GREENVILLE, NY -- Sunny Hill Resort will host the 4th Annual Viking Obstacle Race on July 30 in the Northern Catskills with $1,000 in cash prizes and Obstacle Course Racing World Championships (OCRWC) qualification spots on the line. Elite and amateur racers will compete on Sunny Hill's purpose-built 5.5-mile course with 35 obstacles just two hours north of New York City.
The 2017 Viking Obstacle Race event kicks off with the new Viking Double category, in which racers must complete two full laps and clear every obstacle along the way. Next, men's and women's Elite Waves race features a single lap where failure to overcome any obstacle results in disqualification. The top three male and female Elite finishers will share a $1,000 cash purse and qualify for the OCRWC at Blue Mountain Resort in Ontario, Canada on October 13-15.
In the Open Wave category, racers are required to attempt every obstacle. After three tries, they may continue on after a 25 burpee penalty. The top five finishers in eight age groups for each gender qualify for a world championships entry.
Competitors without elite aspirations are guaranteed a rewarding time--just ask Brent Ricks, a 62-year-old clinical instructor at Hudson Valley Community College who competes with his three children every year. "I don't go for time, but I still get butterflies when I get to the starting line," he says. "And there's always a crowd at the finish line cheering you on."
For the Team Wave, groups of three or more racers--including at least one female--work through obstacles together. Each team carries a flag for the entire course and must perform 25 burpees if the flag touches the ground. A final 5K wave lets beginner racers try obstacle racing at a shorter distance.
The Viking Obstacle Course was built in 2013 to complement existing amenities at Sunny Hill, an all-inclusive family resort in the Northern Catskills. The course was designed by Rob Butler, who has offered obstacle course training and events at Vermont's Shale Hill Adventure Farm since 2011.
"We designed unique obstacles like the Dragon Tooth monkey bars and the 140-foot Traverse Wall," says Butler. "The course runs over hills and technical, rocky terrain that even a pure runner would have a hard time getting through." The Viking theme honors the Scandinavian heritage of Sunny Hill's owners.
"I love the race day energy and the personal triumphs," says Sunny Hill's Tinker Nicholsen-Pachter. "People show up and think they won't be able to complete the obstacles, and then they do. At the finish line, I always hear that the course is really tough--and that people love it."
Early registration for the Viking Obstacle Race starts at $65 and runs through July 25 at www.sunnyhill.com/viking-obstacle-course. Race day registration is $95. Entry fee includes a Viking t-shirt, finisher medal, barbecue lunch, and a post-race party with DJ entertainment. Free parking and free spectator entry and transportation to on-course viewing will also be provided.
After the race, athletes can still take on the Viking Obstacle Course challenge, one of just three outdoor, permanent obstacle training courses in the Northeast. A day pass costs just $25 for an individual, $20 per person in groups of 10 or more, and $200 for a season pass. "For many, the only time you get your hands on obstacles is race day," says Sunny Hill's Tinker Nicholsen-Pachter. "Here, you can take the time to train. Or athletes can stay at the resort and train guilt-free while their family's on vacation." The course is open to the public from April to October.