ROC Race Review – Philadelphia, June 6, 2014

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I wanted to begin the 2014 running season with a few races to get my family involved in some type of racing to get their year off to a good start, and the Ridiculous Obstacle Challenge (ROC) happened to be available. So I decided to give it a try and take my son along to see how the course held up to our normal OCR standards.
We were a little wary of the course, seeing it ran through the parking lots to the side of Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, but we went in with an open mind on the course holding up to an off road OCR race. I am so glad we kept that mindset because this race really ended up being a truly fun time and a race that exceeded everything we were expecting.

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The race consisted of mostly blow up obstacles, but the kind that do not scare racers but actually gives them motivation to try the race. Plus it will get them excited to keep going through the course to see what is in store for them. Most of these obstacles you may see maybe one at a local town carnival for the kids to enjoy. However, the amount of obstacles, along with the many gallons of water flowing on each obstacle provided a great relief from the heat as well as some truly entertaining challenges for every racer on the course. Each obstacle had a slightly different element to it, and kept you looking ahead for the next one to see what kind of fun you were going to be given from this race.
The obstacles were really fun, from a moon bounce to start everything off, to water slides that each had a different way to finish (regular slide, tube slide and bubble slide to name a few) with a bunch of other unique challenges along the way (the crane ball swing was the best one) to keep everyone entertained and laughing as they ran the course.

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To give you a feel of how much fun this race was, my daughter was watching from the sidelines and was laughing and snapping pictures all along the course (like the one below), and states after the race that she’ really wants to try this race next year’. And this is coming from someone who has no interest in running at all!! So I think ROC reached their goal of getting people out and moving with exercise, but making it fun so everyone would stay committed to finishing the course.

LOCATION – Any race planned around the arenas and stadiums in Philadelphia is going to be great. There is ample parking, and plenty of room for everyone to meet up and find their teams or friends who are racing.
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REGISTRATION – A bit scattered at times, with sign not marking the location of the registration desks the best way, but we found the registration area. There were plenty of people to handle everyone who had pre-signed waivers, but only one person to handle all the rest who did not. They could have had a much smoother registration if they would have also had all items being handed out to racers in a bag or pre-sorted to make it easier to move people along.
3.5
COURSE – Very flat and all asphalt . A course made for anyone who wants to try a race without having to worry about any hills. A bit too much of a winding course through the parking lot instead of doing a larger loop around the stadium. There were too many turn backs through cones that many people just cut short due to the many turns.
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OBSTACLES – Some really fun obstacles, any some were very challenging. Others were just great kid fun that were large enough for the adults to enjoy as well. They mixed in walls that you would normally see at a normal OCR and then had water slides with bubbles to keep changing up what you were expecting to see on the course. 5
COST/VALUE – Very reasonable for someone wanting to venture into the obstacle races. Cotton shirts were OK, but would have preferred the tech shirts be part of the regular registration fee without an extra charge. I was a bit disappointed that they did not give out a finisher medal, especially for the kids. Those who worked hard through the course to finish the 3 miles and actually completed the course a medal would have given the younger participants something to show off that they completed this race. 3.5

Overall Rating – 4
The ROC Race is an excellent starter race to introduce your friends and family to the world of obstacle racing, without having them worry about the mud that is normally involved with most OCR races. The race was just a fund time and helped get every member of my family interested in doing a race. We will be planning to do this race next year with the whole family taking part in the action!!
See you next time and remember always run safe and smart!!

—–Mike Matter—–
OCR Enthusiast

Did you do the Philadelphia Ridiculous Obstacle challenge? Share your own rating & review about the event today!