Due to travel costs and my location, I primarily only do the east coast OCRs. However, I had heard lots of good things about the FrontLine race in Illinois, so I made the journey out there. Run by Ed Leon, FrontLine is a military themed race that is dedicated to military and all first responders.
They have several different races to challenge all race types. First up is the Special Forces wave, where all racers have to complete every obstacle with a 20lb weighted vest. If you can’t compete an obstacle, you have to surrender your vest. Next is the Endurance waves where the racers try to complete as many laps as possible by 2 pm. Again it is Mandatory Obstacle completion, you surrender your band if you can’t complete an obstacle. Also only your laps with 100% completion count towards your final tally. The Hero waves are all first responders, and then you have the Open waves.
The venue is on a MotoSports Park, so lots of little racing hills and climbs. It’s Illinois, so elevation is almost nothing. Very flat but still some nice technical running through the trails. The venue area was small and compact, but well suited for this type of event. There were several local food vendors, local beer distributor, as well as some other local race brands. There was a small bag check area, but because the parking was very close to the venue, I think a lot of people chose to just leave their bags in the car. Parking was $10.
This race is not a beginner OCR. The obstacles are all very challenging and difficult, especially if you’re doing Special Forces or Endurance. The heavy carries were pretty light and the distances for them was short.
However, the grip strength obstacles were next level grip endurance. Most of them were long, and designed to be uncomfortable. Even a simple obstacle like monkey bars was made difficult by having the bars so low that you had to pick your feet up. There were some very unique challenges for even a veteran OCR athlete. This is a must-race for any OCR athlete looking to really step outside of their comfort zone.
There was some issues with course markings. Several times in the race you come back into the middle race venue area. But the markings weren’t always clear, so some people ended up accidentally cutting the course or getting lost and going in the wrong direction. Luckily this was fixed pretty quickly, and I’m sure won’t be an issue at future races.
Also because the race is Mandatory Obstacle Completion, there was quite a long backup at some of the rigs. Some of them only had 2 lanes. So there were wait times of like 20-30 minutes just to retry an obstacle. Kind of puts a bummer on anyone trying to keep their vest/band if they’re at an obstacle for an hour and only had 2 attempts!
FrontLine OCR is a must race for any OCR athlete looking to step up their game and try a small but challenging course! The Race director and his crew think of everything they can to challenge each and every racer. They want you to cross that finish line, but they don’t want to make it easy! The send off at the beginning was so epic, you can hear the announcer’s voice in your head for the whole race. Great finisher shirt design and medal as well!
Thanks again for reading my review. Any questions or comments, please reach out to me!! 🦁👍🏽👍🏽