Ridiculous Obstacle Challenge in San Diego

ROC

If you are looking for a quality fun race that will put a few smiles on your face and miles on your running shoes, the R.O.C. is for you! The Ridiculous Obstacle Challenge certainly lived up to its name. Some of the obstacles there were unlike any race I’ve completed.

Alpha Warrior meets R.O.C.
Alpha Warrior meets R.O.C.

There were quite a few things I loved about this race. Location, location, location, they R.O.C. was held on the Del Mar Fairgrounds which means 2 things, plenty of party space as well as a lot of ground to cover. Another great aspect of this race is the amount of fun everyone is having. There were so many costumes that I felt as if I were at a Halloween party. I saw Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Fairies, Trolls and even the Hamburger Helper Hand.

The obstacles were fun and well constructed to the lay of the land. Some of my favorites were, cool running (an inner tube carry to a water slide), Tarzan Swing which is exactly what it sounds, Aqua drag which is an inflated contraption where the goal is to run as fast as you can and slide all the way to the other side on your stomach. R.O.C advertises a tire mile however it’s not a full mile, not even close however if you know how to maneuver tires it’s certainly a breeze.

The R.O.C. also paired up with Alpha Warrior for an obstacle. R.O.C. called it “40 Bounces to Freedom”. It was a few trampolines broken apart by platforms to jump up on. This was definitely unlike anything I’ve seen and look forward to going to Alpha Warrior’s event June 15th in San Diego.

Near the end of the race the R.O.C. packs their top 3 obstacles. The worlds largest moon bounce. Which is what seems be 50 yards long. The wrecking ball, which is 55 gallon barrels, strung together floating on water to get across. Which seems to be easy right? Run as fast as you can on the middle of the barrels. This would be the case , however, there are 2 wrecking balls swinging around hoping to knock you off. And the world’s largest inflatable water slide, after a climb up is a slide down right across the finish line.

 A couple other great things about this race are, the medal that is definitely earned, the after party and the Dr. Bronners

Very few got this medal all day,.
Very few got this medal all day,.

Foam Experience that I will tell you about in a moment. A medal is only given to few, biggest team, best costume and anyone who can make it across the wrecking ball. I would like to say as a seasoned obstacle racer I made it through but I did not. However my best friend who I ran with did. Here he is displaying his medal proud in front of the wrecking ball. It even doubles as a belt buckle.

 The after party was awesome as well. Alpha Warrior was there with their salmon ladder offering free entries to anyone who can conquer it. Many attempted but only few conquered. If the 2 set ups I saw from Alpha Warrior have any indication of what their event is going to be like. I’m going to need grip tape and a lot more training.

 

Perhaps my favorite part of the after party was Dr. Bronners Magic Foam Experience. About 100 at a time we were shuffled into a Plexiglas container of some sort. After we were in club music started to play, a countdown was had and we were all sprayed with foam/soap to get ourselves clean. This was definitely different from the hose and lack of water pressure I have seen at other races. After we were soaped up and clean, we were hosed down with warm water.

Dr. Bronner's Magic Foam Experience
Dr. Bronner’s Magic Foam Experience

Overall, I think this is a great event that I look forward to doing again. There are however a couple improvements I would like to see. One area I would like to see improvements is the wait time at obstacles. I’m sure there weren’t many wait times earlier in the day, but when I ran having a good start in front of the crowd didn’t payoff when arriving at a line to wait for the first obstacle. I certainly can understand each race brings a different demographic and this race certainly brought the party crew. I don’t know what can be done and nor do I claim to, all I know is that those running for time may experience disappointment should they race later than the first heat.

The other is water stations. I don’t recall seeing many, 2 if I am remembering correctly. Not that I need water quickly but there are folks out there who are just getting active, out there to have a good time and who may not be the experienced racer or runner that I am. My best friend had never run more than 1 mile before this race and could have used some hydration early. There may have been others in the same boat, perhaps one at each mile? Maybe, I’m a firm believer that hydration is a top priority for any race, and extra precaution should be used for new racers at fun events.

 

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Editor’s note: Joshua Grant does many obstacle races with his son Callan, age 8. For this review, he…