The BattleFrog Race series came to New Jersey on Saturday, June 20, 2015 and did not disappoint! The course, designed by infamous race director Chris Acord, was very challenging. This wasn’t the standard 15k course I’ve encountered in past Battlefrog events. It was an 8k loop that elite competitors were instructed to run twice. There was also a BFX, BattleFrog Extreme, event in which competitors had to complete as many laps as possible within an allotted timeframe.
Instead of racing competitively, I tackled the 8K course with Team Braveheart, a group known for motivating and helping others complete obstacle course races‑–it should come as no surprise that we comprised the largest team that day. Racing in the open wave gave me the opportunity to appreciate all the hard work that went in to this event.
Overall, I felt that the terrain wasn’t difficult. Englishtown is not known for its hills. The only thing close to a hill at this venue can be found in the motor cross area and Battlefrog certainly made full use out of them. The race begun with a 50lb Wreck Bag carry up and down these hills. If you weren’t equipped with the proper racing shoe, this was extremely difficult as it was hard to get traction going up the smooth dirt hills with heavy wreck bag draped across your shoulders. I was very pleased with this obstacle as I enjoy the strength obstacles of these races. This was also a very lengthy wreck bag carry. It made it more challenging that it was not over quickly. It is also important to note that there was no differentiation between men and women’s weight for this obstacle. We all carried the 50 lb wreck bag.
There were many other challenging obstacles throughout the course, as well as obstacles you wouldn’t usually encounter in a lot of the other races we’ve come to know. For me, some of the memorable obstacles were the platinum rig, the 12 foot wall, and “the tip of the spear.” The Platinum Rig is something straight out of the television show, Ninja Warrior. There are different rings for your hands and feet, ropes at various lengths, and beams. The goal is to get across without falling. This particular obstacle requires a great deal of grip strength. I have noticed that moving through this obstacle quickly is the best way to tackle it, as hanging there tends to tire you out. The 12 foot was an animal in its self as it tested your fear of heights. It required walking up the vertical walk using a rope. There were 2 beams built in to the wall in which you could rest your feet.
Once the top of the obstacle is reached, there is a metal rod to hang on to as you swing your leg over to grab the rope and walk down the wall as you did up it. I have also seen people conquer this obstacle by climbing up and down the rope, not making contact with the wall, other than to cross over to the other side of it.
The “tip of the spear” obstacle was strategically placed right at the end of the race when you have clearly exhausted yourself. This obstacle requires upper body strength, grip strength, and balance. You need to negotiate a slanted wall while transferring from a few ropes that are mounted up high. When you have completed this section, you need to get across a balance beam, then negotiate another slanted wall with a beam that you hold on to basically in a pull up position. The slanted walls are similar to the slippery wall obstacle which many have tackled, but Battlefrog stepped it up a notch. This was one of the hardest obstacles in the course.
As someone who has completed a previous BattleFrog race, I had some idea of what to expect. There were many that day that were competing in this race series for the first time, such as my friend and fUS teammate, Chelsea Aronica. She took on the elite wave and placed 15th for her very first Battlefrog Race. For those who aren’t familiar with the rules of the elite wave, all obstacles must be completed to remain eligible as a competitor in the elite heat.
After speaking with Chelsea, I was able to get an opinion of this race from the eyes of a first timer. “I loved it. I thought that even though it was 2 laps of the same obstacles the second lap was just as challenging as the first. Having 2 laps can psych people out if they were having trouble with the obstacles the first time around. I also loved the fact that you have to complete each obstacle in the elite wave or you will lose your “elite band.” That’s a game changer. A top competitor can make one mistake and be out of the running. It could be anyone’s game. I had a blast and I am looking forward to my next BattleFrog Race.” I was not the only one who enjoyed myself and will be returning to future events!
The Tri-State BattelFrog Race was a great event. It was well organized and successfully promoted through the tireless efforts of the Tri-State Race Manager and leader of Team Braveheart, Jen Rosant. The event itself offered multiple types of races, such as the standard 8k, the elite wave, BattleFrog Extreme, and many different kids’ races catering to all types of athletes who came to Englishtown that day. The course was challenging, full of mud, and most importantly, a lot of fun! For those thinking about doing a BattleFrog Race for the first time, it is definitely worth trying!