I live in the middle of nowhere.
Well, I suppose Brattleboro is a more “urban” town by Vermont standards, but it is far from a metropolitan area that attracts big events or races. A town just across the border, Swanzey NH, is even smaller. So imagine my surprise when I heard that someone was going to put on an obstacle course race this fall in our tiny area.
And not only did I hear about the race from a flier at my gym…I heard about it on the radio, on bulletin boards around town, on large banners at the race venue, on fliers left at my car at other races hours away, and from countless local friends who have asked me if I knew anything about the race. (Kudos on your advertising efforts Apocalypse Run!)
Well you guys asked, so I got some answers for you.
With the current spike in the popularity of obstacle course racing, many athletes have become very hesitant of spending their money on start up, inexperienced events. Trent McShea, race director of the Run the Apocalypse, which is scheduled to be held at the Cheshire State Fair Grounds in Swanzey, NH, on August 31, 2013 and September 1, 2013, was kind enough to answer some interview questions for this post, to let potential racers know what kind of experience they can expect from his race .
RFC: Tell us a little bit about your background.
Trent: I am a former Marine, so my love of obstacles began in bootcamp in 1987. I had the pleasure of training on all sorts of crazy courses in the marines including a very difficult one in Quantico VA, called “mad max”. The Marines share that course with the FBI and use it to train with live fire rifles and handguns and grenades! So picture running in your favorite obstacle course race, then firing live ammo at pop up targets and tossing real grenades at targets along the course. I was hooked. We swam in underground tunnels with real snakes in the water (garden snakes, but still) . In the years after the Marines and all those fabulous courses and other activities like rappelling and sky diving etc., I discovered this new sport of obstacle course racing.
RFC: How will the Apocalypse Run be different from every other mud run and obstacle course race on the circuit?
RFC: Can you tell us about your obstacles? How many can we expect per lap? Is this a running heavy course, or an obstacle heavy course?
(From the website: “You will earn survival elements at key obstacles by performing certain stunts, succeeding at a challenge. You will receive a bracelet at these challenges to prove that you succeeded. At the finish line, you will exchange these bracelets for your medal and t-shirt. You need a minimum of 3 bracelets to be considered a race finisher. So if you earn a 4th and or 5th and then lose one, you will still be ok if you have at least 3. “
” you will encounter our ‘Marauders’ at various points. These are wasteland survivors who are going to try and stop you from getting past certain point, prevent you from succeeding at certain obstacles. You will have to fight your way past them with hand to hand combat skills. They will be wearing pads for everyone’s protection and the combat will be a sort of light contact fight where you may need to score a point to move on. No one is getting punched in the face, not on purpose anyway.”)
RFC: What can runners expect as far as post race activities? Bands, beer, etc? Medals, t-shirts?
(RFC note: I love race bling.)
RFC: Will this race be spectator friendly? Is there a charge for spectators?
RFC: Are you looking for volunteers? Who should potential volunteers contact
RFC: Do you have any specific training tips that will help potential participants in the apocalypse run?
As mentioned earlier, the race is planned for August 31st & September 1st in Swanzey, NH. Other points of interest I noticed on the website: