Last Saturday (August 13), BattleFrog hosted their West Coast Regional Championships at Lake Elsinore, CA (about 90 minutes from Los Angeles). The race ended up being hot, flat, and fast with some unique twists. The course was 8 km (~5 miles) with 25 obstacles. Since elites make 2 laps, their total course was 16 km (~10 miles) with 50 obstacles.
As the elite start time of 7:15 am approached, just over 100 athletes (masters included) took their places in the corral. Even at the early morning hours, the heat of the sun was intense and gave premonition to the day’s 102℉ high. Coach Pain welcomed the elites and reminded them with his signature heart-felt speech to “conduct their business”. With a resounding “Hooyah!”, the elites were off!
The flat course made for a fast starting pace. However, the sandiness seemed to quickly sap energy. The first 3 km remained flat and was scattered with many of BattleFrog’s traditional obstacles (over/under/through, various walls and nets, wreck bag carry, and monkey bars). Kilometers 4 through 7 became more interesting with the introduction of the snake eater, which traversed the racers up and down a levy. The combination of the snake eater and the mud mounds did a good job in breaking up the flatness of the course. Notable in this portion was the wedge traverse. BattleFrog did away with a separate women’s elite lane, and both men and women traversed using rock climbing hand holds and widely spaced boards for feet. This increased difficulty, however, didn’t seem to give the elite women much trouble.
The last kilometer of the course was packed with 7 obstacles…many of which required grip strength. The last kilometer included 2 platinum rigs (not back to back), a rope climb, tip of the spear, and the 12’ rope wall. BattleFrog adopted a similar strategy in the layout of the greater San Jose course (the prior Saturday). Because of the heat and sand, these obstacles were not slippery. None the less, this portion of the course claimed many elite bands! The platinum rigs were not significantly different than prior races. Both platinum rigs were a combination of rings, ropes, nunchucks, traverse bars, and widely spaced rectangular monkey bars. Positioning the rigs at the end of the course among other heavy grip obstacles is likely what made them the most challenging.
The podium finishers were as follows:
• Elite Men: Ryan Atkins, Glen Racz, and Matt Kempson
• Elite Women: Lindsay (Webster) Atkins, Nicole Mericle, and KK Stewart Paul
• Elite Masters Men: LeEarl Rugland, Colin Sanders, and Mike King
• Elite Masters Women: Elvy LaPointe, Julie Werney, and Lisa Nondorf
A really fun twist to this event was the shaving of “the Beard” (Christopher Acord, BattleFrog’s Assistant Director of Race Ops). Christopher auctioned the shaving of his renowned beard to the highest bidder. Not only did the BattleFrog community see a shocking transformation of their beloved “Beard”, but also nearly $2,000 was raised and donated to Operation Enduring Warrior, The Navy Seal Museum, and St. Baldricks.
Overall, this Regional Championship was fast, fun, and hot! Many of the elites anticipated that this course was going to be more difficult. However, BattleFrog did do a good job designing a unique, challenging course.
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