I think I found a great little race to add to your October race list that will not only satisfy your racing urge but may also satisfy the full sports experience you desire.
Make sure you check out the Acre Breaker Adventure Race in Manheim PA. The Acre Breaker race provides a great experience in a smaller loop course to give the racer and the race viewers a really fun experience. The course is on about an acre or so of land, but a number of obstacles and the running trail that is the course were a great surprise as I moved through the terrain. They packed quite a bit of challenges throughout the course, but some obstacles may need some adjustment due to the awkward entry and exit (the hay bale tunnels were knocked over by racers coming out too quickly at the end of the tunnel), or just to prevent any major injuries (jumping off the one cliff may cause injury).
But overall the course had some great challenges and made me have to work through the obstacles without thinking about how long they were going to take to complete. The sandbag carry was a fun challenge, with about 4 up and down sections to complete, followed by a nice cold dip in the local creek. From there I enjoyed the varied obstacles, with some I was very familiar with (bucket carry, tire flip, barbed wire crawl) to others that I haven't seen before (water filled barrel roll, fence traverse, steel balance beam with water jug) that kept me thoroughly entertained and challenged throughout the course. There were also lots of little-wooded areas that were used as simple up and down obstacles that kept you having to pay full attention as you work through the course. Another great part of the design was that some of the obstacles looped back so you could cheer on the next wave of racers coming through as you are heading toward the back end of the course.
Another great part of this race is you don't have to be in just the competitive wave to win one of the awards. They hand out an award to the top male and female in every heat throughout the day which are also some of the more unique awards I have come across. There is also a great cup to take home with you once you sample the great beer they have to sample.
To top it all off, not only is this ace a great race, it also is organized by the largest sports complex in North America. The Spooky Nooks Sports Complex has every training need you desire. From indoor climbing to basketball courts, to a video arcade to keep the young ones entertained, you will find it here. They even have a hotel and food court for you yo use to make your fitness experience complete. Make sure you check out their complete offerings here: http://www.spookynooksports.com/
Like – Absolutely loved the variation of basic obstacles to using the surrounding woods and brush to make the course challenging. Lots of familiar obstacles with just a bit different twist on them. A course set within an area that most people watching the race can see many of the racers completing the obstacles. Obstacles were challenging and evenly spread out. I liked the sandbag carry with the up and down path that kept you from estimating the end of the obstacle and carrying an actual fabric sandbag. Nice cold dip in the nearby stream with a challenging exit.
Dislike – Some obstacles may need to be adjusted for a number of racers (hay bale tunnels, wooden cable rolls, bucket carry) if the race becomes any larger or they may have some major backlogs. A couple spots in the wooded area could cause injury to racers not as adept to OCR racing. I did witness one racer fall jumping down the one area, which could cause issues if anyone does get a bad injury from the drop. One climb had limited areas to get a grip or traction that may prevent some racers from completing the climb. Also a little bit better marking of the start and finish.
Even with some small issues, I have to give the Acre Breaker a 4 out of 5. A really fun race!!