Race Review: Civilian Military Combine PA Mountain Assault (Poconos 2014)


The CMC, a hybrid challenge consisting of a 5 minute AMRAP workout coupled with a 5.2 mile trail run including over 25 military-inspired obstacles. This challenge breaks down into two parts. Part 1 is a 5 minute AMRAP starting in The Pit, and Part 2 is a 5.2 mile trail run with obstacles.

The location of the PA, CMC was at Camelback Ski Resort / Waterpark. The base elevation is 1,250 climbing to 2,133 at the peak. The terrain is mountainous, muddy and lots of creeks, which means water, to get you wet. The temperature on race day was a balmy 62 degrees and sunny.

Kicking off the day, you start in the Pit area where you compete in a 5 minute AMRAP, and are expected to choose your Pit Division. Compared to previous years, this year you had 4 options to select from. This is a great idea because it allows athletes from all levels to compete.

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  • 5 – Burpees /Body weight
  • 7 – Box jumps / Body weight / Box height: 20″
  • 9 – Sit-ups / Body weight

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  • 5 – Shoulder-to-overhead
    Men: 45 lbsWomen: 26 lbs
  • 7 – Burpee box jump
    Body weight / Box height: 20″
  • 9 – Russian Kettlebell Swing
    Men: 44 lbsWomen: 26 lbs

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  • 5 – Shoulder-to-overhead
    Men: 75 lbsWomen: 45 lbs
  • 7 – Burpee over box jump
    Body weight / Box height: 20″
  • 9 – American Kettlebell Swing
    Men: 44 lbsWomen: 26 lbs

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  • 5 – Ground-to-overhead
    Men: 115 lbsWomen: 75 lbs
  • 7 – Burpee over box jump
    Body weight / Box height: 20″
  • 9 – American Kettlebell Swing
    Men: 53 lbsWomen: 35 lbs



The Pit included a large warm up area, music to keep you pumped, and plenty of space for all those spectators. This first event was well organized, the announcer called your heat, you lined up inside one of 6 corrals, a mini briefing occurs (explaining what you need to do when entering the workout zone) and then you are pushed to your station to start the workout.

Team Mud and Adventure was scheduled to start at 10:03am, however the heats were running approximately 45 min. behind schedule. So we started at about 10:45. Anyway, you have 3 min. to get to your station and set it up based on what division you selected. Each station included; a mat, various kettlebell sizes, a olympic bar, weights, a box and a volunteer to count your reps and help set up your station. 3 minutes goes pretty fast when you have to reset your station and sign the appropriate paperwork.

Some things I noticed while competing in the Pit. Of course the entire ground isn’t level but every time I put down my bar it would move away, which was a little inconvenient. Also, judging of the kettlebell swing height and counting of box over burpee was inconsistent.

Once you finish the AMRAP, you immediately get pushed to the start line to begin the run where you have a 3 min. rest before starting. This is where the fun begins. First I’d like to note that throughout the entire course there were plenty of volunteers, and even more at the high risk obstacles like all water obstacles and the higher walls. The course was clearly marked, allowing no competitors to get lost and approx 4 aid/water stations.

The first obstacle was a few hundred feet from the start, The Wave Pool. Remember, this is a water park so the wave pool was in full force and freezing. You had to swim to a cargo net and climb out. What a kickoff to a great obstacle course. Some of the obstacles we encountered were as follows:

  •  A series of 8’ ladder walls
  • Slanted rock climbing wall
  • An interesting obstacle which included; a log climb, to a hay barrel climb (atop a shipping container), which you then had to tight rope across (holding onto a wire) and then slide down a fireman’s pole. Oh yeah! That was fun.
  • A bunch of 4’ metal walls to climb over
  • 7’ rope over wall climb
  • Sand bag carry; 25lbs women, 50lbs men. These were not the traditional sandbags, they had little handles and were very durable. The material was rough so if you went shirtless, it will leave a mark.
  • Run through a water tunnel
  • Traverse wall (this had a full 2×4 for footing and hands), instead of the traditional peg wall.
  • Slip and Slide – this obstacle was lots of fun, but definitely some rocks under that plastic to tear you up.
  • Slanted rope wall
  • Mud crawl with wire AND one with snow…YES, I said SNOW! Freezing…
  • 3 – 8’ walls to climb over — these were very challenging for the ladies.
  • A few inverted walls
  • 2 cargo net climbs
  • 300 ft swim through a pond – water was freezing again! But so much fun…
  • A pivot ladder wall
  • The last event – walk through the Lazy River – water was nice and warm!

Once you cross that finish line you are greeted by volunteers to immediately remove your chip timer and a photographer. But that’s it…No crowning of metals. You are instructed to go to the table to pick up your shirt and dog tags. Of course, the complementary beer is provided.
I did take notice there was not an elite heat, which meant waiting at obstacles. This impacts your overall time & score, if you are someone who tracks your points against other competitors. The point system is calculated as follows:

  • Overall scores will be based off of a curved 200-point system.
  • The highest score in each portion of the competition will set the standard for the day. All competitors will be judged against the day’s highest score.
  • The competitor with the highest number of reps will be awarded a top score of 100 points. All other scores are graded along a curve between the high and low scores. For example, if the day’s highest rep count was 178 and the lowest was 55, the spread between high and low is 123 (178-55). A competitor who completes 109 reps in The PIT would receive a score of 44, since ((109-55)*100)/123 = 44 (rounded up)
  • The competitor with the fastest run time will be awarded the top score of 100 points. All other scores are graded along a curve between the high and low scores

I noticed that most individual and team scores were not ready, including Team Mud and Adventure when I left, approximately 2 hours after finishing. It was an obstacle to just find the scores.

Overall, this race was fun, challenging and exhilarating. I will definitely compete again! Great job CMC.

Dave.Stu CMC


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