West Chester, Ohio – August 3, 2013
I have debated on even giving this one the time of day: 1; to even run it and 2; to blog it. I first heard of this event last January and I contacted the organizer. It was quickly evident that this guy had no idea what he was doing and I’m not even sure if he had ever completed or attended an OCR. “2 miles and 50 obstacles is what I want to do.” WHAT?!?!?! Are you nuts? “$80 is the price and we aren’t going to budge on that.” He said he believed that “people want more obstacles and shorter distance”. After I caught my breath, my reaction was “you want people to pay $80 for a cluster****?” Nobody in their right mind will do this. I hung up and wrote this one off. Too bad, because it was only 6 miles of my house. The original date for Cincy Nation was the end of June and I was already booked on those days anyway. At some point, Cincy Nation was ‘postponed’ due to land-owner issues but was eventually rescheduled to 8/3 about 1 mile from the original location. No less than 2 months after talking to the organizer, there was a coupon out there for $40, which means he was only getting $20. If he would have listened to me in the beginning and only charged $40 ~ $50 in the beginning, he would have made a lot more money. In the meantime, Superhero Scramble had announced an event in Logan, Ohio ,also on 8/3, and that’s the one I decided to do. Inevitably, as is happening with many franchise OCR’s, Superhero cancelled and I was left with an open weekend. For fear of going through withdrawals, I found the $40 coupon and registered for Cincy Nation.
Packet pickup was Friday evening and all they had ready was a grocery bag with the t-shirt and the finisher’s dog tag in the bag. OCR Never-do’s Rule #1: Dog tags are a sure sign of cheap and shitty events. Additionally, there was no timing chip in the bag. Why would you have ‘packet’ pickup if you aren’t giving the timing chip? They stated we would have to get back in line Saturday morning to get the chip.
I decided to get there early Saturday morning and run the first wave for a competitive run. It was raining so that would help make the course more interesting. The course itself was not bad, although it was something less than 2 miles and maybe only 1-1/2. The terrain was really good with plenty of hill but the ground was so rough you had to watch where you were running the entire time to make sure you step on a rock or in a rut and break an ankle. Half of the obstacles actually had thought and time put into them and were decently constructed while the others were simply 4 hay bales stacked in the way. Most of the ‘mud’ pits were really too shallow and short and not much to them but there were a couple that were of decent size with sufficient gooeyness to them. The monkey bars were built well although there was only 1 row which created a line. The feeble attempt at laying a long stretch of plastic on the ground with a garden hose as if to make a water slide quickly indicated that not much thought had been put into this. The walls were good though, most of them short 4’ walls but there were a few 10’ walls as well. They had advertised that the obstacle count was reduced to 42 and in the end there were only about 35.
The fastest time on this course was 11 minutes. I really hope that person went around a couple more times to get his money’s worth. I ended up touring this course a total of 4 times; first time competitively, second with a couple people from the group, third time with a few more people from the group and the fourth time with some new recruits that wanted to go a second time. The third trip around was the most congested with a backup at nearly every obstacle and I saw (2) broken ankles on that trip around. There were very few people/marshalls working the course but the course was so small and close it really didn't matter, however it could have prevented the injuries. There was nobody donning your neck with bling at the end because they had already given it to you, big mistake.
The after party area was really good though with plenty of music and good beer from a local microbrew and a couple food choices. There were other vendors there as well. All things considered, this event did exactly what the organizer thought it would. For the 90% of the population that only hears about Mud Runs and thinks ‘that looks fun’ but has a hard time getting off the couch and putting down the cigarette, he succeeded. 90% of the people that I spoke to at the event were first-timers and for them this was the perfect event, at $40 not $80. This event was at par with a Rebel Race only half the distance. I will most likely not do this one again unless he steps it up a little or somebody begs me to do it with them. I hope he steps it up because I like the fact that it’s so close to home.