As we roll into 2021 and races resume, many people are hesitant about signing up for events. After all there was a string of cancellation and postponements from many brands in 2020. However, several brands in the US including Savage Race and FIT Challenge in the eastern part of the US and in the Midwest Conquer The Gauntlet (five events, one less than 2019) and KC Timber Challenge (four events, also one less than 2019) have managed to consistently put on races through 2020. KC Timber has several events at their property, here is a quick rundown, some suggestions on what event you may want to choose or details if you want to attend them all:
Yeti 5k: There are very few OCRs anywhere in the nation in January, even if there was a lot, I would still recommend coming out to my favorite event they hold for the year. Running through the snow and doing obstacles is a ton of fun. Plus, you’ll love the final obstacle, a car that you get to hit with a sledgehammer. Although not a competitive event (i.e. they don’t keep track time or placement), the opportunity to hit a car before everyone else destroys it is a prize worth running in the first wave and putting out max effort. Check out the video below which featured the Yeti as the final day of OCR America 2, which raised $7500+ for the charity Folds of Honor.
Timber Challenge aka The OG Timber Challenge: 5k of OCR that runs through most of the obstacles on their property including everyone’s favorite part of the course, the zip line. Those looking just to have a good time will love this one and those who are more competitive can run this event hard as great preparation for the Extreme Timber Challenge (XTC). Personally I found my transitions in/out of obstacles and running speed on the course improved substantially because I had practiced it enough times during the OG Timber Challenge.
Wild Women’s Timber Challenge: Don’t let the name scare you off, Wild Women’s Timber Challenge is a women’s only event…but men are allowed only if they run in drag. When Stoke Shed’s Bobby Ross filmed the event last year he commented to me “This was the easiest event to shoot because everyone was having a great time, all of the time.” Many of the obstacles have multiple difficulty lanes ensuring the athlete in your group of friends can push themselves but also the female running her first OCR will still have fun. This event is great for ladies looking to get into OCR in a friendly environment or a friendly reminder to the men not to take things too seriously.
Family Timber Challenge: Most kids events are really short and then it usually jumps to adult length OCRs (5k and up). Family Timber Challenge is a nice stepping stone with a 2 mile course with a lot of their fun obstacles including the zip line and low rig. Most obstacles have special adjustments for kids allowing any age to have fun. I took my five year old here last year and she loved it, despite skipping several of the more challenging obstacles (Read about it here, Running OCR with my Five Year Old).
XTC (Extreme Timber Challenge): This is their only competitive event for the year and an OCR World Championships qualifying event (one of two that typically occurs in Kansas). If you aren’t competitive don’t worry, only the first wave of the day is timed. The rest of the waves have the same friendly atmosphere as their normal events but with a little more mileage and basically all available obstacles on the course. If you want to experience all of KC Timber’s obstacles, then you definitely need to head to this event.
Regardless of why you are involved in the sport, from competitive to “I’m just here because this is something to do on the weekend”, you’ll find that KC Timber Challenge has a place for you. What I was most surprised with after doing all their events in a single year in 2020 was how different each one felt. Despite covering parts of the same terrain and some of the same obstacles you could really tell the difference between each of these. Besides being home to arguably the best permanent OCR venue in the country, KC Timber is also home to high adventure zip lines (which stretches over a cumulative mile, Zip KC) and haunted woods experience in October called Exiled. Stop by for a race and stick around for one of their other events, you’ll love it.