Goliathon XIII TTOD almost didn’t happen for me last weekend.  The original event was cancelled last year for obvious reasons.  We all ended up staying inside to navigate some entirely new obstacles in life.

No, I almost didn’t go because my twenty-year-old son and I raced the Savage Blitz the day before.  Never in my OCR career have I done back-to-back events.  But I took my fifty-nine-year-old body and my wife along as my photographer and off we went.  My son stayed home, claiming HE was too beat up from Savage.  Now there’s a twist.

These boots are great for recovery. MRG contributor Evan Perperis turned me on to these

TTOD is a lead-up event to the real thing.  Goliathon XIII is scheduled for June 5.  TTOD gives participants the opportunity to try obstacles before event day.  Shake out the nerves.  Try techniques.

This time we spent about a half hour each on Balancing Act, Slippery Wall Monkey, Over the Moon, Ninja Killer, Hangman, and Arachnophobia.    For those of you new to Goliathon, here are the basics beyond the very distinct and accurate names.  Each obstacle has three levels of difficulty.  On TTOD, you can try them all.  On event day, you choose only one per obstacle.  The more difficult it is, the more points you can earn.  If you succeed at the most difficult level on all twelve obstacles, you earn the distinction of the David award.  This is incredibly difficult to do as I have shared with you before in other reviews.

Luck was on my side this day.  Sure I had some stumbles.  But I did succeed on all the things I tried.  That felt really good.  Some of them I was not able to do the last few times I went to this event.  That’s why TTOD exists.  To try.  To fail.  To succeed. To improve.  So that on game day you get more points.

The point of this event is water.  Goliathon is a mission, not a race.  Points are earned for obstacle completion.  There is no timing involved.  No running necessary.  Net proceeds go towards getting clean drinking water to peoples around the world whose life obstacles include access to such things we take for granted.  To remind participants of this, the first obstacle is always a water carry.  It can be very heavy.  A few years ago the mission mindset was further reinforced with a t-shirt color reminiscent of cool, clear water.  The finisher medal of the same color was shaped like a water drop.

What makes these obstacles so hard?  Here’s a few examples.  On Balancing Act, you cannot touch anything yellow and of course you cannot fall off.  The yellow don’t touch rule is common to every obstacle on the course.

Touching yellow is out of bounds!

Slippery Wall Monkey is full of misdirection and instability.  Many times I’ve lost this obstacle as I hit the dead zone on the floating monkey bars.  Momentum is required here.

Keep up the momentum or face a dead zone

Over the Moon is a standard warped wall.  I have a feeling they’ll make it taller one year just to keep up with ANW.  My legs were plenty tired from Savage the day before.  I couldn’t even do the easy wall.  Sigh.

Three levels of difficulty – Blue = G3 = hardest; Orange = G2 = Medium; Green = G1 = Easiest

Ninja Killer debuted the first year I did Goliathon.  This is one that got spruced up a bit since last time.  New tires sunk into the ground just a wee bit further apart.  I fell on my first attempt but then learned a new trick by observing one guy doing something I had not considered.  He and his family are deep into the NNL thing so I trusted his technique and it worked.

A perfect 3-point landing

Hangman is always fun and challenging.  I thought about trying the hardest level this year.  But after watching that same NNL guy think twice and then do two full release leaps from just crazy footings, my tired body correctly told me to try another day.

Feet can't touch the ground when down low

Arachnophobia was the latest debut obstacle.  They introduced slacklines.  Two years ago it was actually my friend John who figured out the two line slide technique.  On game day, I’m sure I’ll get the points for this obstacle.

Do the slack line slide!

Off in the distance, a massive construction of scaffolding was underway.  We all wanted to know if it was the new location for Circus Maximus.  Nope.  It’s a temporary setup for NNL.  ESPN will televise the event which will start after Goliathon is done for the day.  Nobody seemed to know if it was an obstacle, a TV camera tower, or what.  But it was huge.  And they were excited.  Goliathon participants get to hang around and watch the NNL event for free.

Register here for Goliathon XIII.  As always, the staff and support of Goliathon are first class.  Everything is Covid compliant for safety of both participants and spectators.  For keeping up with the tough times, for maintaining a very consistent, outstanding OCR experience all these years, and for delivering once again precious water to people who didn’t need Covid to add to their woes, Mud Run Guide awards Goliathon five of five stars for TTOD XIII.

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Rating: 5/5


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