ucked away in North Vernon, IN is Muscatatuck Park (http://muscatatuckpark.com). Muscatatuck Park is almost perfectly centrally located between Indianapolis (1 hr 20 min south/southeast), Cincinnati (1 hr 30 min northwest), and Louisville (1 hr north). Known for it’s bouldering, rock climbing (yes, even in Indiana), mountain biking, and trails, the terrain at Muscatatuck Park is a perfect choice for an OCR. If camping or kayaking is your thing, Muscatatuck Park has this too. It’s an all-around treasure for outdoor activities.
Tame the Terrain (www.tametheterrain.com) is a 4 Mile OCR consisting of approximately 25 obstacles. Do not expect much, if any, flat terrain. You’ll be running on trails up & down hills the entire time when not negotiating obstacles. Expect windy treks through dense woods as you run through this maze of pain. When rating this course, 1 will be the lowest rating for a category and 5 will be the highest.
Tame the Terrain is conducted the 3rd Saturday of June each year. Parking is at the venue for a $10 fee. Registration is well-staffed, quick, and efficient. As a perk, bag check, spectators and pictures are all FREE. For the ease of registration and free perks, I’d rate the registration a 5.
While many obstacles in are pretty similar to other OCRs, expect some unique obstacles to Tame the Terrain. A new twist on the rope climb is the Tree Climb: either climb the rope like normal or use the rope to help you walk 30-40+ feet up a tree to ring a bell. The Rock Wall climb starts by using a rope (or free climb) up a 10-15 foot vertical rock face. Once up the rock, get ready to use that rope to scale up a very steep and high hill. While there are balance beams towards the end of the race, you get to face the Tree Crossing: balance on a downed tree spanning a ravine and get across (btw, don’t look down). You will also have a few strength obstacles.
If you want to prepare for Tame the Terrain, it’s time to find some local trail races. Since Muscatatuck Park is the home of several trail, mountain bike, and adventure races each year, a good bit of the Tame the Terrain OCR is conducted on established trails. To prepare for Tame the Terrain, I recommend running the trails in your local state and city parks and stopping for calisthenics during the run. If you suffer from “Flat Lander’s Disease”, Tame the Terrain will be a rude awakening. I give the terrain a 5.
The entry fee for Tame the Terrain is well-prices. Expect a nice finisher’s medal, high quality racing shirt, free pics, and free bag check. Before discounts, entry fees range from $45-$65. The price includes insurance, but there is a $3.00 processing fee. Parking is $10. Spectators and pictures are free. There is also a “Tamers-in-Training” kid’s race for $20-$25.
To summarize, Tame the Terrain presented a good combination of insane up & downhill terrain along with some of our favorite obstacles. For an overall rating of an OCR, Tame the Terrain deserves a 4. Tame the Terrain is more challenging than your entry-level OCR, but does not require the upper-body strength of Spartan Race or the distance running of Tough Mudder. I describe Tame the Terrain as a mid-level OCR. If you would like just a good race or turn this race into a complete outdoors weekend at Muscatatuck Park, Tame the Terrain is a good race to consider for the race calendar.