The Case Creek OCR was held on August 13th near the Quad Cities in Northwest Illinois. This small, family run OCR was tucked along the rolling hills that sported a modest 270 feet of elevation change along a 3.4 mile course. Having run this course before, I was looking forward to checking out their new for 2016 Elite wave, and while their Elite numbers were low, the competition was still great. The age groups for their newly added Elite waves were broken down into 18-35 and 36 and up for both male and female. I personally like to see the masters class start at 40, but then again, I’m 43 and have a biased opinion!
The event started off with the men’s Elite at 8:45 with the female Elites starting 15 minutes later. The start line was located just inside the festival area and athletes were led up a gentle hill and along a hay field which they placed a series of 3-foot walls to jump over. This led to a one-time tractor tire flip and was the first of seven stations where a gel wristband was given out upon completion. A 15 burpee penalty was given out to those unable to complete the Elite obstacles. From there athletes continued along the mowed hay field to a set of blue plastic tubes where ice was waiting for you as you came out, just to wake you up a bit. Once you shook off the remaining ice chips it was into the corn field where a path was cut leading you up to a muddy slope to climb and a log cabin type house that you had to climb up and over. Upon completion of the treehouse climb, racers were led back into the corn fields. Now out of the corn we were faced with the toughest obstacle at Case Creek, the weaver. That was followed up by a monkey bar set over a murky water pit. The weaver was difficult as always but the monkey bars were pretty standard, just straight across. Now off into the woods, we encountered more of the rolling hills where a light log carry was placed. The terrain slowly became more hilly and muddy from here on out.
An 8-foot wall with a step was next up for the back half of the course leading to a series of trenches where logs were laid across to make sure the tall people didn’t have it too easy. A large cargo net was the next obstacle to complete then it was back into the corn for more trail running, which led athletes to a series of log balance beams. These were a bit rough because they spun and if your weight wasn’t distributed correctly and you fell you had to start over. After picking out any splinters one might have picked up on the logs, it was back into the forest for more trail running and on to the high knees tire run. Now able to hear the crowd back at the festival area, Case set up a rope swing over a water pit and a series of low crawl mud mounds that left you caked with mud! The last serious obstacle on the way to the finish was a quarter mile run against the current in the knee high water of Case Creek. If you had anything left in the tank, you needed it here for sure. Now back at the festival area, one only needed to navigate a tire ladder up out of the creek where the finish line waited to be crossed.
While I didn’t find Case Creek OCR to be the most difficult obstacle race, it was still challenging and fun. This race was maybe a little more trail run than obstacle race and would be a great race for someone new to OCR to get his/her feet wet. Parking and pictures were free along with some nice trophies for the Elite top 3 in their respective age brackets. Advocare and Max Muscle had booths set up and snacks and drinks were provided for the finishers. So if your race schedule has an opening during the second week of August, you might want to fill it by racing the Case Creek OCR next year!
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