Every year since I have become an OCR Junkie there are several races that I do every year and then I decide to try at least 2 different racing series that I have not yet done before. This year the first new one that I tried was the Savage Race and I will say that I will definitely do this race again! The venue I chose was held in Albrightsville, PA which was approximately 90 minutes away. Since I had not tried this one before, I decided to run this one as a team and not focus on time but rather enjoying some new obstacles that were different that ones I had tried before. A few days prior to the race, I checked the event website and they listed all of the obstacles and course map and even had a few informative videos about some of their signature obstacles that were fun to watch.
On race day, I met up with my team and we headed to the event. Our start time was 9:20 and we arrived early since we were not sure what to expect from this venue. Upon arrival parking and check in were rather simple and easy to find and get through. Once in the festival area we stopped at one of the many picnic tables out to put on our bibs, sunblock, drink my Beetelite and take a few pre-race photos. After that, we went to check our bags, only a few feet away and soon we were off to the starting corral.
The very first obstacle was an entry wall that you climbed over before entering the starting corral. Once in there, the announcers did a great job of getting the racers pumped up, had us lock arms and jump up and down, meet racers around us, and even had someone body surf through the crowd. We took a knee and after a few words were said, we were standing, chanting, and on our way through the thick blue smoke over the starting line. The next obstacle was barn doors and shortly after that was one of their signature obstacles, Shriveled Richard which is a dumpster full of ice water that you have to jump in and go underwater and out the other side. I have done a similar obstacle a few times, Arctic Enema at Tough Mudder but because the temperature was not freezing, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be, but it was still freezing!
A few more obstacles later we arrived at another one of their signature obstacles, Sawtooth. This one is a series of monkey bars that go up and down and up and down with one really high bar that most people that fail this obstacle do so at this point according to the website. It definitely was quite tricky, but I successfully completed this obstacle. Next it was on to one of the new obstacles for 2016, On the Fence, where you had to climb a series of fence sections laterally over water. After successfully completing that obstacle we went through a series of barbed wire, crawls, climbs, and even a high cliff type jump at Davy Jones’ Locker into some pretty cold water followed by an inverted wall.
Next signature obstacle up was the SavageRig, a series of rings, ropes, and metal poles that you had to hand and climb across without touching the floor until you reached the bell at the end. I successfully made it across all components but when I stopped on the pole to take a photo, I slid a little down the metal pole and it became a real challenge to reach the bell after that. Immediately following was a really fun obstacle, the Teeter Tuber. This was a corrugated black pipe that you climbed up, then halfway it slammed down to the ground, just like if someone jumped off the other side of a teeter totter and you just slid down the tube. I came out hysterical laughing as I slid out right onto the grass.
Two obstacles later was the new Pole Cat and that was a little nerve wracking as you felt like you were going to face plant into the pole or fall if you made one false move. After that was Lumberjack Lane where you grabbed a piece of wood and carried it around a small area, up some stairs and back down again. Next was the Great Wall and Wheel World, which on the video looked like something that would be on American Ninja Warrior and pretty difficult. These wheels moved so not only did you have to hold on and climb across, but you had to find a way to swing around so you can get in a position to grab the next one and so on until you reached the other side. I was so happy when I completed this obstacle and really enjoyed this one.
The last two obstacles were Blazed, the fire jump, and Colossus, which was a high quarter pipe that had ropes you could grab onto and help climb up and then once on the platform, you climbed up a ladder to the top of a slide. The slide was so much fun going down, but unfortunately I didn’t get a picture of me coming down that one to share. After that it was a short sprint to the finish line where we received our medals and finisher shirts.
Overall I really enjoyed this race. The obstacles were a great balance of challenging and fun. You definitely needed a little more upper body strength for this one, which I enjoyed because I have been working hard on building my upper body strength up. Unfortunately I do have one issue with this race; the water stations had full 16 oz. bottles of Poland Spring water that they were handing out. At a finish line I can completely understand handing out full water bottles, but I just felt that at a water station where you only need a little water, this was overall wasteful both in water and created so much extra plastic waste. One good thing was the volunteers offered to give you the cap if you wanted to carry it, but then I thought of the inconsiderate people that would grow tired carrying it and liter on the grounds. I did not see too many bottles, but I was an early wave so I hope that most people did not dump the empty bottles anywhere else but in the waste cans. My only other suggestion would be for them to carry some stock of XS attire as the small shirt is pretty big on me.