As far as obstacle courses go, this one was definitely unique! It's a race designed for the snow, and balances between being a difficult course that runners can challenge themselves on while being approachable for first time obstacle course racers.
Let's start with the Pros:
+ Fun distance! I'm not sure what the total amount of distance was, but I want to say around 5-6 miles. I like that it's more than a 5K
+ Unique course - the course is on the ski mountain area of the Grand Geneva resort, and they utilize the terrain well (and there's almost always guaranteed to be snow, since they can make it!)
+ Over 20 obstacles
+ Great swag (shirt + beanie + medal)
+ Good post-race brews from a local brewery (with options)
+ Free pictures! Always a plus.
+ Virtual goodie bag (I love when races do this; I hate getting so many flyers that are going to waste, and the deals are actually pretty good)
+ People who do obstacle course races are usually a good crowd of people to be around, and this race was no exception. Everyone is generally very positive, friendly, and helpful.
+ Similar to a Tough Mudder (in a lot of ways), it's a team mentality
+ A good combination of strength & endurance challenges
+ Most obstacle races run into the challenge of racers bunching up, which causes long waits for obstacles. We ran into that a little bit, but not too much
+ Super fun inner tube slide down the mountain; would consider doing this race again just for that finish!
+ Several heat times to choose from, in morning & afternoon. For an additional $25, you can do unlimited laps of the course (not for the faint of heart)
+ Not a timed race by nature (obstacle course races rarely are), but the option to do so
- Specific to this race weekend, it was unexpectedly warm and the course was a total muddy mess (nothing that management really could have done here)
- The parking and shuttle situation is a little crazy. The parking lot is massive (it's actually on a small airport) and is $10, and there's one (maybe two) shuttles getting people to and from the event. We waited in long lines for a shuttle to take us 0.6 miles; if we knew it was so close in the first place, we probably would have jogged over.
- As with all obstacle course races, I do get a little concerned for safety. People who sign up for these races (should) know what they are getting themselves into, but some of the obstacles (especially in the slippery January mud and ice combination) seemed a little dicey. I aired on the side of caution, but I wonder how many people suffered some (hopefully minor) injuries.
Overall, it was a really fun race. If you're into obstacle course races, doing one on a mountain in Wisconsin in January is a really unique take and I'd recommend it.