After each mud run or obstacle race I compete in, you'll get my review and grades for each event to help you decide which ones you might want to sign up for. The following categories will be discussed:

1. COURSE- the design, venue, and setup of the race itself- how creative/ adventurous/ difficult the obstacles were, and obviously... how was the MUD?!?

2. FESTIVAL- all the fun beyond the actual race- the social atmosphere which usually includes food, beer garden, dj/ music/ concert, contests, vendors, and more during the after-party

3. SWAG- the included goodie bag and prizes up for grabs- all the "free" stuff that comes with price of entry and the quality of awards, shirts, and other giveaways

Feel free to use the search box to read up on any past topics you might be looking for.

BATTLEFROG SERIES (16k), Barre MA, 7/25/15

I'm wondering if the little farm village of Barre MA is becoming the epicenter of OCR in 2015, as at least 3 major race weekends (Spartan twice, and now BattleFrog) are being hosted here.  Of course I'm kidding, but it does seem like an an odd and out-of-the-way replacement to the now-closed Amesbury resort that served for years as Massachusetts most frequented racing venue.  This being my first visit I wasn't sure what to expect as New England terrain can be about as varied as it gets.  Even from the offsite parking lot a few miles away (more on that later), it was hard to tell if we would get some of the viewable mountains or just totally flat plains that both surrounded this quaint colonial town.

1. COURSE-  Well the clear verdict came in as the latter of the two choices above, almost totally flat except for one mild incline in the first 1/4 mile (and then of course repeated on the extra laps for Elite and Xtreme racers).  However, despite the level nature of the course, it was anything but a speed race as so much technical running on muddy trails or dried mud sections were tough on weak (or injured, in my case) ankles and anyone lacking proper the footwear for it.  And, you can also guess what some other sloppy areas were also due to, as this was a farm with cow pastures.  As for the OCR stuff you want to know about, I've been satisfied after each of my three BattleFrogs this year (including February's Miami and June's Tri-State), but I'm keeping a close eye on a trend that has left me still a little nervous.  The best part of BF has been the number of true obstacles, and they were absolutely on top of the world in this category last year.  There are still some great strength challenges (double jerry can carry!) and skill tests (Platinum Rig, in any of it various setups), but with only a total of 22 obstacles on this New England version, the score is beginning to approach just average compared to their former stellar selves.  GRADE = B

2. FESTIVAL-  BattleFrog usually has one of the biggest scenes surrounding the spectator area, and this edition was true to that claim. So much so, that I almost needed a map to navigate around after crossing the finish line- possibly also due to my delirium after running two laps of the 8k course!?  Every which way was something different to see or visit, and vendor village had some great products for sale, including the same Wreck Bags that we hauled around in the race. Their own BF branded merch tent seems to be expanding as well, in case your t-shirt and medal (see below) weren't enough souvenirs.  And though I won't factor it into the grade this time, the shuttle bus system was a little disappointing, making it almost not worth going to your car (to change clothes or drop bags) before you were ready to totally call it a day.  Might have lost some post race partygoers because of it, but that's an individual choice I guess.  GRADE = A

3. SWAG-  I'll stick to my guns on giving them grief about the mislabeled (read: last year's overstock of 15k) medals that are still being given out to the Elite racers who have actually run a total of 16 kilometers.  That point bothered me so much that I was almost tempted to do the Xtreme race this time just to get a "correct" medal, which by the way is one of the industry's best if you haven't seen yet.  I've always liked the shirts, and wanted to point out (as you see below) that BF has the option of a different ladies cut style, not something many races offer.  And lastly, as I've been lucky enough to boast about it now for my third straight 2015 BattleFrog race, the coveted Elite orange wristband was mine to keep after getting through every obstacle twice- something less than half of participants were able to accomplish.  Sorry Beard, not this time, Sir.  GRADE = B