BattleFrog Miami # 2 – Xtreme – November 21st 2015.
By Walter F Hendrick (OCRSandy)
This was my fifth BattleFrog Xtreme in 2015 and the second this year in Miami at this venue. I was excited to see what BattleFrog had in store as it’s been a while since I ran my last BattleFrog race back in the end of July.
This race took place only a week after I raced at World’s Toughest Mudder where I ended up racing around 50 total miles (with penalty sections included) and I knew I wouldn’t be anywhere near my best physically, which made this Xtreme mean even more to me.
• Registration and Festival:
Registration: I was running late due to traffic and getting stuck waiting on a slow train, so I was concerned about registration taking a long time. I was in luck because registration went fast and I was able to get my race packet in less than a minute’s time!
Festival: The festival area was set up well, but I arrived just in time to run my Xtreme wave and I spent the entire day running laps, so I didn’t really get to experience the festival aspect much. With that said, I tried to observe the area after completing each lap and it appeared to be a lively and active area all day.
• Pre-race MC:
I have never hidden the fact that I consider Coachpain Dewayne one of the sports best MC’s and he didn’t let me or any racers down the entire day. I also noticed that a lot of his pre-race speech has changed since the last time I heard it, which I really found to be awesome.
• The Course:
The course started out with a very short sprint and came to the first obstacle that was a water crossing. This was the longest of the water crossings on the course and it was nice to have it early in the course while racers were still strong and full energy. The course then raced around the lake we just swam through and up next was “Ramp Walls”, I find the best way to get up and over this obstacle is to get up and close to it and jump up and then use upper body strength to climb and back down it. I notice a lot of racers opt to get a running start on this one, but for me my method works better. After a brief sprint the course came to low to the ground high steeping cargo net crossing that went under the obstacle “Cargo Bridge”. Up next was the very popular to most OCR’s “Over – Under – Thru’s” , which I was happy to be see utilized as one obstacle. The course has another brief sprint and came to water crossing # 2, which was another nice swim and opportunity to get cooled off!
At this point the course made its way to “60 Degrees” which has become one of my favorite obstacles and one I wish other OCR’s would start to use. This obstacle seems to intimidate racers that haven’t experienced it at all, or often, but it’s really not as hard as it looks to climb up the angled metal poles and climb over the top. My suggestion to racers on this obstacle is to use the same technique used on inverted walls and get a good swing in the hips and swing a leg over the top bar to get up and over the top. A short distance ahead was “Inverted Walls” which I found to be a interesting placement for this obstacle just after 60 Degrees. A short sprint ahead was “6′ Walls” and then after a brief sprint was an “8′ Walls” with a board placed about 4 feet high to assist racers obstacle to get up and back down. The course then made a turn into a wooded area and snaked around a mountain bike trail for what felt like a while and had a section what went up a small bridge and then snaked back around and went under the bridge and under a black nylon tarp that required racers to duck down to get trough. Up next (still on the trails) was a rope climb, which I was able to get up and ring the bell on all five laps. A short distance ahead was a “Wreck Bag” carry that included a four foot wall to climb over and the volunteers instructed racers that the Wreck Bag couldn’t hit the ground. Up next was the “Monkey Bars” that have been redesigned since my last BattleFrog race. I liked the monkey bars, but they did not have water or anything below them to soften the fall for racers that didn’t make it across and I would like to see that changed for future races.
A short distance ahead was “Normandy Jacks” which is BattleFrog’s version of a wire (non-barbed) crawl and this one was cool because it was placed in a low water section of one of the venues lakes. I enjoyed another chance to get wet and cool off, but at the end of this obstacle under water was some sort of structure that I didn’t see and smashed head first into and ended up with a decent size bump on my head and ran the remainder of the first lap and next few laps with a wicked headache and being pretty dizzy. I take full blame for this, as I race with headphones and to music, so I wouldn’t have heard the volunteers warn me about this object under the water. A brief sprint later was the “12′ Ladder Wall” obstacle which is really not a hard obstacle, but clearly can be challenging for racers that have a fear of heights and gives them an opportunity to conquer that fear. The course had one of its longer sprints going around one of the venues larger lakes and eventually came to “Cargo Bridge” which is a large cargo bridge made out of a wooden frame and a rope net and nylon cargo net wrapped the wooden frame. This obstacle was fun, but it broke later in the day and was shut down for my last two laps. Up next was the “Jerry Can Carry” which was a double can carry and as always a tough challenge. This actually was probably the easiest of the BattleFrog Jerry Can carries I did this year, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t still a tough carry. A short distance ahead was water crossing # 3, which was a nice and short crossing.
A short distance ahead came “Tip of the Spear”, which has typically been the last obstacle on most BattleFrog courses I ran this year and only part of the last lap for Xtreme racers, so having it placed on the course at a spot that made it an obstacle that had to be done more than once for elites and Xtreme racers was rough and really challenging on the later laps. A short distance ahead was “Tunnel Rat” which was a crossing under a large and long metal drainage pipe in at least waist deep water. The course then made its way to “Delta Ladder” which I have noted in the past, can be a lot more challenging for shorter racers to climb up and back down due to the distance between each wooden ladder section. Just up ahead was “12′ Rope Walls” which I was able to get up and over on all five laps, but it seemed to be a little harder than normal (maybe due to running WTM the weekend before?). A short distance ahead was BattleFrog’s awesome “Platinum Rig” and then the course u-tuned a short distance ahead and came to “Mounds of Grounds” which was very different than it had been at my other BattleFrog races. Just past, was the last obstacle on the course (unless you were running elite or Xtreme and doing more than one lap) a newly designed version of “HOOYAH” and then came to the finish line and one of the best finisher medals in the sport.
• BattleFrog 2015 Championships:
BattleFrog has it’s 2015 Championships on December 12th, 2015 in Sorrento, Florida and this is a race/event that both top elites and medal whores will not want to miss. The already awesome BattleFrog finisher medals have gotten a new look just for this event. I strongly suggest registering if you make it to this race!
• Overall Feelings and Event Rating:
The first Miami BattleFrog Xtreme I ran back in February was back when the course was still a 15K on the first lap and then multiple laps on the 5k course, so its hard to compare this course to that one. I will say that this was a much easier course, but that isn’t such a bad thing with BattleFrog wanting to attract racers of all levels and not just the hard-core and elites.
I enjoyed the course and getting to enter the water (if I recall) at least five times and I saw a lot of racers running with large groups of friends and have a great time all day. I am going to rate this event a 5 out of 5 stars based on the course being challenging and fun, the festival area being good times, the staff/volunteers doing a great job, and last but not least, Coachpain Dewayne was awesome as always.
I want to close with one observation and kudos to BattleFrog , I have done probably more obstacle course races this year than anyone and often I see young teenager lifeguards at most OCR’s water obstacles and I always worry about racers safety. BattleFrog used a top notch team at all the water crossings and at no time did I fear for racers safety. I just though that is something that couldn’t go unmentioned.