Bonefrog Challenge is a smaller race brand hosting events up and down the east coast. I recently got a chance to attend their race on June 8th in Stanhope, New Jersey. I lucked out with the weather being in the low 80's that day. The sun was shining and not a cloud in the sky.
Bonefrog Challenge offers 3 different length races: A 3 mile Sprint, 6 mile Challenge, and 9 mile Tier 1. As a fourth option, there is an Endurance course that is 1 lap of the 6 Mile Challenge followed by unlimited laps of the 3 mile Sprint in a set time. New this year is the Bonefrog Trident. This is earned by completing all three distances over a calendar year. Unlike other brands, Bonefrog offers chance to push yourself and achieve this in one day. That was my goal for the day.
The Trident runners start time was 8:15 am. This is even before the elite racers start off. We had two time cutoffs for finishing each race distance. We started with the 6 mile Challenge, then the 9 mile Tier 1, then the 3 mile Sprint. You had till 11:00 am for the Challenge, and till 2:00 pm to start your Sprint.
I found these to be very reasonable goals for the event. As long as you kept a 20 or so minute pace that could be accomplished by most of those who had signed up. It is still 18 miles and 100 obstacles though which makes it not for everyone. It will wear you down as the day goes on.
A few other things that I noticed about the event were for those who chose to run Endurance or 1 day Trident. They have a tent area for gear. You also area allowed to leave the course. This is not the norm. They also had placed the bathrooms very close to the start line. It might not have been something they thought of when laying out the fairgrounds, but it was convenient . They joked at the start we could go to the bar down the street as long as we hit our cut off times.
This was my first ever Bonefrog adult race. I had attended 2018 with friends and let my daughter run but I had never attempted it myself. I enjoyed the obstacles that they offered. The penalties for open races varies which is also nice. Push ups, jumping jacks, and burpees are the three go to things.
They had a good variety of grip, coordination, and strength based obstacles. They also have fitness stations which is one thing they are know for. Between every rep you shout out the name of a fallen soldier on a sign in front of you. They also had tradition obstacles like vertical walls, cargo nets, and an army crawl.
I loved black op and chopper. I have always been a rig fan. Both seem to be staple obstacles of the race. They also were the only two with photographers at them for the day.
My Final Thoughts:
I would have to give it a 4 out of 5 because of a few small things and one big thing. Many volunteers shifts had ended before we finished lap 2 of the Challenge. This meant no one was there. This became a problem as water stations were running out. Or if you got hurt no one could call for help. The lack of photographers is a bit sad, but unlike other brands this is a smaller company and I knew going into the event to not expect as many photos. But this is a heads up for others, as many I know do care about this.
The biggest thing for me were the obstacles. They are enjoyable and fun but could be safer. I chose 25 push once, and got help the second time. It was placed on a rough rocky uneven road. There also was no safety mats or padding anywhere. Only Black Ops had any sort of safety measures that I can remember. I saw many fall from rigs with minor injuries that some mats would have potentially solved. That was the biggest thing that stuck with me from the day.
It is a great race brand with a wonderful purpose. I would suggest everyone goes and tries it out. It will challenge you in different ways they other brands.
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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.
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