Viking Obstacle Race obstacle races, mud run, and OCR information, distance, cost, dates, calendar, discounts, obstacles, reviews, and more
The new Viking Obstacle Course is designed for racing and training -on your own or with guides. The course is available for corporate groups and teams who want a place to stay and train.
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Viking Obstacle Race Reviews from the Community
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A bad drop in quality
The short version : I think they ran out of money and the quality of the race dropped to a shocking degree.
The long version : Up until this year the course was amazing, festival area was best ever, and they were organized and staffed to a pro level.
Well, while the course itself is still absolute top notch, and the finisher award is now a really nice glass with the logo (better than a medal), I was shocked to see how the rest was now among the worst I have ever seen in any race.
1. The race for us regular folks in the open and charity waves is NO LONGER TIMED. Yep, no timing chip, just look at the clock and guesstimate.
2. Despite the RD promising to post finisher list ( to record on Athlinks), and me sending 2 requests to them thru their Facebook page, nada. So no proof that the regular runners were ever there, oh they posted the elites and ultra runners though.
3. Staffing was very very minimal, and the kids manning one obstacle were more occupied with playing on it then doing their jobs. You could see the RD was overloaded with the work and zipping from one are to another on a golf cart.
4. On the 5.5 mile course there was just one water station. Previous years there were 2 or 3.
5. At the end, previous years there was FOOD, great food, chefs making big meals. Well that is over now, there was literally nothing for food at the end except grabbing a few M&M's but that was reserved for the Ultra runners. And no water either. I know that the ultra runners self-support, but the regular people ? Not even a protein bar and a water ? Even a local 5k is better than that.
6. The shower area is a absolute disgrace. There were 3 outside shower stalls, only 2 of which worked. And NO CHANGING TENTS ! We had to change inside the shower stalls. Which are really just tarps on frames that do not close all the way.
7. They went cheaper on the shirts this year. Used to be quality tech shirts, now is standard cotton, but it still looks nice.
8. There used to be a bag check to secure your gear. Not anymore. I guess they figured that as most were elite or ultra they needed to have quick access to their gear so everything was just out on tables under the pavilion.
In summation: I am really disappointed in how the race has gone down in quality. I love the course itself, but the rest went from amazing to awful.
I woke up at 4:45 (was coming from Jersey) to get there in time for the elite heat. Parking was free and close. The venue was easy to find. Registration was okay. The volunteers needed to be reminded of things like handing out wrist bands. Regardless, it was quick.
There were probably only 10 of us running the elite female heat. If that. I paid to run two laps; single lappers and double lappers started at the same time.
The beginning of the race was good. Our pack slowly spread out. It had rained the night before and was still drizzling a bit when we ran, which added a degree of difficultly. Not necessarily a bad thing.
I have to say that the obstacles were great. Super challenging. If you take the walls or monkey bars or whatever from a Spartan or Tough Mudder and multiply their degree of difficulty, you'll get Greenville's obstacles.
That being said, the obstacles are there all year round. If you're looking to just challenge yourself, you can just hop on the course. There's no need to pay $95 and leave your house at 5 AM.
The issue with this race started at their version of the Z-walls. At the beginning of the race, the organizer said that if we fell on the Z-wall, we would have to restart from the beginning of that section. Not from the beginning of the entire obstacle. The volunteers apparently did not get that memo. At this point, we had caught up to some of the guys who were struggling on the Z-wall. I witnessed a volunteer be extremely rude to a male participant who explained that we had been told we could start at the section. There was a lack of communication between the event organizers and the volunteers.
Just after, we made our way to the monkey bars. Keep in mind it was raining and their monkey bars are tough as is with a steep, steep incline. Myself and the other women leading the pack fell on each attempt and were told we were DQed. There was no penalty offered. Just DQed. No burpees, running, etc. Just bye bye.
Once again, there was poor communication with the volunteers. Though the online rules said elite runners could have unlimited chances to get through an obstacle, the volunteers took our bib numbers after our third fall and DQed us.
