I tackled Bone Frog Challenge in 2014. It was one of my favorite races, challenging but fun. So when it came around to running again? I was all for it. Word on the street that you were to forget all you knew about Bone Frog Challenge 2014, because 2015 was going to be a whole new animal. New obstacles, more challenging terrain. Let me tell you. They delivered. Navy SEAL inspired, Navy SEAL designed, and Navy SEAL run.
I arrived, running late, to Berkshire East where parking was a breeze, I was only a minute walk to registration. There were indoor bathrooms, always a plus, and a quick check in with same day registration to add on the Tier1 Challenge, which I sadly did not get to actually run. There were some awesome vendors, space for biggest team to set up tents, and food. I was shoving my feet in to my shoes as they played the national anthem, I ran to get in line with the Elite wave (I wanted the extra time to make it back for the Tier1 Challenge) and off we went.
I will admit, I was shocked, they didn’t immediately send us up the mountain. A little rolling hill action brought us to obstacle number one of approximately 50! Nice little low crawl through the mud and up a hill. As we worked our way up the hill, we came across more obstacles and lots of volunteers. I managed to get the tarzan swing, from platform to platform. Took me two tries and a bashed shin but I did it. Major win for me!
Since I was wearing Icebugs, I had to crawl instead of attempt to run/walk across the boats, but with a little assistance from some awesome runners to transition from boat to boat, this became much “easier” and was a ton of fun. It was about this time that I had firmly left the Elite wave behind and was engulfed in open wave runners. These runners were willing to help each other out, willing to accept help, were still smiling as they cursed the “Get your Grip On” obstacle of hanging handles to cross.
At different points throughout the course there were different SEAL based banners telling us about SEALs, charities, etc. It came in handy later in the course when we were asked questions about different banners we had seen. One of the obstacles was for 31 Heroes. For each of the 31 names, we were to read the name aloud, do a press with a Wreck Bag, and a burpee. This was not an obstacle for speed, this was a marathon obstacle. At the top of a super steep climb, was a memorial and memorial wall. We were invited to write names on the wall, to take a minute to remember our veterans, our lost troops, our family and our friends. All of these touches are what makes Bone Frog Challenge.
As we continued to go up and down the mountain, over and under obstacles, people helping each other, we came to a section of trail running. The ground was almost spongy, helping to propel you down the mountain. It was here that I rolled my ankle, tweaking my knee, and slowing me from a run to a walk. While this didn’t prevent me from finishing the course, it did prevent me from going back out on course to do the Sprint as part of the Tier1 Challenge. Next year. Oh yes, next year!
All the volunteers kept telling us we were almost there, we were in the homestretch, and then, and then we could see the finish line. But wait. First? First we must do a carry up the mountain and back down before tackling a few more obstacles and then we were in the home stretch. The final major obstacle of the day is a wall climb with rope to a platform with far spaced, uphill, spinning monkey bars. Was amazing to watch people bust these out. Next year I hope to be one of them.
As we crossed the finish line, we were greeted by Navy SEAL veterans. This definitely choked me up a little bit. Was a great way to finish a great race. The medals were not just handed to us but placed around our necks. I was able to thank them for being there to support us but also to thank them for their service. I cannot wait for next year!
*Photos By: Dawn DiCecco, James Suller, and Bone Frog Challenge