This is my review of a race I've been hearing good things about for quite some time now. This past Saturday I thought I'd take a trip out to Irvine Lake to see what all the fuss was around Terrain Race. I got there about 7am and was pleased to see the parking was situated right near the entrance!!! No buses, no hiking, just a hop, skip and jump and right there and I'm in.
The festival area was set up nicely and plenty of benches for people to sit on and open space to move around. I toured the area and made my way to the starting line. The starting pools are indeed a unique way to start a race. The MC really got the competitors hyped up in the pools and excitement filled the air on a beautiful morning.
The only downside to being out in the fresh countryside was no cell service. So my goal of keeping people posted on the elite race real time was not going to happen. But let me tell you, the men's and women's races came down to the next to last obstacle, the extended monkey bars over a pool of water. The old adage of it's never over until it's over, was in full effect. The leaders on both sides had tough luck on the monkey bars opening the door for the runners in 2nd position. They took advantage of it and their tenacity of never giving up paid off with come from behind wins.
I then ventured out on the 5K course to get a feel of what the competitors went through. Granted at a leisure stroll. The course was pretty flat except for a small incline a half mile in. The obstacles were spaced out nicely and not too far apart. The rope climb wasn't too high, but other obstacles made up for it. The water pit was cool in the fact the it was pretty deep. Up to most people's chests. A few obstacles away were the Tarzan Swing. It was 4 ropes spread apart from one another where you really had to put some effort into reaching the next one. This one got a lot of people. That was until they got to the multi-rig. The elites went to the right side which was a little harder than the left side. Then people's grip strength was tested again on the longer than normal monkey bars, then balance beam, to cargo net, to fireman's pole drop and sprint to the finish.
The medals are one of the coolest I've seen. Why a monkey, I don't know, but I love it. Another thing I liked was their merchandise tent. I am a shopper and I loved what they had to offer.
Overall it’s a great race for those just starting OCR, going as groups and the elite racer as well. The course set up lulls you into thinking it’s a runners race, but the course designers sneak up on you and really tax your grip strength in the end with their last few obstacles and make you earn your victory. The event was very well attended and is very reasonably priced. It’s definitely a race I’d like to try out next year if I can. So if any of you out there were on the fence about trying this race, take the jump and do this race. You won’t be disappointed.
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