Fresh off their first race of the season in Miami, BattleFrog rang in their second race in Central Florida on March 15th. The location was a flat field, surrounded by prairie and ranch land with the sounds of cows and other livestock resonating in the distance. The setting was quite picturesque for a race venue. As the sun struggled to come up over the horizon, the runners lined up to check in and register starting at 6:00 a.m. The only problem… the registration system wasn’t allowing anybody to register and the volunteers couldn’t check people in. This created a domino effect. All elite males needed to get checked in first, and I honestly can’t tell you if I heard the announcer call for them to line up. All I remember is looking up and seeing a rush of men fly by. Eventually they did iron out the issues with the registration, but it wasn’t a good start to the day. I barely had fifteen minutes to warm up after my own registration (shame on me for waiting till day of to register) before my heat was in the corral and ready to go.
Just like Miami, Coach sent us off into the swamplands…err Florida flatlands and a very soggy first 5k. During the first part of the course you were constantly wet. Wetlands crossing, creeks crossing, wade into a lake and not get eaten by a gator crossing. The Jerry Can carry was through several spots of wetland that went deeper than my waist.
The entire course was gorgeous though. I though several times that I wished I was in better running shape because the landscape was super flat. I know that Florida isn’t known for its hills, but having both the Miami course and Central Florida course back to back as flat courses was a bit disappointing. I did make the most of the scenery and enjoyed the views as the sun came up over the horizon. The terrain was much more forgiving than the track in Miami. The ground was softer and it helped that it was pasture that had been freshly fertilized by the resident cows.
Takeaways from the course:
1. Water crossings should not be considered obstacles. We’ve all played in puddles, they are not difficult. They do slow you down a little, but it’s minimal.
2. Jerry Cans float in water….crossings.
3. Short girls CAN conquer eight foot walls without someone pushing them over.
4. Rope climbs aren’t easy. Rope climbs out of four feet of water requires creativity to elevate yourself out of the water and THEN climb.
5. Another water crossing. Only this one was deep, so don’t open your mouth unless you want giardia.
6. Elites didn’t get to do the Amphibious Assault (a.k.a the paintball shooting)…what…the…heck!?
7. Caving ladders are hard, but not impossible. Work on that upper body.
8. Great use of the Wreck Bag. A half a mile carries through an orange orchard. If you aren’t concerned with your time you could have stopped and enjoyed one.
9. Who was on gator patrol?
10. O3 is a new obstacle. Climb a telephone pole hallway with rock climbing grips, and grab onto a traverse rope and slide down. Not terrifying at all. (I’m lying)
11. Monkey Bars were much easier this time. But an added obstacle was the fact that the water kept draining out of the pit. So…don’t fall.
Once one finished, you could enjoy that New Belgium brew. I’m a big fan of the adult beer choice. The showers were chilly, and the changing tents were far enough away that you were dry by the time you needed to change. I do have to say that whoever set up the women’s changing tent wasn’t thinking clearly. The flap to open it up was zip tied to the fence where spectators were watching people come over the Monkey Bars. Men could see clear into the changing tent, and a lot of spectators were distracted from their loved ones finishing the race. Next time boys and girls; let’s think about the modesty of the sport. I know there isn’t much with the compression gear, but not all women want their beginnings flashed to the world.
BattleFrog has done a fantastic job promoting and hopefully their races will continue to get bigger and bigger. They are forward thinkers in the OCR game, but they do need to come up with more challenging obstacles.
ESPN was on site for the filming of the Colligate Challenge where 16 NCAA teams, made up of athletes, rec students, and regular people, competed for scholarship money. BF did a fantastic job setting up an American Ninja Warrior type course. I watched the students compete and thought that this is a fantastic opportunity for the OCR sport to showcase what they do and why so many people have fallen in love with it. Could this be a thing at future races? I really hope so as it brought an exciting new element to the festival area.
*Photos By: BattleFrog Race Series
Amber Anderson has the flare of the Wild Wild West running through her veins. She hails from the great state of Wyoming, but somehow landed in Nashville TN. She’s a snowboarder, backpacker, sometimes half marathon runner, and now OCR addict.