Terrain Moves New York Venue Last Minute – ORM has Questions.

This morning at 12:48 am Terrain Race sent out an email to participants of this weekend’s upcoming event near Hudson Valley, New York.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, we have to move the event from the Wurstboro-Sullivan County Airport (“Gotham Airport”) in Wurstboro, NY to the Holiday Mountain Ski Resort in Monticello, NY, approximately 10 miles from the original venue. Packet Pick-up will be at the new venue location. 99 Holiday Mountain Rd. Monticello NY 12701. Friday, July 26th, 2019. From 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM

We reached out to the Wurtsboro airport earlier this afternoon. An employee at the venue told us

“We were not informed of this decision until the early hours of this morning” They went on to say that “They (Terrain) were supposed to be here yesterday and never showed up. We called them and emailed them several times, but got radio silence all day. The next thing I heard was a phone call at 6:00 am that a driver was here to looking to get their truck trailers which had been left on site waiting to set up the race”

“We had worked with the town to help them get permits as Terrain had waited until the last minute to get the proper paperwork completed.”

Next, ORM reached out to the Town of Mamakating. We spoke with Mary in the Code Enforcement Department, who was unaware anything had been canceled or moved. Mary said that the town had “bent over backward” to help get this event off the ground. She mentioned Terrain had given them only 3 weeks notice of the event, and “the town had to work fast to get all of the paperwork approved”.

We reached out by text and email to both Bill Spata, president of Terrain Race, and Caleb Bacon, director of PR for Terrain. Caleb texted us back stating “I can confirm we have changed locations”

Terrain New York Cancel

Terrain’s business practices have been called into question by many in the OCR community for the last 6 months. Around October of last year, they began promoting “Free Races” on their website and social media pages. The company then charge $17 in fees (including a mandatory donation) upon completing registration. When participants arrive, they are charged an additional $20 in parking and a $5 bib pick up fee.

While you can find post-race photos from many smiling participants on Terrain’s social media pages, there have been many reviews written online by displeased customers.

Here are a handful of reviews we found on Mud Run Guide:

Atlanta, GA Event 3/9/19 –  “…was disappointed that there was no direction at some of the obstacles, and one of the obstacles wasn’t even assembled…or had fallen apart from earlier waves of runners. It was also a bit unnerving that there were 0 fire/paramedics on the course, sans the last obstacle..monkey bars, which were right by finish area. One runner fell off of the obstacles and landed flat on his back. Luckily, he wasn’t injured…and continued the race, but it was scary that no one was there/near that I saw, if he had injured himself and needed medical attention”

Tuscon Event 4/6/19 – … “After getting in line, I hear that they RAN OUT OF BIBS! How did that happen!? You know people want to save money, and time, on race day. Shouldn’t you have a minimum of the same number of bibs, as registered runners? An hour later, more bibs arrived, making my time spent there…an hour and 25mins. The next day, race day, traffic was backed up a good distance from the gates to get into the race venue. I’ve been to several OCR’s now, never has it been this backed up. Took about an hour from traffic stopping to finally parking the car…On to the actual run, it was lackluster at best. A couple of fun obstacles, a few random mud pits that were no more than calf-deep, a couple of walls to jump over, etc.”

Maryland Event 4/27/19 – “Not well organized, nothing after the event…not even a stand to purchase a drink. I do at least 3 OCRs per year. This was by far the worst I’ve ever attended and unfortunately, I traveled a good distance to participate. Packet pickup was Friday for a Sunday race. So I had to pay $10 to get bibs, $20 to park and cars were so close to each other I could barely get out. Also, this was my friends first intro to OCRs. I will not participate in any terrain race again. Horrible experience and waste of money!”

Austin Texas Event 4/26/19 – I have done several obstacle races and this was my least favorite…First, many of the obstacles are pretty trashy. Carrying sandbags around a tree? Pulling tires up a hill? Come on guys…really?? Also, there isn’t much variety. If you are a woman with only average upper body strength, you will be disappointed. But hey, you can always carry sandbags around a tree. So there is that.

We will have more on this story as it develops.

**Update 7:45pm . – Caleb Bacon, Vice President of Branding and Promotions for Terrain Race reached out to Obstacle Racing Media via text. He asked us to add the correct address of the new venue location to this article. ORM complied with that request.

He then asked us to change the headline of the article stating – “Misleading headline. Just trying to get this sorted out before the lawyers do because I like you. Cancels venue may make some people think the event was canceled. Leading to lost revenue. The legal term for that is “damages”.

**Update 8:32 pm – 

We received a phone call from Alex Livak, who identified himself as the in-house counsel for Cool Events. He believed our headline to be “grammatically horrid”, and insisted “you can’t cancel a venue”. We asked him if he could relate any facts to  ORM on a reported heat stroke-related fatality at a recent event. There were several posts on social media in recent weeks about a man being taken to the hospital for heatstroke at the July 13th San Bernadino  Terrain race. Alex was not familiar with the issue, seeming genuinely surprised, stating “we do 5 events a weekend”. He said he would get back to us “when he had a chance to”.

**Update October 11, 2019.

Another race cancelled for permitting issues.


Matt B. Davis

is the host of the Obstacle Racing Media Podcast and the author of "Down and Dirty-The Essential Training Guide for Obstacle Races and Mud Runs". He is also the only (known) #wafflehouseelite obstacle racer.
  1. This is not surprising, given what an utter disaster the San Bernardino event was. I think Terrain Racing is in it’s final death throes.

  2. I was also very disappointed in Terrain Race this year in San Jose, Ca. So many missing obstacles compared to last year. I found myself apologizing over and over to the group I had brought with me. There were literally no challenges. There was one 6ft wall.

  3. I say we(ocr racers), as a community, need to cut them some slack. They’re a new brand and still learning. I truly believe with patience and understanding the OCR community will be greatly rewarded with an amazing product. I’ll be the first to register when they begin charging a registration fee that exceeds their parking fees. #ocrunited.

  4. Yeah, I posted a review earlier this year on ORM calling myself a believer. I really wanted to give Bill Spata the benefit of the doubt. I really wanted him to live up to his vision. But given all of the negative reviews and poor decisions on the part of Terrain, I came to my senses. Not touching that with a 10 foot pole.

    Interesting that they are threatening legal action, as if ORM is responsible in any way for lost revenue, and not their own inability to execute. Your reputation precedes you, Terrain. Any damages rest squarely on your own shoulders.

  5. if you are going to announce that you are counsel, better make sure your license is verifiable, oops

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