April 11th 2015 I volunteered with some friends at BattleFrog Dallas. At that point, I had ran 4 Spartan races as my primary reference point for the Obstacle Course Racing world. What did I think of the BattleFrog? Does it live up to it’s Spartan counterpart? Let me tell you that BattleFrog is a serious race, and I was very impressed with the obstacles and course design. Volunteering was a truly fulfilling experience too, and I highly recommend it to anybody, not just for the free race either.
Volunteering was fun? Yes, without a doubt. Being behind the scenes of an OCR event was a cool perspective, and made me totally respect all the volunteers even more at every race! There is so much work that goes into these races, and it’s easy to just show up run it and never give it a second thought. I was an elite course marshall on the 12ft wall and it was a great experience. Being able to help people overcome the obstacle from a physical and mental standpoint was very rewarding. There were a few racers I remember in particular, racers who I helped get over the top, through words of encouragement, and bringing out their own determination. I often heard “I can’t do it!” or “I’m going to fail.” To those affirming the negative, I would repeat with great force “Don’t say that! You CAN do it!” or “You’re almost there, don’t give up!!” To see someone who once vehemently believed they couldn’t accomplish something, change their mind-set and overcome the wall was really special. Seeing others in that situation gives me a good perspective when I’m suffering on a tough course or through a tough training session.
What makes BattleFrog tough? Is it tougher then a Spartan Race? I think BattleFrog presents more challenging obstacles, especially for grip strength and the upper body. I felt as challenged at the BattleFrog Dallas as I did at the Dallas Beast 2014, but the running was much less. The course was designed to strategically call on grip strength endurance, and overall strength endurance something which I found out was a real weakness in my repertoire. Not just being able to do monkey bars, carry gas cans and sandbags, but doing so during a distance running event in a sequence designed to promote total muscle fatigue. I personally realized during the gas can carry that my grip was weak, and my left arm was giving out sooner than my right. I had to stop several times and put the cans down. After that there were many walls, ropes, monkey bars and structures to climb and all required the grip strength that I had fatigued immensely carrying the 20lb gas cans earlier. Very challenging, and helped me re-visit my training protocols and include grip strength routines often. Overall BattleFrog gave any Spartan Race I’ve done a run for it’s money—and speaking of running for money, they pay the elite winners more then Spartan Race does. Is one race superior? To me both have their merits and I’ll continue to race both brands. I was just surprised that BattleFrog was able to hold its own and actually be more challenging than Spartans in some aspects.
I am committed to continuing my fitness journey and testing my progress via obstacle course races. I will be racing a minimum of 3 more Spartan Races this year: Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, Lake Tahoe World Championship Beast course, and the Dallas Beast. I would really like to fit another Battle Frog in there too. Have you done an Obstacle Course Race, or several? Any comments or opinions?