I ran the Atlanta BattleFrog 15k OCR this past weekend… and I have to be honest with y’all… my Spartan heart has been won over. Spartan Races are fantastic, challenging, exciting races- no doubt. But the BattleFrog…oh this race was PHENOMENAL.
The Atlanta race was the inaugural event for BattleFrog, so I expected there to be some kinks that would need to be worked out along the way. I experienced NONE… which is so huge for their very first event. I will also add that this is the first OCR that I have ran with a partner. If you can find someone of similar fitness level, and running pace to train with- you MUST run with a partner. While I have never had a problem with making buddies while on any course- there would always be lulls of misery and boredom along the way. If you have a partner, you can look at them and say “What the f*** are we doing!?” and then laugh maniacally when you are reminded that you trained for 6 weeks for this shit.
The festival area was pretty standard… check in was seamless- less than 60 seconds and we had our bibs in hand. We hit the merchandise tent, aptly named “The Exchange”, to pick up some shirts while we were still clean enough to handle them. I loved all of their Merch. They actually had women’s cut t-shirts! Even the finisher shirts were in men’s and women’s cut!! (I know, I know! CRAZY!)
We joined the 10am wave, and got to see a SEAL Demo while we waited in the chute. The best way to describe their demonstration is “Drive-by via Helicopter”. It was amazing to watch the helicopter and the SEALS, with their easy skill… just too damn cool, and what better way to get pumped up right before your race!? Then HOOYA! HOOYA! HOOYA! And we were off!
I am not going to go obstacle by obstacle thru the entire course- there is youtube for that. But I do have to make a few points about this amazing course design. It was obvious from beginning to end that the designers (veteran Navy SEALS) were very VERY intentional about providing a demanding, thoughtful, and intense course. There was no just sending the racers through muck and mud just to do it. We were in the water, up high in the air, over all types of terrain, down low through culverts, rivers, and crawling through obstacles. The obstacles themselves ran a wide range- from brute physical force, to mental strategy, to sheer patience and endurance to plot through.
I have to add that the volunteers at this race were unbelievable! They were enthusiastic, super helpful, and just freaking pumped up! I cannot emphasize enough just how solid this race was- from beginning to end. Oh- and of course the BLING… They had different size and color medals for the different levels of races… The larger medal with the blue ribbon was for the 15k, and the smaller medal with the green ribbon was for the 5k. Here is mine… it’s kinda my favorite:
I do earnestly hope that this racing series makes it for the long haul, and sticks around for a long long time. The quality of the event and course is definitely right up there with the big dogs- like Spartan Race… and it would be wonderful to have some healthy competition. If this race comes close to you- Sign up and Show up! You won’t be disappointed!