With the exception of 2 women, the entire elite female heat was DQed.
When I went to check my times the next day, I hadn't even been timed for the second lap that I had payed for. Not sure if this was related to the DQ or a logistics issue. I'm happy I had my watch on me.
Lunch was provided, but there was no vegetarian option so I left. There also was no awards ceremony. Or maybe I missed it while I was out running my second lap. But it wasn't announced. Also, the top 3 male and female finishers running double laps were supposed to received awards according to the online rules. In that case, I think I should have heard something. Doesn't matter, though, as I was DQed!
All in all, the course is awesome. But the logistics of the race need some work. What's the point in paying for a competitive heat if, A- you're not being timed, and B- you're just getting DQed because it's raining.
I'll be back, but to run the course on my own. I don't really see the point in paying for this race.
Hard race, impressive course
Forgive the late late review, but I was getting ready to sign up for this year's race and decided to take a gander at MRG reviews and found a single 2017 entry that was sparse on helpful info.
First, not to denigrate Mat's entry, but that is a merchandising issue/complaint for the most part. Not of any help as a race info review.
The location is a golf resort, yes a golf resort. Evidently the owner is a OCR nut :) and made a year-round permanent course in the wooded and swamp areas on the grounds. And it is a beautiful sight to see.
Parking : was on grounds, all withing a short walk of start. AND they had the employees shuttling you anyway with the big golf jitneys, damn nice.
Festival: run by employees I think, just the registration tent, merch tent and the picnic area. A bit sparse on porta-potties but there was the golf shop bathroom as well. Get there early to ensure no shirt issues (see other review). Think "local event" type, but they don't need sponsors cause the owner is shelling out for it.
Bag check: they did it better this year. Bags were in a small shack, and staffed by an employee. Secure.
Start: easy to find, was within sight of festival area.Waves were organized.
Obstacles: Oh boy talk about tough. I hear the owner brought in a professional OCR designer and must have said to "go nuts, spare no expense". Z-walls 4x longer than Spartan, monkey bars flat/up/down/flat.. those ate many elite bands. Giant ramps you could drive a car up, then a 25 foot muddy rope to slide down. These notched square logs hanging vertical from ropes to climb up, near gelded myself coming down lol. And the gals will appreciate the 3 balance beam obstacles. Oh, and one was about 20 logs long snaking thru the forest.. with guys doing burpees all along in the dirt and gals laughing at us from above.
Near every obstacle was cranked up to 11. This is also a OCRWC qualifier race, so it is a premier event.
The course: You will be wiped out by the end. Mostly forest winding around the resort, some decent slopes mixed in. They ran us thru every mud and water/swamp/stream they had, helped a lot with the summer heat. Occasionally we skirted the golf greens and could see the golfers gaping at the stream of muddy crazy people going by. Funny as hell. NOTE - parts of the course have shale underfoot. Be VERY mindful of your ankles !!! As a matter of fact, tape them with Rocktape to prevent inward rolls.
Water stations: Plenty. Staffed by employees, with golf carts running jugs of ice cold water out to them nonstop. You will not need a hydration pack.
Turnout: There were only a about 300 people there. This is one of those hidden gems that do not advertise like the big races.
Finish: Nice medals, wood, they stand out from the stamped metal ones.
NOW THE FOOD - best I have ever had, seriously. 30 feet from the finish there is a big picnic table area under a open side roof structure. They have the staff cooks making the food there. Burgers, hot dogs, pasta, salad, beans, soda, chips, and beer. All you can eat. 5 min after finish I was chilling out with a sizzling cheesburger and a coke watching others run in to finish.
The negatives: Just that the showers were kinda chintzy. Only 3, and they were one person at a time. And the changing tents were just a tarp thing hanging down that you couldn't close. Only 2 and were one person at a time. So they need to have more showers ( just do hoses like Spartan and TM). And 2 real changing tents, male and female.
Summary: I am going again, no question. I really recommend this race. But you will have to be on your A-game. Lots of upper body strength needed.
