overly long, criticized by many for having almost all of it’s obstacles in the last couple of miles, and having too many “carry heavy things” obstacles – and despite that, it topped the rankings for the most popular event of the calendar year – showing that no matter what the internet experts think, the general OCR population is still in love with the Spartan Race suffer-fests. The VT Beast takes your Average Joe and puts them out of their comfort zone, testing themselves somewhere they never thought they’d be, and Killington holds a dear place in many hearts as a result. Time will tell if removing the World Championship, and adding a Beast in New Jersey will help, or hinder the VT Beast.

Next Race – September 19th – REGISTER

Of course, this isn’t the most comprehensive, scientifically deduced list out there. You may not see yours on it, and you may not agree with it – but, it’s clear that in New England, in 2014, Spartan Race provided the highlights for the most – but with three solid choices right behind them, and many other solid choices in the Grand Prix -New England leads the country in quality and choice for OCR.

Which races do you think we missed? Which races are you already registered for?

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#racelocal 2015 is ready for you!

wideracelocalSince we had our successful 6 month #racelocal in 2014, things have grown. We’ve got over 1,000 new members in our community (and growing!), and it’s time to do another #racelocal Grand Prix and introduce a whole new group of athletes, runners and participants to the fantastic New England OCR scene.

What is #racelocal?

#racelocal is a selection of hand picked, high quality obstacle course races. Owned and operated in New England, each participating race has a reputation for fantastic events. Some are fun and family friendly, others will test your endurance to it’s limits. The 2015 Grand Prix is a full year with many local events, and we will reward athletes with increasingly cooler swag, the more events you are able to complete during the year.

How does it work?

You sign up for the Grand Prix. From the participating races, you sign up and race as many as you can through the year. Start running your tail off 🙂

As you go, we will have you log which races you participated in – your results will qualify you for prizes and swag as you go!

How do you compete?

If you are of a competitive mind, we have TWO ways to win money.

Pointseach event is worth 2 points. Certain designated competitive events have more points on the line for the top finishers. At the end of the season, the top three men and women points scorers win money! Points are assigned per EVENT – not lap, day etc …

Milagewe track every paid mile you run. The male and female who covers the most miles in the year win cash money. More laps won’t bag you extra points, but it will get you further ahead of your competition!

but, not everyone is competitive. Thats cool.

Swag – As you complete events, you get swag. We start out by rewarding the start of your journey with the best medal ever. Do a couple more, you’ll get a shirt. Do a few more, and we’ll send you a goody bag with collectables you can’t get any other way. The more you do, the better things get.

Our mission is pretty simple – as athletes, runners and weekend warriors we all have limited time, limited cash – and the Grand Prix wants you to spend that locally. You’ll get to try out some pretty awesome events, support local businesses, and expand your OCR horizons beyond “the big three”.

Want to learn more? Click on through to our main page – lots explained, more questions answered, links to each of the participating races and full registration information awaits …

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#racelocal 2014 and Zombie Charge

racelocalAt the beginning of 2014 we launched our inaugural #racelocal Grand Prix – it’s goal was simple, get people running local obstacle course races. The previous year, we’d seen a lot of races around the nation go bankrupt, from Hero Rush to Ruckus to Run for your Lives, and people were starting to ignore the incredibly fun local events in favor of the larger Spartan Race and Tough Mudder events.

Which was a huge shame, as these local guys frequently work harder than anyone else in the industry, care more than anyone else in the industry and put on events that are incredibly fun, and people were missing out, big time.

It worked. We had 65 people sign up, and commit to attending at least four of the six events we were working with. Almost half of those were planning to run in the elite division and shoot for cash prizes.

So, coming soon we have Zombie Charge – which will be the final event in the 2014 Grand Prix … while we initially intended to do it again, with a race calendar packed with non-local races, it’s never worth going up against Spartan Race or Tough Mudder – so instead we look ahead to 2015, and making a year long Grand Prix that is even more bad ass than the one before it.

Screen Shot 2014-05-29 at 10.05.29 PMFirst, though, Zombie Charge. The rules for the elites are laid out, the zombies will soon be getting ready and the last race of 2014 will happen. Will Brendan of the FIT Pro team take the top prize – or will his team mates pip him with high placings amongst the Zombies? Will Unleashed trainer Kevin, or Speedo Guy Mario pip them and spoil a top series of placements? On the Women’s side, will Julie keep Unleashed athletes Corrine and Aurelie behind her?

We’ll find out soon enough – register for Zombie Charge!

When: June 14th
Where: Stonington, CT

Check our event page on Facebook for a huge community discount code too!

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racelocalIt’s no secret that here in New England we love local obstacle course races. We’ve got a lot of them to chose from, and they are usually of a very high quality. Many local race directors have realized that the New England Spahtens community is an amazing resource and they routinely run with us, and enlist members of the team to help with promo videos, course walk throughs, obstacle builds and more.

Even better, they have started to work together, and really – who wouldn’t benefit from that?

So – to show some community love for local, quality racing, we have started the first #racelocal Grand Prix.

What is it?

6 local races in 6 months. Register for the Open or Elite division and complete at least four of the events to qualify for a #racelocal medal and T Shirt. Elite division are also competing for points and prize money (and free race entries!)

What does it cost?

Participation in the #racelocal Grand Prix is $25 for Open and $40 for Elite. You are also responsible for your own race entry, transport, insurance etc.

A full set of FAQs, and full registration and participation information can be found right here –

This is open to anyone. Let your friends and family know. Encourage your gym buddies to support local racing and meet great people at races!

Full details –

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