While most of the country was knee deep in snow, BattleFrog Miami kicked off their race year at Amelia Earhart Park in the Hialeah section of Miami. Fresh off a successful first race season, BattleFrog came out swinging with new ideas. There is the new BattleFrog Xtreme course, Masters waive, and the Athena/Clydesdale division. They also have a BullFrog mile that is supposed to be for the ‘tween ages, however; adults were welcome to run also! The BullFrog mile is a great way to encourage those who are not quite ready for a 5K, but may be easily hooked by the introductory single mile race.
The course was built on a dirt track that bicyclers used for those ferocious South Florida hill climbs. I couldn’t help but feel like a bike while running up and down each and every jump on the course. The ground itself was extremely unforgiving and hard. I was shocked at how sore my ankles were the next day after running the 15K course.
The obstacles weren’t the most difficult I’ve ever attempted. Only several were challenging to the elite few that ran both days. The first I encountered that gave me fits was the Hump Over. If anyone ran the OCRWC, you’ll be familiar of the Sternum Checker. This obstacle conquered me at my 5’4” frame. I tried several times, but in the end I just couldn’t get my hump over the log. The technique that helped successfully complete the obstacle was being tall and strong. I’m neither, so there is that. Until next time Hump Over.
BattleFrog took advantage of the many water obstacles on the course and had several swims. The first was right off the bat, a 200-foot swim across a pond right after the start line. Just don’t think about the gators when you are swimming in ponds in Florida and you’ll be fine…right? The water was a favorite of many runners though, a nice reprieve from the heat and humidity that struck early in the day on Saturday. That same heat and humidity gave way to a monsoon that enveloped the festival area shortly before noon. Anyone left on the course during the downpour had to fight the winds and rain as an added obstacle.
A surprise to the runners familiar with the OCR world was how many big name racers showed up to compete. BattleFrog has a lot of prize money on the line this year, and that is going to attract the big names in the sport. Hunter McIntyre was seen walking around the festival area, although a non-competitor due to an injury. Rumor has it; he’s resting up for the Spartan Cruise race on March 7th. Isaiah Vidal snuck into the race without anyone knowing it and took 3rd male overall. The big winners of the day were Ryan Atkins and his fiancé Lindsay Webster. If you don’t know her name already you better take note. This girl is going to be winning a lot more races this season. I’m calling it now that Ryan and Lindsay are not only OCR’s fittest couple, but also the nicest people around.
It’s going to be very interesting to see the development of BattleFrog this year. The big names are drawn to the prize money, and the Xtreme course could draw in a lot of ultra-runners. The male winner of the day for the Xtreme course, Del LeViere, completed the 15k course PLUS six laps of the 5k course. The female winner, Adriane Alvord, competed the 15k PLUS four 5k laps. It’s exciting to see BattleFrog come up with fresh ideas to draw in those greatly needed numbers that they will have to come up with this year.
*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.