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Sunny Hill Viking's, under the rain!  

Eric Sirois's picture

For a fifth year, the Sunny Hill Resort in the state of New York was holding its obstacle race under the Viking theme. Despite the fact that the official date came out a little late to generate a large number of registration, it is still around 175 brave souls who took their courage with both hands to go face the course on Sunday morning . And believe me, you had to have the courage to start this race in the rain. The obstacles being difficult when dry, the level was now extreme for some.

This year, we followed the normal route unlike last year where we had completely reversed the course. One way or the other, the race is going very well. By cons, for this edition we can say that water was in the spotlight. Nothing to do with the course as such, even though we were several times in the water, but rather thanks to Mother Nature who is responsible for filling the soil with water and who kept dumping its overflow on the participants' heads. The race route became dangerous in some places where the water was accumulated. The rocks were slippery and caution was required. Even the hurdles got their money's worth. Imagine the longest balance obstacle ever seen in a race, consisting of wet tree trunks, even soggy. Several crossed it on their buttocks! Same thing for the submerged trunks in the water on which one must be careful. What has caused the runners the most problem is without a doubt the monkey bars structure. The famous "Dragon's tooth" has caused a lot of trouble throughout the day. The obstacle being considered very difficult when dry, the water on the bars increased the level of difficulty even more.

This obstacle was the source of controversy at the announcement of the results of the elite wave. At Viking Race, the success of the obstacles is mandatory for the participants of the elite wave. The rules were explained before the start and were clear: all obstacles must be completed in order to keep your elite wristband. Only one exception was mentioned for the traverse wall as well as the balance section. If, for example, we fell off one of the five panels of the traverse wall, we could simply start again on the same panel, without having to go back to the first one. Same principle for the long balance section known as Asgard Skywalk. Unfortunately, the first two women to cross the finish line would also have applied this rule to the monkey bars despite the instructions from the on-site volunteer. The volunteer, by the way, knew the obstacle very well since she has been taking care of it since the very beginning of the race. After taking the time to discuss with the volunteer and the athletes, the race director had no choice but to disqualify the offending athletes, thus leaving the first position to the young athlete sponsored by Force5, Avery Stirling. This is certainly one of the least interesting aspects of the race director position, but it is a job that must be done in order to be fair to everyone.

Some new obstacles were appearing all over the course. There was a hoist, two inverted walls and an ascending and descending beam. In addition, a farmer carry closed the course just before the finish line. Like last year, a BBQ-style buffet was offered to participants to recharge their batteries. Hamburger, hot dogs, salad, pulled pork, drinks and beer were waiting for you at the end! Without a shadow of a doubt, one of the best keep secrets, but that is worth discovering. Take note that the course is open for you to train there. You must obviously contact the resort to make arrangements, but several groups are training on the course, which is a good way to improve your technique on obstacles offering a great challenge. The resort is also considered one of the best places to spend family vacations according to trip advisor. An all-inclusive resort, full of activity for the family that will entertain young and old. If you are also a golf lover, you can combine golf, family activities and obstacle course, since the course is available for those who stay there. In short, go test your strength and endurance on the course of Sunny Hill Resort!