Name: Adam Witmer-Bosley
Event Details (parking, facilities, vendors, schwag, etc.):
This venue was at a Christian boys ranch. Parking was excellent, however I showed up early so I am not sure if anyone ran into any parking troubles. There was low turn out, but the presence of only two port-a-johns was relatively surprising and led to a lot of people using the woods instead of waiting in line. There weren’t any vendors present, however all participants did receive a small swag bag with a stick of deodorant and their finisher t-shirt. PowerAde was a sponsor, so every runner got some much needed electrolyte boost pre or post race (albeit a sugar filled one). As far as the event going along smoothly, it did. The volunteers and staff were excellent, and the medical staff (which I used for a dislocated shoulder) was extremely professional.
Event Name: Chestnut Mountain Mud Run
Race Details (length, obstacles, difficulty, etc.):
There was a 1 mile kids race that was set to start at 10 AM with the adult race to follow twenty minutes later. While everyone was pumped up and ready to run they stalled and stalled for reasons unknown. There was a long drawn out costume contest before the race, and the start times were delayed badly.
Distance was slated at 3.8 miles, but I am fairly certain it was much shorter, possibly borderline 3 miles. The terrain was fantastic. Beautiful rolling hills and some semi-steep inclines. At one point we came upon a small waterfall emptying into a natural pool at which point you could use the rocks as a water slide or jump off into the deep side. It ended up being a great tour of the ranch, and the director vowed that the race never follows the same paths.
Obstacles were few and far between and difficulty was minor. One 4 ft wall, one 9+ ft wall that was meant to be climbed like a ladder, a culvert crawl and culvert slide, a barbed wire style crawl under ropes, some nice thick mud in spots, water crossings,, and a great log carry up and down. The race culminated with a 3 flame fire jump and 200 + yard sprint to the finish. Other than that, the site hyped up quite a few other obstacles that simply weren’t there.
This race is advertised as a beginner level race, and definitely followed through. Being a small-time race slated as beginner level I had low expectations, but this race fulfilled them all and added some. Aside from a terrible bottleneck at the very beginning of the race, the entire course, staff, and participants were excellent and made for a great day.
Rating: 4 Stars (Great)
What would make this race better?:
-The directors should try to avoid delaying start times with costume contests, some of the “elite level” athletes were getting annoyed…as was I.
-The race began with a water crossing with all 300-ish participants crossing at once and coming out of the water to a single lane trail around the pond. The bottlenecks here were terrible. IMO simply starting the race 100-200 yards away would have eliminated this.
-While I understand that the race was to benefit their mission at the ranch, $65 entrance should bring with it some kind of bling, and advertising the bling would bring more participants
-Don’t advertise obstacles you won’t have. This is what sets the big guys apart from the little guys. Spartan and Savage would never advertise something that wasn’t there, but it seems that all of the little guy races I do are over-hyped in terms of obstacles. Post the ones you know you’ll have, and if you can add more, do so.
-One last thing, I feel like a course like this should have multiple heats with a max of 100 runners per heat. We only faced two bottlenecks, but the second was enough to ruin a good head of steam.
Overall, this race exceeded expectations. It was filled with great positive attitudes from everyone involved. I have my complaints…but who doesn’t. After all we are simply out to help the little guys improve, and they never will without good feedback. Would I run it again? In a heartbeat. Do I recommend any and all of Corn Fed to do it? Yes. I think with the venue, and the location that comes a little close to Corn Fed home territory we could partner with the ranch and do a good joint fundraising race for their ranch and All for Hope. I look forward to seeing a few more CFS at the next event, because I will be there. AROO!