The annual Blizzard Blast race has quickly become the unofficial start to the new OCR season in the New England area. Now in its fifth year, the winter-themed race, created by the local Smith Fest entertainment company, has consistently been highly regarded with fun and challenging obstacles. After spending the last couple years at a local golf course, they decided to move the race back to its original location at the Shedd Park and Fort Hill area of Lowell, MA.
For the past several years, the popular BoldrDash racing series has been a staple in Rhode Island. This year, they decided to try a new venue at Rocky Point Park located on the Narragansett Bay. The iconic spot was once a beloved amusement park until it closed down back in 1995. BoldrDash is hoping to breathe some life into the area once again and help rekindle old memories.
Muckfest MS has consistently produced quality events for the past three years. Billed as a fun run, it appeals mainly to OCR-newbies but also to anyone looking to have a very good time. The racing series is primarily a fundraising event for Multiple Sclerosis with 100% of the fundraising dollars supporting the worthy cause.
F.I.T. Challenge has been on the New England scene for a few years now. The popular local series offers both spring and fall versions of its race and recently held their sixth event. I've missed the last few races in the series but based on the glowing reviews from previous events, I was excited to see how they've grown and improved.
In the quest to complete my first Spartan Trifecta, I knew there was only one race worthy of the accomplishment. Thankfully, living in New England, we are close enough to head up Vermont, the birthplace of Spartan Race, for the always challenging Killington Beast. I attended last year's race and barely survived the 10-hour ass kicking that it delivered.
The Reebok Spartan Race returned to New England for the Sprint version of their famous racing series. For me personally, the buzz that usually surrounds a Spartan weekend just wasn’t there. A couple months earlier, they brought the first even Super to the area and held it at a brand new venue, a local dairy farm in Central Massachusetts.
After patiently waiting years for Spartan Race to bring their Super event to New England, we were finally rewarded. We were close last year with a pre-registration for the event but it never materialized. However, many New Englanders were thrilled when one showed up on this year’s schedule. Along with the Vermont Beast and the Fenway Park/Boston Sprints scheduled for later in the year, it was our first opportunity to add that elusive blue pizza slice to our multi-colored all New England Trifecta medals.
The Bonefrog Challenge recently returned for the third year to the New England area and I had the privilege to attend the event for the first time. The regional race, created by Navy SEALs and appropriately held on Armed Forces Day each year, was developed to test athletes to move beyond their comfort zones and push themselves both physically and mentally. With a course that boasts over 50 obstacles and 10 miles of rugged, mountainous terrain, it definitely accomplishes this goal in spades. The aptly named race is truly a challenge and requires athletes to be functionally fit to complete the course.
For the third consecutive spring, Muckfest returned to the New England area. After a long and snowy winter, the national race series has quickly become the unofficial start to the obstacle race season for many runners. They remain one of the few races that are popular enough to successfully span over both weekend days. Along with being an entertaining event, the primary focus of Muckfest is to raise money and awareness for Multiple Sclerosis, with 100% of the team fundraising dollars supporting the charity.
I was excited to finally get back into the flow with Blizzard Blast, the winter-inspired obstacle race created by SmithFest Events. Now in its third year, the race series has quickly become an annual tradition marking the beginning of the new OCR season in New England.