Frontline OCR doesn’t just create a race as a way to honor those that are currently serving and have served our beloved country. Frontline goes further than simply paying homage to those that have made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedom of all, Frontline actually creates an environment that will give regular citizens the chance to step into their shoes.  

Just take a look at Frontline’s logo.  This is not just a cute way to draw OCR enthusiasts into buying t-shirts.  That demon skull surrounded in barbed wire is a warning sign like the color of a poison dart frog letting everyone know that death can occur at any moment.  And of course, I mean that in a Sylvia Plath way, since we are all going to die eventually. I would like to take a moment to thank the one reader of this review that knows who Sylvia Plath is.

 

Terrain

Frontline’s marriage with the Byron Motosports Park has really been able to serve Ed Leon’s sadistic vision for punishing obstacle racers very well.  

What I like best about the course is the great blend of rhythmic hills to run over, the variety of technical footing to navigate through, the available flat space for constructing monstrous rigs and the beautiful forest landscape.  The atmosphere and on race day was full of high energy and very welcoming for the lovers of shorts and being shirtless. The course was dewy but not soaking or dry, and the rain held off long enough for almost all racers to complete the course before the rain decided to fall again.

 

Obstacles

Frontline has an obsession with obstacles, and who isn't, but I can say that my hands and forearms end up as the ultimate victim.  A great tagline for the 5th wave might be “All game some calluses; some game all calluses”.  Thinking of you Matthew Kou.

The obstacles are always menacingly spectacular. The race director is always mixing up new challenges, white always provide me with bruises to go home with.  I have discovered that while I love mandatory completion obstacles, I start to think that Frontline could really benefit from embracing the idea of just implementing a set of twenty-two 9-1-1’s for a few specific rigs in order to keep the flow from pinching.


For those that are unfamiliar with Frontline’s method for punishing those that fail an obstacle: Penalty 9-1-1’s are essentially an inchworm incorporated with a modified push-up at the bottom. Kick your feet apart as you travel to your chest on the push-up, and kick them back together as you reach the top of your push-up.  The quantity of 22 is based on raising awareness for the average of 22 lives of veterans that are lost due to suicide every day. It is a very well thought out dish of pain, and honestly, I think people should eat this dish of agony more often.

My favorite obstacle that is not the massive warped wall is still the tangled mess of fire hoses created by the Legendary Fitness squad. It is an obstacle that needs to be crawled through in and under over fashion.  It is so unique, challenging and silly that I look forward to navigating through it even though I know it will strip my energy away.

Frontline is a wonderful staple of necessary mayhem for the world.  I love the people this race honors, the message it spreads, and I am amazed but not shocked at the legend it is proving to become.  

It is impressive to meet so many incredible athletes from across the country that travel to Byron, Illinois to experience a beat down from Frontline. It is no wonder that even though my wounds are still fresh from this 4th wave that I’m already a little giddy about signing up for the 5th wave, and so should the reader.

 

Rating: 5/5

 

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This author is part of the Mud Run Crew and received a free race entry in return for an independent review. All opinions are those of the author and were not influenced by the race sponsor or Mud Run Guide.