Grains of sand tumbled over each other then took flight, hurling themselves across my legs at speeds enough to shave the skin off my ankles. This was not what I signed up for. At least we were’t racing on the beach.
This year’s series promised to be even better — 3+ miles and 38 obstacles, complete with extra burpees and penalty laps. Needless to say, we were amped.
Our strategy was nothing new, after half-a-dozen OCRs together, we just looked at each other as the rookies sprinted out of the starting gate. We knew we would see them again, gasping for air about 7 obstacles in. Slow and steady is the way to handle a Battle.
Terrain isn’t much of a challenge in Gulfport, MS. The obstacles were the reason we were here, nearly 40 in a 5.5-mile course. And Battle Race did not disappoint.
Cargo nets to crawl under and climb over. Ladders. Inverted ladders. Short walls. Tall walls. Cliffhangers. Rope climbs. Rope swings. Sandbag carries. And that was the
I have never seen this much variety, and this many obstacles packed into any OCR anyhere. And as we battled deeper into the course, the obstacles just got better. Barbed wire crawls. A-frames. Tire flips. And a literal mountain of sand. (So much for terrain not being an obstacle on the Gulf Coast.
You want log carries? Try humping a log down a gentle slope, then crawling under barbed wire while rolling that log up a dried gully.
Tough Mudder has Everest. Spartan has the Bucket Carry. Battle Race has at least three signature obstacles. The first we faced was Limitless. Imagine Victor Frankenstein as a fitness freak instead of a mad scientist.
This contraption could have come straight from his lab. First you shimmy up an angled pole, swing up and down monkey bars, then back up another angled bar before crossing another set of monkey bars and out of the obstacle. And the best part is, this thing has so many rigs, there can be a different set-up for every race.
Unmovable should be dubbed MissionAlmostImpossible. Grab a 150+ pound sandbag, and schlep it 20 yards. But that, my wheezing sherpa, is just the beginning. Drop that behemoth onto a 24-inch platform then push it over to the other side. Now, jump on top, and cross to the other side. Now, pick up that beast, flip it over the box, jump back, and again hoist the dead weight off the ground and carry at back to where you started.
It’s enough to knock the wind out of the most seasoned OCR strongman. I watched the action at this one for nearly half an hour before our race. No one ran out of this obstacle.
The FF5 Rig, is . . . well . . . words fail me. If Limitless was something from Frankenstein’s lab. FF5 is another dimension. Ropes, balls, and freaky little handlebars all unstable, all dangling from trusses, just daring you to grab one and swing.
Choose wrong, and risk a penalty lap with even more challenges.
Battle Race is the race for obstacle lovers and novices alike. It is a great introduction into what OCRs are all about. Challenging for the individual. Fun to run as a team. On a bigger course, it could easily challenge Spartan as the baddest race in the land. The price is better than any of the big-name races, and the swag aint bad either.
After happy damsels plied us with protein bars and battlefield medals, we retired again to the beach where the winds had intensified. But what’s a sand-blasted ankle when there are beers to be drunk by returning heroes.
If you missed Gulfport, don’t cry in your sports drink. There are two more Battle Races scheduled for New Orleans and Baton Rouge. I’m already signed up.