When we look at Obstacle races in Quebec, there is something for everyone. By cons, there is not a lot of race that can be described as urban. The Warriors took care of adding one to the calendar. I'm not talking about the Warriors Race that we find in South Africa, but the Warriors race that takes place on the grounds of the Gérard-Fillion school in Longueuil. The Warriors are basically a training group that holds sessions a few times a week to prepare specifically for obstacle courses. Passionate about sport and with a goal to prepare tomorrow's future, the group had the crazy idea to organize an event for the first time last year. On June 8, the second edition was happening once again on the school grounds.
Two days of activity were offered. Saturday was mainly for adults and Sunday was reserved for children and teenagers where just over 300 of them were expected. Besides, Sunday recipes were given directly to school for the children in needs! The Saturday’s race I attended was split into two parts: Elite (competitive) and recreational. Depending on the division chosen, the distance was not the same. The course had a total length of four kilometers, but participants in the elite category had to complete two laps of the same course. The start wave of these athletes was expected at 8am for men while the women were leaving ten minutes later. As there was no timing chip, it was very important to be present at the indicated time since no modification of departure time was accepted. The course literally goes around the school and makes good use of the available terrain. Markup is easy to follow and offers no room for interpretation. There are literally cones every 3-4 feet and when this is not the case, the yellow ribbon that is used throughout the obstacle course ensures that the participants are guided in the right direction.
The configuration of the course does not make the task easy for runners. With a total of 22 obstacles spread over the four-kilometer route, you almost always see the next obstacle when you finish one. For the most competitive, it means two things: Sprint between each of the obstacles and efficiency to complete them so as not to waste time. Having so little distance between structures, even the fastest runner can get caught if he loses time on one of them. This is what happened during the men's final battle. Raphaël Doye arrived first at the last structure, but unfortunately was not able to complete it the first time. The "mandatory obstacle" format of the race allowed his pursuers (who were not far away) to pass him and cross the finish line before him. Like everything is not finished until the finish line is crossed. The one-on-one hurdles were not extremely difficult for an obstacle course athlete with some experience, but the accumulation and lack of breaks made the task a little more complex.
Speaking of obstacles, there were several interesting structures. Some of these structures had two different configurations. Recreational class runners could choose whatever configuration they liked ... even try both. Those in the competitive class had to go through configuration 1 in the first lap and the second in the second lap. A super interesting concept that changes the course a little during the second round. Among the structures with this configuration was the Force5 rig including among others the version 2.0 of the "D-shape", the mini Platinum rig, the regular Platinum rig and the floating walls. Some obstacles came from partnerships as the Just Run obstacle that looks like big lobster cages, but also gives the impression of being reborn ... without giving too much detail! Regarding the floating walls, these probably offered the biggest challenge in terms of grip strength especially for the last section. The first configuration had a box that looked like an inverted pocket games in which it was necessary to use the holes to move to the bell while the other was a fixed board on which we had to make the transition from the walls. A nice addition that solicited the forearms at the end of an already demanding race. If the technical obstacles were present in the race, the section of strength was surely the one that will have made the most talk about. On the soccer field at the back of the school, the organization had placed two rather difficult obstacles. A round trip with 1 or 2 blocks of concrete depending on your class of race (recreational or elite) and a tire drag ... actually ... three tires attached to each other.
At the end of the race, participants were presented with a Warrior medal. There was water and bananas to replenish the energy and two hot dogs were offered with the inscription. Among the competitors, Sébastien David, Sébastien Dion and Stéphane Marcoux finish on the men's podium while Chantal Castonguay, Tamalina Briggs and Sabrina Hamel did the same for women. In short, the Warriors race has nothing to envy the big organizations. If we consider that the event is literally organized by a team that is not making a livelihood out of it and is held with the aim of raising funds for children in need, it is simply incredible. The only negative ... the lack of participants. The race should attract at least 300-400 people on Saturday. Let's hope for an early announcement of a third edition so that runners can quickly add it to their 2020 calendar. Congratulations to the Warriors!