Posts Tagged Adventure Races
I am up and clean after the Merrell Down & Dirty rocked Aurora Sports Park yesterday. The race is especially unique because of the military personell volunteering at the race. At each obstacle they were there to not only encourage us but push us event if it meant push ups! My running quickly came to a stop as I approached an obstacle that required us to pick up two heavy sand bags and maneuver around cones. “Don’t slow your pace, come on and keep running.” I looked up at a man decked out in his full Army gear and realized he was right. Thinking of everything our miltary endures, I picked up those sand bags and ran through the next obstacle. At each checkpoint from there I looked forward to the tough encouragment. From climbing cargo nets, through tunnels and even sand I gained energy.
And boy was I ready for the after party. This is not event to head into with an agenda to speed out of. The grills are fired up and the speakers are blasting. Obstacle and adventure style races have to compete just as much as the next guy to get racers to this event. This family friendly course has definitely met it’s niche.
I also had the chance to interview Scott Roegner with Merrell Down and Dirty to find out what else makes this race stand out.
10,000 anxious runners lined up across a start line in Denver’s City Park all wearing similar attire on May 26th. White shirts are must if you are participating in the Color Run. Speakers jammed with upbeat music on a beautiful Colorado day to welcome runners to the happiest 5k on the planet. The event was not timed- fun overrides score keeping.
To check out 13 dates colored in through July check out thecolorrun.com
Photos taken by Nicole Marcelli nicolemarcelli.com
Rule number one of the Tough Mudder- it’s a challenge not a race. This challenge has made a bold name for itself as one of the biggest and baddest. In fact, only 80% of participants finish. The course tests teamwork, toughness, fitness, strength and mental grit. Time is not of the essence- there is not even a clock to time participants. The point is to promote teamwork and camaraderie. Finishing is a victory in it’s own right.
About the course: Distances range between 10 and 12 miles and are spiced up with challenges and obstacles. Although the exact challenges for each event are different- expect hills, mud, water, ropes, walls and a dance over fire. You will also come face to face with fears- whether it’s heights, claustrophobia or running through electrical wires. Yes, electrical wires. ZZZAAAP!
How did the Tough Mudder get so tough? The CEO of the company, Will Dean, was in Harvard Business School when he started visioning the race. A college professor snuffed his idea, telling people would shy away from participating if the race wasn’t timed. With fire still burning, he decided to keep on keeping on and put on a race in Allentown, PA in 2010. He didn’t quite meet his goal of 400 participants. Turns out, he far exceed it when over 5,000 people showed up to claim Tough Mudder status.
Since the inaugural race, the numbers of participants continues to grow so quickly it’s hard to keep up. This year, there are 35 scheduled events. With an ambitious team behind Tough Mudder, they thought why not double it? That’s right, next years slate includes 70 events including every state and several other countries.
Oldies but Goodies:
If you are 80 years or older you race for free! Tough Mudder was so inspired after an 81-year-old man rocked the course and will be back out again this year.
The set up for Rugged Maniac is no picnic in the park. The crew heads West a week before the race to start constructing the obstacles. “Our obstacles are some of the biggest and baddest,” says COO of Rugged Maniac, Rob Dickens. How could you argue when they are designed by Navy Seals?
Dickens says the intensity of the obstacles is similar to what you will find at Tough Mudder, with one exception. “Rugged Maniac is a distance people can handle, so it’s more accessible to people.” The course zooms by with twenty obstacles packed into a 5k course. A new obstacle this year will challenge racers by climbing ladders up and over massive stacked shipping containers. They will also encounter the Normandy Crawl, reminiscent of World War II; guiding racers to climb under wires and through mud filled tubes. Not to worry you won’t be in the crosshairs of fire, but go quick and watch your hands and feet!
Pump up the jams, because the after party has a reputation for being a rockin’ good time and if the race wasn’t enough of a gut check, the party will be! Once the kegs are tapped the beer won’t stop flowing until it’s gone, with music blasting and people cheering. Look for the mechanical bull, beer pong tables and inflatables to keep everyone in the party going strong.
To register visit: RuggedManiac.com
Passing up an event that includes bobbing for beer, slip sliding down hills and swooping around curves on mini bikes would be a just plain boring if this was only part of the fun. But there’s more. at the nation’s largest bike scavenger hunt. It’s called the Urban Assault. You need a partner, a bicycle and a sense that anything goes!
You are supplied with eight checkpoints that are peppered across the city. From Lakewood to Denver, it’s your choice to decide what route to take. The night before you receive a mystery checkpoint that you have hopefully solved by the time your gears are ready to grind. At each checkpoint you complete a challenge. That’s where the mini bikes, slip n slide and three legged races come in.
My favorite challenge, bobbing for beer, took place at a community pool. Here you do more than get your feet wet. Everyone has to dive in with their racing clothes on and retrieve a variety of beers from the bottom of the pool.
Music, dancing, New Belgium Beer and a limbo stick are waiting at the finish line. And the rest of the day just keeps jamming!
Obstacle course races are gaining ground. It has been nearly every weekend there has been an obstacle course race of some sort in Colorado. This past weekend Metro Dash turned up the heat in the Mile High. The niche for this race is that it is the most compact. There are 30 obstacles back to back. You will be left panting for breath and no time to catch it.
Elites can race the course in about seven minutes, while most average about 15 minutes. The course time does not reflect the difficulty. It’s about efficiency and is designed by former Navy Seals. Serious stuff.
I scoped out the race and didn’t see any major challenges, I thought. The first obstacle was a ladder climb. This was not a typical ladder, this one swirled to the left and right and back to the left. The next challenge was pulling a weighted sled toward us, and if that was not enough we had to push it back. Only 28 more to go! Climbing cargo nets, box jumps, monkey bars and hurdles were all part of the package.
This is clearly a race that tests balance, strength , power, speed and endurance. When you sling a weighted sand bag on your back and sprint you feel like you are training and in the zone. Your focus is no where but on the grueling tasks in front of you. You will come face to face with your limits physically and mentally.