The Daily. Friday, September 6th, 2019.

September 6, 2019

In this Daily: The Intrepid Challenge 2019 Obstacle Course Race is Nearly Full 

Spots are filling up for November’s Intrepid Challenge 2019 Obstacle Course Race, a two-day event taking place on Saturday, November 16th and Sunday, November 17th. This is the second time that Intrepid Challenge will be coming to Las Catalinas, and just like last year it will take place the same weekend as Pura Vida Ride’s Paddle Battle. 

Intrepid Challenge 2019, Obstacle Course Race, Obstacle Course Races

Both of these events draw a blend of competitors from town, Potrero and Flamingo, and even as far as San José, making for a lively and full weekend in town. Today, we take a look at the obstacles and events facing competitors in Intrepid Challenge 2019, including a bit of its history and how it has changed from last year. 


Creating the Obstacle Course Race

The Intrepid Challenge was designed by three athletes who wanted to combine their love for many different adventure sports into a single event. The result was a long-distance obstacle course race, intended to test the strength, speed, skill, and endurance of its competitors in different ways. 

Over the course of the race, participants in the Intrepid Challenge must navigate diverse terrain on land and in the water using multiple disciplines like swimming, biking, running, and kayaking. Along the way, there are a wide range of obstacles that force competitors to run, climb, jump, crawl, swim, paddle, row, aim, carry, lift, balance, and scramble as they race to the finish. 

It’s an event designed to get obstacle course racers out of their comfort zone and push them to their limits, a desire that traces back to the founders’ original vision.


“Si no fue difícil , no valió la pena…” 

If it wasn’t difficult, it wasn’t worth it. 


What’s New with Intrepid Challenge 2019 

Last year’s event, Intrepid Challenge 2018, measured 5k+ and 11k+ in their “open” and “advanced” divisions, featuring 20 and 40 obstacles to overcome respectively. 

This year’s event escalates the challenge even further. The “Elite” Category covers a 1km Open Water Swim, a 16k mountain bike, a 1km kayak, and finally an 11k obstacle course race with between 15 and 25 obstacles. For the “Team” Category, a team of racers completes these same obstacle relay style. Finally, the “Open” category comprises one or two laps of the obstacle course race, depending on racer preference. 

Part of Intrepid’s goal is to keep racers constantly on their toes, so final routes and obstacles are closely guarded until just before racetime. For Intrepid Challenge 2019, the official list of potential hurdles includes peg board, rope swing, cliffhanger, monkey bars, ladder, tire drag, rope climb, tire tunnel, water jug carry, incline balance beams, cargo net, inverted wall, nutcracker, stone carry, border wall, and many more.


The Athlete’s Perspective

We sat down with Renae Johnson, a local athlete, friend of Las Catalinas, and past competitor of the Intrepid Challenge for a short interview to talk about her experience with previous races, and her prep for November. 


TD: How do the presence of unknown obstacles affect your preparation and training for the race? 

R: It throws a level of unpredictability, so you have to train a little more generally than the more specialized training for say, a triathlon. I actually didn't change much for the race though. Since I often work with odd objects in my regular training at Crossfit Surfside, I felt a bit ready for the unknown. 


TD: During the race, what's going on both physically and mentally as you tackle the obstacles?

R: The toughest part on race day is not knowing the course length. Last year there was a particularly long stretch of about 5k without obstacles out on the trails, and I remember slowing down because I thought I had gone the wrong way. It was only when someone passed me up that I knew I was on the right track and got kicking again. 

The terrain is a challenge, but it’s also really satisfying. I remember struggling through one particularly steep portion with a friend, and even though we were laughing about how bad of an idea it was to participate, you could tell we both secretly loved it.


TD: Going into Intrepid Challenge 2019, what’s your strategy for training?

R: A little more training for distance. 11k is a long distance for me already, but with some lactic acid from the obstacles and the unknown surf conditions, it can be down right exhausting. Moving with intensity for a short amount of time is one thing, doing so over and over again in the middle of a race is a downright feat. Guess that’s why they call it the Intrepid Challenge

Thanks to Renae for her thoughts on the race, a thrilling event that covers all of the terrain around town in challenging fashion. If you’d like to join her and the rest of the racers in Las Catalinas at Intrepid Challenge 2019, you can contact the Intrepid team directly at their official WhatsApp channel