Decent course, absolutely horrible customer service
Ran the event last year. It was nice that it was only maybe a few hundred people. The obstacles were average to decent at best.
On the flip side, the customer service was pitiful. I ordered a shirt that would've been an XL or 2XL, and when I got the shirt in the envelope, it was a medium. I have emailed them for over a year now, and occasionally got a response delaying a new shirt being sent out. Quite often, I would flat out be ignored. Now a year later, I still don't have a finishers shirt that fits. And they have the nerve to now tell me they don't have any and don't want to print out one because it would cost too much, when they screwed up in the first place.
The reason I would like the finishers shirt that I very much earned was because I sprained my ankle 1/2 mile into the 5 mile race, and still finished after hobbling the next 4 1/2 miles. I would love to wear it proudly, but honestly, the staff behind this race don't deserve the positive attention anymore, and don't deserve your business. Please avoid them. I have done 25+ mud runs in the last 5 years or so, and this is by FAR the worst experience I have ever had with any mud run company. Please do yourself a favor and find an alternative to this race.
A Hidden Gem
DIFFICULTY = Intermediate
PARKING = A
Parking was onsite and free. The walk was a little long (5 minutes) but if you didn’t feel like walking, there was a complimentary shuttle.
FESTIVAL = C
This was on a resort. If you ignore all of the resort features (boating, golfing, etc.), the actual festival consisted of 5 vendor tents and the eating area (it was pretty small). There was a DJ.
BAG CHECK = B
Bag check was free and unsecure. So unsecure that the staff moved our bags without telling us.
STARTING LINE = F
Finding the starting line might be impossible if someone didn’t tell me or the staff didn’t yell the wave time out. They had the “line” on the ground for the timing chip and an 8x11 sign in the grass that said START. The sign wasn’t high and it touched the grass (making it 8” high).
COURSE LAYOUT = B
Great obstacle spacing and great terrain including grass, woods, dirt, rocks, mud, pavement, boulders, hills, water, and logs. I actually considered the terrain to be kind of flat (it appeared that it was on a mountain but it wasn’t). The variety kept it interesting and the giant boulders on the course were used as a path so you had to climb over them. I would normally give this an A rating but the path was not roped off with tape or rope. Instead, they used yellow arrows. We went off course twice during this race. They need to rope/tape it off or add more arrows.
OBSTACLES = A
35 obstacles total. Some were the usual (crawl, walls, spider webs) but some were new. They had the longest traverse wall I have ever done (integrated into it was a balance beam) as well as the longest balance beam I have ever done (integrated into this was a rope traverse). Upper body, balance, and obstacle height were factors. A lot of the obstacles were high up (you climbed up very high or you climbed down from a very high position). The harder obstacles were upper body based (monkey bars, rope climbs). A lot of the obstacles required balance (balance beams and logs to balance on were everywhere).
Best Obstacle = inclined ramp with rope descend
Worst Obstacle = boulder path
WATER STATIONS = D
3 water stations (no food) in 5.5 miles. 2 stations had well water which tasted gross if you are not used to it.
FINISH LINE = A
There is a final obstacle, an arch (with the word VIKING made out of wood), a crowd, and a timer.
SHOWERING/CHANGING = A
They had a hose, real showers on a platform, and a changing tent (it was a coed tent).
SWAG = A
They provide a wooden medal, a dri-fit shirt, and a free lunch. Yes, I said a free lunch. You get to attend this picnic bbq area where you get all-you-can-eat burgers, hot dogs, potato chips, macaroni salad, coleslaw, baked beans, salad, ice cream, push up pops, beer, soda, coffee, and a fixings station. The best part is that spectators can attend it too (for free) and there is no spectators fee.
Viking Obstacle is a great hidden gem race. For a lower budget race (compared to Spartan and Tough Mudder), they really don’t appear that way. They are the complete opposite of “nickel and diming” races and go a step further with the free lunch. The layout is great and the obstacles are even better. If you get a chance to head up there, stay at a hotel near the resort (the resort rooms are a fortune). Definitely a must do race before you retire.