Mile 46: Event Day Experience – My First Terrain Race

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If you’re looking for a beginner OCR then look no further than the Terrain Race. This race is perfect for your first time or a friends first time. The obstacles are manageable for pretty much all fitness levels and provide a nice sample on what experienced OCR athletes face at various events. For these athletes the Terrain Race might be below them, but it will provide a decent “filler race” on an open weekend. I saw both experienced and non-experienced participants on Saturday. The experienced athletes ran multiple laps while the beginner athletes attempted either the 5k or 10k. One thing that stood out about Terrain Race was that there was something for everybody. I think very few people left without feeling a level of accomplishment.

The Course

I opted for the 5k course (one lap). It was the exact same course as the NJ Rugged Maniac, but in reverse. Oh yeah, the obstacles were completely different too. We’ll get to those soon. If you don’t remember then I’ll remind you that this course was primarily flat. The only exception were the man made hills on the motocross course. Terrain Race also utilized the wooded terrain for about a mile. This is where they placed the majority of the NJ thick and soupy mud. NJ events never disappoint with this.

The Obstacles

All the typical OCR obstacles were present and accounted for at the Terrain Race. They had monkey bars (with very thick bars), walls, mud mounds, cargo nets and even a rig. The rig appeared to be the toughest obstacle of the day. While waiting in a quick line for it, I only saw two people get across. If I had to guess then I’d say the completion percentage was under 20%. The trickiest part of this obstacle was the transition from rock climbing holds to the “monkey balls” being held on by chains. Ultimately this tripped me up and caused me to fall. Luckily, I was over a pool of water so it was a short and soft drop. Other than that obstacle everything else on the 5k course was fairly easy. It looked like the 10k course had a couple more obstacles that may have been more challenging. Unfortunately, I cannot speak for that part of the course.

Biggest Surprise

There were a lot of families on the course completing the race together. I saw a good amount of kids running with their parents or siblings. This is one of the first races where this stood out to me. It was great to see!


I’ll be honest here for a second. The reason I signed up for the Terrain Race was because of their awesome monkey finisher medal. It’s huge and it spins. It’s a nice addition to my collection. I also got a finisher t-shirt (more on this later) and a headband. The headband isn’t a standard option. When I signed up I took advantage of the promo price headband that was an add-on at registration.


Side Notes

There was plenty of on-site parking. It was $10.00 to park.

Alan had a great time for his first and probably only race of the season. He’s coming off a pretty severe shoulder injury. This was the perfect race for him to test himself.

We dropped off our signed waivers at one tent and received our finisher t-shirts there. Following that we went to the registration tent to “officially” check in. I’m still not sure why they couldn’t do everything at one tent.

Bag check was free and very secure.

Spectators were free too!

There wasn’t a huge post-race festival area, but a lot of people were sticking around and hanging out afterwards. They had a food stand open along with an ice cream vendor.

The post race showers were nice. Lots of water pressure.

The changing areas were extremely disappointing. At most five people could fit in it at one time. Hopefully Terrain Race upgrades that next year.

There was three free beer options. Alan chose Shock Top.

I got a size Large finisher t-shirt, but when I tried it on it reminded me of a Youth Large. I took it back for an X-Large, which is too big. It’s 100% cotton so hopefully it shrinks a little bit.

There were two photographers on the course. This is the lowest amount of photographers I’ve seen at an event.

Overall Assessment

I enjoyed my first Terrain Race experience. There was a course, some obstacles, lots of mud and a sweet finisher medal. That’s everything that OCR is all about. If I wanted to do another Terrain Race I would select the 10k course next time. The 5k course just wasn’t enough. I think Terrain Race is heading in the right direction and hopefully with some minor changes they can be better next year.

My next race is the Warrior Dash on 8/27. I’ll have my pre-race report for it and another post within the next two weeks.

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