Barbarian Race 2020 – Ustron, Poland

Barbarian Race was held in Ustron, Poland on Sept 26 and Sept 27. Never had I experienced this high level of technical obstacles in OCR.
First, I will describe the general facts of the race, but mainly name some of the obstacles to show you why the Barbarian race is the hardest OCR out there right now!

4 races:
Opener – 6km
Arrow – 400m with 10 technical obstacles
Main Race – 12km
Pain – 2 laps of Main Race

Arrow – September 26
Firstly, this Barbarian race was 400 meters and had 10 technical obstacles.
This happened on Saturday evening. Waves of 4 people were released every 2 minutes. You can try the obstacles as many times as you want until you succeed or admit defeat. Each racer had a wristband containing up to 40 numbers(obstacles). Athletes who gave up had their wristbands marked at a certain number and then continued to the next obstacle. There were different time penalties for different failed obstacles. The harder obstacles had a longer time penalty than say an easier obstacle. The finish line is up at the warped wall. The top 4 times competed again during the night time for prizes.  Finishers for this race received a different medal in comparison to the main race.

Main Barbarian Race – September 27
12km and 900m elevation ascent

Elite Wave
A couple of different waves of elites separated by 10 minute periods. All male elites start with 3 wristbands that they can lose throughout the race on failed obstacles. The females start with 5 wristbands. In the elite heat, you only get 1 attempt at the obstacles. If you fail, they cut off one wristband. Lose all three (or five) and you are automatically pushed into the Open heat when you finish. If you finish with all three (or five) wristbands, you can cross the finish line. If you finish with zero, you can cross the Open-wave finish line. However, if you have 1 or 2 wristbands left, the volunteers at the finish line sent you back down the mountain for 200 meters and back up 200 meters. You would do this either once or twice depending on how many wristbands you lost.



Open Wave
You can repeat the obstacles as many times as you like. If you fail and give up, they will mark a number on your wristband. These numbers represent obstacles that would give you an extra-time penalty. Some obstacles that did not have a time penalty required you to complete 20 burpees.

Barbarian Race has trained their referees. Most importantly, only the certified referees are judging the technical obstacles in order to keep the integrity of the race. 

Obstacles
These are difficult obstacles. These are the best obstacles. I have not seen this level of technical obstacles anywhere throughout North America, not even at Worlds. Here is to name a few of the obstacles in the Barbarian Race.

3 Low Rig obstacles, one which was in the water.
Fatality – pegboard to monkey bars to ring switches to bell
Klik Klak – Monkey bar wheel to monkey bar wheel to bell
Egzekutor – trampoline to bar to bar to angled nun-chuck to ring to ring to angled nun-chuck to bell
Fuzja – samurai pole to samurai pole to big wheel to small wheel to low bar to bell.
Combo – tarzan swing to ring to big wheel to boxing bag to low log.
Holy Sticks – salmon step ladder to swinging bar to swinging bar to zip-line bar to bell over water.
Hot wheels – 4 windmill angled wheels to bell
Hybryda – boxing bag zip-line to ring to ring to wheel to low hanging bar to nun-chuck to bell

Some other obstacles that might have been seen before are as follows:

4 flying monkey bar jumps to bell above water
warped wall
salmon ladder
trampoline to bell over water

Overview
The Barbarian Race had over 700 participants this weekend.
The terrain was 1/3 in the water, 1/3 on flat ground, and 1/3 on mountain climbing.

Grzegorz Szczechla is a professional OCR athlete and the organizer of the Barbarian Races, founded in 2015. For more information about upcoming races visit barbarianrace.pl

Mike Cedro

International coverage for ORM (Obstacle Racing Media)