It is no secret that the obstacle racing industry is mostly divided into two groups: national races and local events. In the blue corner you have the national races like Spartan Race, Tough Mudder, Warrior Dash and Rugged Maniac. They come into town and bring in over 2k participants, display amazing organization and logistics, bring out the biggest, baddest obstacles and gives you a little of that Friday Night Light feel from back in high school , if you play football of course. In the red corner you have the local events such as Mud Titan and Mud Endeavor. Smaller, with more personality, creativity and more but less complex obstacles. Participating on this local events feels a lot like going to your grandma’s house on a Sunday afternoon after church. Right n the middle exist a little area that I like to call “The Savage Zone” . Here you find Savage Race and other events that work their ass off to provide the best of both worlds. An experience that offers the greatness of the national races with the hospitality of local events. BoneFrog Challenge is one of the few events that exists in Savage Zone.
Recently I participated in Florida’s Bonefrog Challenge, specifically the sprint. I arrived towards the end of the day and there was plenty of action still going on. The festival looks like a smaller version of a national race festival with super courteous staff helping out with the check in process. At the distance you could see their signature obstacle, an elevated monkey bar with a huge american flag in the background. I could not wait to get this race started. I went on the last wave which was roughly at 12:15pm. After a great speech by Coach Pain, I went off in my little sunburning adventure.
In atypical fashion, I won’t tell you the obstacles I wet through. Instead, I would like to focus on the course as a whole.
- There were too many “let’s make this an obstacle because we definitely ran out of time” locations.
- Too many crawls and the course seems to ignore a few terrain features that could have easily been use to increase the difficulty.
- Some of the obstacles needed reinforcement although I did not see any broken obstacles
- Was there suppose to be mud? if so, where was it?
- The price is outrageous! Sprint $40, Challenge $60, Tier One $80. If you can’t make money at these prices, bye Felicia!
It was nice to have that burpees challenge in honor of fallen soldiers. It was! I am being honest. But how in the world, do you enforce that in an elite wave? Unless you have 20 volunteers there, it’s a lost cause and your competitive heat looses legitimacy. Look a Spartan Race! Don’t be like Spartan Race!
- Nice rigs! I only did the sprint and I went to two plus the monkey bars at the end.
- The walls were a great addition to the course also. I would suggest at least 5 more smaller obstacles on the sprint course.
- The festival was great after the race! It was a good atmosphere that made me feel welcomed, especially with the good music and company from the teammates of mudrunfun.
- If Coach Pain is at the start line of your event, you already got 1 thing right!
- Improvement on the shirts. I wore mine more than once so far and it has not made it to the Salvation Army bin yet.
Bonefrog Challenge exist in a though area that many have failed in. The Savage Zone is no joke! I look forward to see how they evolve. Clearly they want to be more like a national race but I feel they are missing the point. Without a strong brand name, you will have to win the heart ( and money) of people via great experiences at good value. Bonefrog Challenge is definitely on the right track and I look forward to see how this company evolves in 2017.