ADVENTURE BEGINS HERE
Krell adventure Games is in a class by itself; let me explain why….. I can probably speak for many when I say that people are always looking for their next big adventure, be it a new OCR or any other challenging race with a new twist, but when entering into a new type of racing event, one must be weary of the delicate balance between repetitive obstacles, (which let’s face it, steady OCR runners grow a little tired of), and even more, promises that event staff can’t keep, that is, filling their ads with a bunch of fluff and competitive jargon and then often delivers a less than acceptable product. Not delivering a product that exceeds expectations is far more common than it should be. I have personally been let down way too many times expecting more from an event that appeared to be awesome at first from the ads and gimmicks like Rebel Race, or in the case of someone like Warrior Dash, that was good at one point and then fell completely off the grid. The sad thing is, the founders and organizers of these particular OCR events lack ethics and customer service and just smile their way to the bank because they do the least they had to do to make money, all while easily separating people from their hard earned cash. How do I know this? Because of experience and knowledgeable. I am not disgruntled nor angry at lesser races. This is not about how they suck at catering to the needs and demands of paying participants. This is about how good the founders of Krell are at that and show in what way.
The question is, how do you know when you got something good? Sometimes it hard to tell at first especially on the surface but that’s for another time and another article. You may not even want to take my word for it because you may think “who am I.” That’s fair enough. One thing I know is certain though, sometimes you just have to take the chance and not wait for the word-of-mouth reference from somewhere else. Krell Adventure Games gave me the opportunity to come out and experience their event and I could not have been more ecstatic about it. I attended their May 3rd, 2014 challenge in the Poconos area of Pennsylvania. When I finished the race, I could not stop talking about it. In fact I had a hard time finding people who would listen, baring in my mind that I have no adult support system or passionate OCR people in my everyday life, besides my brother who lives 4 and half hours from me in Maryland but let me digress. The point is, in all my years of racing, I haven’t done anything like this and I want more.
Rodney Villella founder of Krell Adventure Games, along with his wife Amy says, “The Krell Adventure Games bring a unique sense of adventure to obstacle course racing. Teamwork and communication are required to complete many of the challenges effectively and efficiently. Since obstacles can be completed in any order, strategy is also key. We want to make you think and work together.”
Why was I so excited and want to scream it to the world you ask. Well for starters, I found it evolutionary, displaying extraordinary organization and showing where this sport can go. It is based on 2 concepts; you have to use your body and your mind and I am not talking about mental exhaustion from grueling physical activity, I am talking about real brain quests that occurs during the race. These idea of body and mind are bought together at a high level. It is a team event so I had to bring a partner, which I chose Chad Mason, founder and coordinator of ABF Mud Run. Some people still believe that team events are the future of OCR. I am not their yet but the topic is always up for discussion and can certainly be debated. Rodney and Amy, believe it to be, so they made it where individual entry is not permitted. You must register as a 2-person team, which costs $130 a team if you register early or $180 if you wait. I think it’s a fair price when I consider what it takes to run this event. Team space is limited though so I suggest you not wait to register for their next event.
The concept is sort of like Hunger Games meets OCR, only you are not fighting to stay alive but you are fighting your way through a course to win. You fight to stay focused, stay strong and it’s similar to fighting for your life in the sense that you must maintain the willingness to never give up. You have a 3 hour time limit to complete 20 task or as many of those 20 tasks as you could but the more you complete, the better your chance to win. You must complete some tasks before being permitted to complete others. You are handed a map, 15 minutes before you head out. The map I was given, only consisted of trail routes in the form of colors and the numbers of the tasks within the trails themselves. It’s up to you to figure out the rest, that is, navigation and direction, what route to take and strategy.
My partner and I had to choose our path wisely. We wanted to not back track. It definitely worked out for us because we finished 1st Place in the Competitive Division with a finishing time of 2:15. We would have done even better but we failed on one of the physical challenges, which is hindsight, is not that bad. With Krell, it can change the whole outcome, because there will always be another team on the same trail. There is no limit as to how many times you can fail and obstacle. What makes that a challenge is, for the physical tasks, you have to go back to the beginning and start all over again and the obstacle where we failed, was not just an 8ft wall to jump over, it had 4 parts/sections, and by the time we got over to the beginning, the line was backed up, so your team has to decide to wait or continue on. The challenge for failing a brain or skill task is you must go back to the previous task you completed that gave you passageway into the task you just failed. You must complete that one again, if you so choose, then continue on. It sounds a little complicated, because it is. Even when you think you are on the right track, you find yourself coming across other tasks then you have to decide what comes first. The plan and the course was brilliantly structured and the delivery was flawless.
“We developed the Krell Adventure Games in 2013 to bring some of the aspects that we love about adventure racing to a larger community. The current popularity of obstacle course racing presented the perfect opportunity to blend the two sports,” said Rodney.
It is with my discretion and my intention to not disclose some of the details of Krell because I feel it would enhance your overall experience by keeping that extra added element of suspense and anxiousness. I did not know even 1 single course detail about this event before I walked up to it and I feel it made it even better. This is one event that you can’t miss and their PA venue was grade A. Overall, I give Krell Adventure Games – Poconos a 5 Star rating. It is definitely adventure ready.
Rodney says, “The land that we use in the Poconos is privately owned and this gives us a lot of flexibility in designing the course. We will definitely continue to use this venue but also plan to have additional events in New York”
He adds, “We hope to grow Krell organically and host a few high quality races per year in the Northeast. We don’t want to get too big too fast. We will limit the number of participants as needed to limit waiting at obstacles and make sure that racers truly enjoy the event from start to finish.”
Need to break from the pain and agony of OCRs? Try something new, register for Krell Adventure Games at their next event on August 16, 2014
I want to thank Rodney and Amy for giving me this opportunity, Paul Buijs from Mud and Adventure, X-Racewear and OCR Gear for hooking me up with some race wear and of course Chad Mason for helping win it.