Race weekends are always full of excitement & unlimited sources of adrenaline. However, a new race, a taste of something slightly further outside your comfort zone, offers even more exhilaration. BattleFrog Series made its debut on the West Coast, and it came with a foreign mystique of rough & tough from the eastern states.
As the sun rose above the rolling hills & lit the blades of windmills with rainbows of color, the vibe was strong!
The start line filled with eager elites: men & women I’ve seen during the past 5 years at various OCR events. Everyone was hyped to take this new toy out for a spin.
The course was fairly compact, not too difficult for spectators to hustle around & catch the action. Having what many might view as a short course, seemed to work well for the open heats & the second lap certainly thinned the herd on the elite level. As Ryan Atkins mentioned, “I want the course to be doable, not just a competition to see who can complete the most difficult obstacles, but something that still allows you to race.”
The course was well groomed, fairly well marked, & all the obstacles had knowledgeable volunteers who explained the rules & verified your ability to do the penalty, cut your band, & monitored the safety of each racer who passed through.
There was a tube slide obstacle that dropped you under the surface & into a 25 yd. swim – a pretty refreshing take on “dunking” all participants. The slime mud crawl was gooey and incited laughter over the sucking noises your hands & knees made while moving.
Having two platinum rigs with various difficulty set ups was a wonderful departure from the standard rope climbs, or bar to ring to rope set ups in other races. Traversing across ropes to foot rings & transitioning to overhead rings & monkey bars was a tricky, yet fun challenge.
The second rig was set up with alternating ropes/poles & nunchuck/U-bar grips to push your grip limitations even further.
The vertical climb obstacles were fun & very well constructed. There was a nice take on “balancing” by incorporating a slack line station. There is an added level of difficulty for anyone just jumping off the couch & attempting this event. Overall, the obstacles were all a very refreshing departure from the stale selection of other series.
There was a pleasant twist to traversing walls, the Tip of the Spear certainly tested your ability to adapt to multiple challenges on one obstacle. There seemed to be a technique, but I wasn’t able to keep my shoes from slipping off the wall.
From the parking lot to the impeccably clean restrooms, this race had things dialed in tight order. The volunteers were all super positive, the camera crew was lively, & the staff was very friendly.
The time, effort, & materials invested in the obstacle designs were very well received compared to other big box OCR races. The obstacles weren’t particularly out of the realm of completion, but the second lap is where the elites were truly tested. Factoring in the weather, fatigue & the simple caveat that this series tests your grip strength in a manner most weren’t prepared for, it is a “MUST DO” series.
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- BattleFrog – The New “Must Do”: San Diego January 2016 - January 27, 2016