For our last obstacle course race of 2021, my husband and I made our way to Dallas, TX for the Bonefrog Challenge at Cousin’s Paintball Park on 12/4/2021. This was the first time either of us participated in a Bonefrog event in-person. We had only done a handful of the Honor Series events in 2020 during our year of virtual-filled events in an effort to support OCR companies and try to do our part to keep them afloat.
This race was SO.MUCH.FUN!
WHAT DISTANCES DID WE DO?
While the format and distances have changed for Bonefrog in 2022, we completed these races under the prior race distances. I completed the Tier-1 (1 sprint lap + 1 challenge lap for 9 miles), and Eddie completed the Golden Trident (2 challenge laps followed by 2 sprint laps for 18 miles). Figured we might as well try out the whole experience while we were there!
WHAT WAS UNIQUE?
This specific race was super cool because it happened to be a changing of the guard so to speak — this was the last race for the prior race director, Josh, and the new RD Tony was there on hand to set us all off on our way from the start line. They hid 10 throwback OG Bonefrog medals, all signed by Josh, in a somewhat lengthy river crossing. While I searched for one, I came up empty handed. However, Eddie, being the first person through the river obstacle, found two. He grabbed one and made his way out of the river. That would be the first of 6 medals he earned that day. Nice medal haul!
I really enjoyed the obstacles in this race. The sandbag carry was made different by having to take the bag with you through different walls. You had to be strategic about how to get both yourself and the sandbag through the wall if you were competing and didn’t want to lose too much time.
The last half mile or so of the race had a gauntlet of upper body-intense obstacles, but they were super fun! I was really excited to do new-to-me obstacles, and the Mike & Murph obstacle was challenging yet doable. Ring to rope to cargo net, around or under the cargo net, cargo net to ring, another ring, then climb up a rope and hit the bell — without feet touching the ground. If you don’t have a good rope climbing skillset, I could see this being hard to conquer. In fact, one young man was there for nearly 2 hours trying to complete this obstacle. Sadly, I think he decided to move on before conquering it.
They had a 6-, 7-, and 8-foot wall to traverse. Though it took me a couple of attempts on the 8′, I conquered the 8-foot wall which was pretty awesome. I’ve gotten so used to Spartan putting the kicker on the taller walls for females that being able to conquer this wall without a kicker was a confidence booster.
I did really struggle with the Viking tables (basically super high hurdles). While I could jump up and get my arms wrapped around easily, it was so high (and frost was melting on it) that it was made more difficult without core strength and serious momentum by swinging your legs. If you aren’t competing and have someone to help, this obstacle wouldn’t be nearly as tricky.
Then there was the back-to-back-to-back gauntlet of bodyweight exercises: 19 tricep dips for each Member of Operation Red Wings, 31 burpees for each Member killed on Extortion 17, and 7 pull-ups for Medal of Honor recipients. As you complete every rep, you say aloud the name of various SEALs from the list of names in front of you. This was actually really helpful during the burpees because it’s much easier to remember the name you just said when you’re tired as opposed to what number you’re on. These obstacles were literally all right next to each other. Complete one, take 5 steps, begin the next.
There were more obstacles, obviously, but I’m just giving a quick overview of some.
Eddie and I really liked that, as an elite heat participant, you had to do a different penalty for failure and then reattempt the obstacle until completion. Every time you fail, you do the penalty and then reattempt until completion or you give up your band. We both liked the fact that each obstacle had a sign telling you what the penalty is in advance. I saw one where it was like, oh heyyyy… penalty = 25 burpees. My thoughts when I saw it: Nope… I’m absolutely not failing this and doing burpees. It was almost like its own motivator.
I did fail two obstacles, once each, and I was super annoyed with myself. I literally had run a completely clean race until the end. My first loop was a clean run. On the last lap, I failed the 2nd and 3rd to last obstacles…right at the finish line. My grip just gave out on both. Those penalties consisted of 25 push-ups (at a hanging grip obstacle…) and 25 jumping jacks.
Eddie managed to run all four of his laps completely clean (though he said he was super tired on the last lap and could tell his upper body/grip was tired. Shout out to Eddie as well because he ran the Golden Trident in the Elite heat (18 miles w/ approx 100 obstacles) in 3:35:20! (Thus, earning him his 6th medal. 1 OG river medal, 1 for each distance — sprint, challenge, tier 1,– the golden trident in itself, and a 1st place).
This is a really cool race and the obstacles are awesome. It’s a good challenge and I love the fact that everyone is out there on course running different race options/distances and doing their own thing. I liked that all of the distances are occurring all at once, essentially.
The Bonefrog community is, like the OCR community in general, just really freaking nice. We met a handful of people that you could tell are just genuine, authentic, friendly people.
I’m hoping one day they’ll be able to come out farther west than Dallas so it’s easier to get to their race. Phoenix perhaps, if I’m being biased? Ha!
Even if they don’t, we’ll definitely be doing what we can to work a Bonefrog Challenge race into our schedules when at all possible.
GOOD TO KNOW:
In 2022, and for the foreseeable future, the following formats and race distances are now offered:
- Sprint lap (3 miles)
- Challenge lap (6 miles)
- Golden Trident (1 sprint + 1 challenge lap for 9 miles. This is basically the old Tier-1 format).
- Trail only (6 miles, no obstacles)
So, the Tier-1 name goes away. The Golden Trident keeps its name but distance gets cut in half, taking over the old Tier-1.
Looking to crush the course on race day? Eddie, of Running 2 PR’s, can help customize a running plan to your goals. Already have running covered? Check out these strength training programs, written specifically to help you crush the OCR Course.
Race review written by Bethany Diaz, Co-Founder of OCRRacers.com
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