How many obstacle course races do you have on your schedule for 2018? More importantly, is The City Challenge Obstacle Race one of them? Here's a heads up, you better act fast, there are about three more City Challenge Obstacle Races left in Boston, New York, and Hoboken, with two other races dedicated to youth in Jersey City and Long Island. Is it a downer the small amount of City Challenge Obstacle Races there are in a year? Honestly, YES!!

Oddly, I'm not mad at City Challenge Obstacle Race. You do what you do, and you do it well. City Challenge puts a nice bow around their races forming a well-constructed package that is respectable. Hence why obstacle racing enthusiast may have gripes about not getting a crack of this eventful race. While at the Saturday, April 14th, 2018, New Jersey City Challenge Race, I was impressed with how this unique obstacle course race tactfully fits into the community.

Landscape

The photos taken at this race, in my opinion, were fantastic. I mean, is it just me, or does that New York City skyline from downtown New Jersey make you simply stand in awe. With transparency in mind if I told you I was doing an obstacle course race in the city wouldn't you hope the pictures have a city in it? Which, would confidently make it easier to label this race as a “city challenge obstacle race.” Sure, we all know about the various terrain's an OCR has to offer, and even the cool dynamics of a stadium race. Thankfully, this OCR concrete brethren still models the same philosophy as other's, and that gives participants and the city an experience they won't forget. If the optics of a city is what pleases your eye's, and you have a fascination with obstacle course racing, more importantly without the mud, then the City Challenge Obstacle Race could be your euphoria.

Enthusiasm/Energy

My fascination with obstacle course racing stems from the random support and love you get from others. You would be surprised how cheering for someone while at a race can boost their psyche in a positive way, including yours too. Simply put, in my opinion, OCR makes you feel good. Taking on a course such as the New Jersey City Challenge Obstacle Course Race provided a lot of feel-good moments.

While at this race I was a recipient of a lot of encouragement, which in succession, I happily gave back to others. I rightfully credit the highly supportive and positive Master of Ceremony, @medaladdict himself Mr. Justin T. Manning. Throughout the whole race, Mr. Manning handled his Race Host duties appropriately, keeping the crowds moving and making sure each race wave was properly informed of their imminent jaunt. I would not be surprised if he had to ice his hands after the race, due to so many high fives. After your next City Challenge Obstacle Race, make sure you post your finisher medal on Instagram with #medaladdict. If you haven't done so, follow @citychallengerace and @medaladdict via social media. Savor the continuous positive energy and motivating quotes that flow through their timelines.

Obstacles

I wish I could tell you every single obstacle in this race was easy. But, I can't. There were absolutely a few obstacles that made you work a little bit harder than you expected. The first obstacle that was a dozy was the estimated 10-foot wall to simply get into the start line corral. If climbing walls are your weakness, well that is one heck of a way to get started. Now, let me briefly break down why the obstacle level of difficulty was raised during this race.

There were no mats to help you brace for a fall on a lot of obstacles. So, that means a participant had to be very particular in how they approached certain obstacles. If you were to fall from an elevated apparatus, there was no mud or ground to soften the fall; it was straight concrete. Could someone say, “that's dangerous.” Maybe. But it's quite possible moments like these can help you perfect your OCR skills that will consist of landing properly, a concentration of grip strength, and perfecting your balance. To complete an OCR unscathed I'm talking not even with a scratch is rare. So, with no mats, that means a person has to pay attention to their strength's simultaneously perfecting their technique.

Since there were no hills, or overly intimidating terrain, the New Jersey City Challenge made up for it by not lacking in obstacles. Obstacles like the Urban Teeter Tooter, Urban Balance Beam, and especially the Devil's Playground, demanded concentration and safe execution. These obstacles also created a pileup of eager participants waiting for their chance to conquer them. The phenomenon of the OCR pileup is real but don't let it discourage you. We all must account for various speeds and abilities that can affect how fast we get through a course. To properly address this widespread matter City Challenge included throughout the course 30 Box Jumps, 30 Kettle Bell Swings, and 30 Heavy Rope Jump Roping stations, which conveniently mitigated the OCR pileup. I applaud the element of fitness in OCR. Including 30 of anything as a workout before an obstacle will make things more interesting for sure.

Cool Factor

The New Jersey City Challenge Obstacle Race as the day continued turned into a, “what's going on a circus.” I noticed something while at this race, it was kind of, the highlight of the day. There were people outside brunching it up, looking at all the activities. Plus individuals fishing on the pier and people out for a leisurely stroll mixing into the race. If your goal was to ignore this race and all the epic fitness behavior that was transpiring good luck. The “city” vibe was in full effect, and by the looks of so many people happily wearing their medal's, the City Challenge Obstacle Race could probably be there every Saturday like a highly anticipated farmer's market, and no one would complain.

I will close with this observation. While checking out the festival, I noticed a gentleman tightening the frame of the mammoth 10-foot wall at the starting corral. I introduced myself, thanking him for his service. He gave me his business card, with the drill on the other hand never stating who he was. Once this brief encounter was over, I looked at the card as I walked away and it was none other than Mr. Elvi Guzman, the Founder of City Challenge Obstacle Race. That right there ladies and gentlemen are what OCR is all about getting the work done behind the scenes, with all hands on deck. I look forward to running another City Challenge Obstacle Race again, and after my April 14th New Jersey experience especially on the Devil's Playground I better be ready.

Photo credit: Derek Ross

 

Rating: 5/5

 

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