This weekend marked the return of Spartan Race to Southern California and the debut of a new venue at Pala Raceway. For years, Spartan Races, Tough Mudders, and other OCRs have been held at Vail Lake in Temecula. Love them or hate them, the endless, relentless hills overlooking and surrounding that venue were iconic to obstacle course racing in this part of the country. This year, all that changed, as the new owners of the Vail Lake property decided to rescind access to all of the various races that called Vail Lake home.
A few months after their first foray into Southern California, BattleFrog returned this weekend to put on a race at Lake Elsinore in Riverside County. I have been to several events now at the Lake Elsinore venue (Survivor Mud Run x2 and the Terrain Race earlier this year), and I make no excuse for the fact that it's one of my least favorite race venues - it's a very flat property with sandy trails and almost no shade, and in the last couple of years the drought has meant no access to the rapidly dwindling lake.
This is the second part in our series of reviews of training options for obstacle course racing in Southern California; last time, my friends and I hit up MROC in Oceanside; this time, we move inland to Fallbrook, and went to play with Nicole Kifer at Platinum OCR. The contrast between the two couldn't be greater. The first is in a formal and compact gym space behind a mini-mall; Platinum OCR is an outdoor obstacle course and training center built by Nicole and her family on her brother's 7-acre plot of land.
It was a busy week for our sport all over the world, with your solid basics, three-day challenges, televised team relays, and the unveiling of some exciting new obstacles. The states brought some favorites to the table, with Spartan Race heating up Las Vegas, Warrior Dash in Southern California, Savage Race spinning wheels and climbing fences in Florida, and BattleFrog tearing up the beach wakes and the airwaves in Georgia.
On February 6, 2016 the annual Sean O'Brien 100K took place in the heart of the Santa Monica Mountains on a warm Southern California day. A group of tough, gritty women were all vying for the coveted 'Golden Ticket' for the top two finishers to gain automatically entry into the most prestigious 100-mile race in the country, the Western States 100. Included in that group were speedsters Devon Yanko, obstacle course champion Amelia Boone and ultra veteran Kerrie Wlad, among others.
Tough Mudder 2.0 arrived in SoCal last weekend bringing along Classic Obstacles Revamped, New Obstacles, Camaraderie, Challenges, and Good old fashion OCR fun. Although, fun is an understatement . Tough Mudder is not a race but a challenge an experience like no other.