Mile 21: Event Day Experience – My First BattleFrog 8k

posted in: Race Day Experience | 1

This race came out of nowhere. I had never heard of it until a few weeks after the New Year. Cait’s sister, Lauren, found it and shared it with us on our Facebook group page. See! Another awesome reason for having a group page! It was also a convenient time since we were looking for a race to complete in June 2015. The price was pretty friendly too. Keith, Cait and John all signed up along with me. We were scheduled for a 10:30am start time, our favorite time of course. The race held in Englishtown, NJ at the Englishtown Raceway.

Unfortunately, we missed our start time by about 30 minutes. A wreck on the NJ Turnpike brought traffic to a halt. Most races typically don’t care if you arrive late. We paid and that’s all they care about. When we got there I realized I left my wallet at home. This meant no ID and no money. Don’t be a Jeff! John let me borrow money for the bag drop and parking. It was first race of the season and I was already off to a bad start. The only good thing was that I had no issues at registration. Obstacle #1…avoided.

Side Note: It’s very important to have your ID on race day. Some races will not let you race if you don’t have the proper ID. 

The BattleFrog was an 8k course through a MotoX track, woods, bleachers and fields. Probably, the coolest part was running up and down the hills of the MotoX track. By the way, we were doing that with a sandbag on our back called a Wreck Bag. We could’ve bought them at the race for training purposes. I prefer to leave the sand bags at the course not the house. It was a good first obstacle that was moderately challenging. It rained a few days before so the track was a little muddy and didn’t have much grip.

There were a lot of challenging obstacles with this race. The hardest obstacle I completed was the Platinum Rig. It was a jungle gym of sorts. It had monkey bars, rope, hoops and bars all combined into one. Prior to attempting we all watched other people and the way they did it. No one did it the same way. We each attempted it and both Keith and I completed it. Keith helped Cait and I helped John since helping was encouraged. We got through the obstacle and moved along.

Tip: Have a plan of action before starting. You’ll want to have an idea of how you want to transition from each segment to the next. Also, help someone who needs it. Don’t let someone hang there for dear life.

This race had a ton and I mean a ton of mud. On two separate occasions we were up to our necks in warm, mulchy mud. I didn’t want to think of all the organisms living in there. To date, I’ve never been covered in that much mud and I doubt any other race can beat it. Keith really enjoyed the mud. At one point he took the long way through the obstacle just so he could spend more time in it. The guy is crazy.

Following our mud adventures we came to the Jerry Can Carry. I’m not sure of the distance, but it seemed like maybe a quarter mile or so. Guys carried a heavier water filled can while girls carried a lighter can. Initially, it wasn’t difficult, but then your arms would start to get heavy and we’d have to maneuver the can from arm to arm or shoulder to arm without dropping it. We walked at a normal pace while doing this and each of completed this one. Our arms immediately felt better after we dropped the can off.

Tip: I wouldn’t suggest carrying it on your shoulder. Instead, carry with one arm or both arms. You can switch off between a one arm and two arm carry.

There was one obstacle I couldn’t complete. They had a rope swing, but you know I already can’t complete that one. There was a rope strung across a body of water, which wasn’t deep, that we had to get across using our arms and legs. It didn’t seem like a lot of people were able to do it. The hardest part wasn’t keeping ourselves suspended. The rope burn we got on our bare legs hurt pretty bad. Even with the high socks I wore my legs were getting chewed up. I got about halfway before dropping and used just my arms to get across. Keith completed the obstacle, but he completes just about everything.

Tip: Try to keep the rope near your shoes. It definitely helps preventing rope burn. Also, wait until the person in front of you is across. The person in front of you adds extra weight to the rope.

We did hit a line shortly after this at the cargo net obstacle. There always seems to be a line at every cargo net obstacle. Since it was in the woods there really wasn’t an easy way around it. We estimated the wait was about 20 minutes. Hopefully next year they either do away with the cargo net or move it to a more open location.

Tip: if you’re afraid of heights the cargo net is not that high off the ground. It seems like a lot of people have issues with this. Just go up and get over as fast as you can. Don’t let this obstacle get to you.

With the finish line in sight we crossed in 2:41:00. We subtracted about 30 minutes from that with a few lines we encountered. It was a decent time for our first BattleFrog. At the finish line we got our medal and t-shirt. The medal was nice and pretty big. It stands out from all the rest. The t-shirt was nice and they even have ladies sizes. Cait was happy about that! To my knowledge this is the only race that offers a ladies size. We all agreed that we really enjoyed this race. It was an awesome course with lots of different obstacles. Honestly, obstacles will make or break a race. They had the perfect amount and were spaced out properly. A few days after this race, Keith, Cait and I registered for the 2016 race. We took advantage of 50% off our registration. It was a no brainer! If you ever get the chance to run a BattleFrog I highly recommend it.   

In the next mile I’ll review our third Spartan Sprint…this one would be totally different than 2013 and 2014.

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