The festival area was much like the venue used for the event, a laid back and relaxed group of racers, family, friends, spectators, volunteers, and staff. Some were hanging out under the trees and out of the direct sunlight as it was a very hot day (I know several racers got sun poisoning even with sunblock on). Several families were hanging out as well with little kids that were having a good time all day. The New England Spahtens for the most part set up not that far from the starting line and kept to themselves most of the day. It was a good time at a beautiful venue and everyone just seemed to be enjoying the weather, company and views.
The course started out with a brief sprint and came to the first obstacle that was a small mud pit crossing which for the most part the majority of racers (on all four of my laps) skipped. This wasn’t a crawl, but rather just mud and water, but for some reason most racers during the day opted to skip it. The course then continued for a brief trail sprint and crossed over a road (the road was kept secure and safe by two police officers) and then came to the next obstacle which was an under crawl, then over a four foot wall, then another under, followed by one last four foot wall. The course then continued on for a sprint around the grape fields and after what felt like maybe a half of a mile sprint came to a monkey bars obstacle which was a nice challenge but not something that was too difficult.
The course continued for a brief trail sprint around the grape fields and came to a tire flip obstacle. Funny story with the tire flip, I have discovered if you slightly add a twist to the tire as you flip them, they will sometimes actually start to flip on their own and make this obstacle a little easier which is what I was doing, but the volunteer stationed at this obstacle on one of my laps didn’t seem to like this and gave me a dirty look, (lol) so I didn’t do it the rest of that turn. The course again continued through the vineyards and if my memory serves me well, the next obstacle was a Ninja Warrior type/inspired obstacle that started with a swinging bar and then segwayed to a straight bar to traverse across, I have to be honest, I have never done this obstacle at any event to date and I had very little confidence in myself on all four laps when it came to this one, but it was very cool and very challenging.
The course continued on and around another vineyard and after a brief sprint came to an eight foot wall obstacle, the right side of the wall had no rope or foot slots so it was much more of a challenge and I was able to do this one on my laps. The course continued on and I believe the next obstacle was another Ninja Warrior type/inspired obstacle as it was very short slanted walls that required racers to hop/jump/run across them much like the challenge that is typically the first obstacle/challenge on the Ninja Warrior course for the first level.
The course went on another brief trail sprint and came to a section that was just to the right of the road I used to get to the venue and the first obstacle on this section of the course was a reverse stairs obstacle that was another very much Ninja Warrior inspired type obstacle that you would typically see in the second round of the Ninja Warrior competitions.This was another very challenging obstacle that required strong upper body and shoulder strength to complete. A very short distance later came a box jump stairs obstacle that was also challenging and as well gave a good view of the course and vineyards while at the top. The course continued on the straight path with the road to the left of the racers and a short distance later came a wall traverse that was a nice challenge but very doable for just about every level of OCR racers.
The course now took a turn to the right and went on for a brief trail sprint and then crossed back over the road that racers crossed earlier in the course and then came to a slip-n-slide obstacle, I always find it hard to call a slip-n-slide an obstacle as they are just pure enjoyment. I did make a big mistake on the slip-n-slide on lap one, I went face first and the volunteers while I approached the slip-n-slide had just squirted a lot of dishwasher liquid on the slide and it got in my eyes and caused them to burn the rest of the day, I won’t make that mistake again (lol). A very short distance after came a rope climb which had both ropes with and without a knot and I was able to make my way up the knotless rope on all my laps. After the rope climb, the course went up a hill for a brief sprint and once at the top of the hill went for another short sprint that included an obstacle of tires to hop/run through. Just after the tires obstacle the course went back down the hill and came to a rope traverse over water, which I enjoyed the challenge and opportunity to dunk my body completely in the water each and every lap!
The course then continued for a brief sprint and came to a twenty five pound Wreck bag carry that went up a short distance hill and then back down. The course then went back up a small inclined hill and then turned and came to the last obstacle which was a slanted wall with rope climb. After the slanted wall climb, the course had one last brief sprint and came to the finish line!
I enjoyed the course and the obstacles a lot and even though most (if not almost all) of the course was in the direct sunlight I was able to deal with the hot sun for four laps and around twelve miles. The course clearly was designed as described to be a Ninja Warrior inspired type course and that made for fun, challenging, and unique obstacles.
The schwag was a nice finisher shirt, a very stylish finisher medal, and also included a cool car window sticker!
Everything was awesome from the weather to the course and I had a great time. I hope to see Samurai Sprint continue to grow and put on more events with a few more new and unique obstacles each time. I look forward to the next Samurai Sprint event/race and hope others do as well.
I have to close with the best part of the race/event by mentioning that Samurai Sprint so far has raised over $3000 for the charity Nest Rescue Center and they may receive a company match which would raise the totals significantly! In addition to the Nest Rescue Center, Robb McCoy (race director of F.I.T. CHALLENGE) offered to give $500 to a local charity for any New England Spahtens that ran additional laps. Samurai Sprint race director Stephen Ferreira matched the $500, so $1000 is being given to the local charity Suicide Prevention Center of Greater New Bedford.
Overall event rating:
The course was fun, challenging, and unique. The festival area was also good times and filled with family and friends smiling and having a blast. The schwag is top notch and I am happy to add the medal to my collection. I am rating the event a 4.9 stars out of 5.
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