ROC Race 5K (Ridiculous Obstacle Challenge)


Today Kevin and I had a blast running the ROC Race (Ridiculous Obstacle Challenge) in DC!


The ROC Race is a new-ish race series that has been popping up around the country. A few months ago Kevin saw it being advertised on Facebook and showed it to me. I knew we had to do it! It looked like so much fun, with 12 game show inspired obstacles that included moon bounces, slip and slides, a wrecking ball, and more!

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Obviously this was a “fun run” and our main goal was to run together, have fun doing the obstacles and enjoy the experience. It was untimed too, so we weren’t worried at all about running a good time. Plus, we saw a video of the race and it looked like a lot of standing around and waiting in line at the obstacles. We knew it would be more of a relaxed vibe. They also encouraged runners to wear costumes!


Kevin was very excited about this and decided to wear his Waldo costume from a couple Halloweens ago. I was going to wear my Wenda costume but it was too small :(. We were in the 9:30 a.m. wave, so we didn’t have to rush out the door too early in the morning which was nice. We chose the AM session and were assigned that wave, and it worked out perfectly.


Even Kevin wanted in on the costume action!


First things first, we had to drop off the baby at my friend Ashley’s house. She lived nearby where the race was taking place and offered to take him so we could do the race together. It was so weird to go to a race with Kevin and without the baby!


When we arrived around 8:45 I left my phone in the car, since I knew there were a couple of water obstacles and didn’t want to risk it getting damaged. So I don’t have any photos from the race itself- just before and after- but they should be posting the official race photos soon. I know the photographers got some good ones! I did wear my Garmin though, only because I wanted to keep track of how much time we had before our start and I was curious to see how long it took us to get through the whole thing.

We walked over to the start and saw a lot of people, many in costume and in big color-coordiated teams, gathered there. I knew this was a huge race because they had waves every half an hour from 8:00 a.m. until 6:30 p.m.  I wasn’t sure how well organized they would be with so many people and considering it’s a pretty new race, but I was definitely impressed. Within each wave were “mini-waves” of 50-100 people and they released one every 5 minutes or so. They handled the crowds well and were strict about how many people they let into each mini-wave. They checked out bibs to make sure we were coming at the right time. This really helped with overcrowding on the course and at the obstacles!

At 9 a.m. they were letting people in the 9:00 and 9:30 wave into the corrals so we went ahead and got in line early. After waiting for a few waves to go we were off and running at 9:20. We ran for a few minutes and got to the front of our pack before hitting the first obstacle: The Concree-stadores. Basically a ton of waist-high barriers that you have to jump over. Not too bad, but definitely got my heart rate up!

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After a little more running we came across the Gorilla Bars, which were just like monkey bars on a playground… except that the bars were super big and slippery. I made it across four of them before I fell off. I tried to jump back up and continue but I couldn’t get a good grip!

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The next obstacle was a wall that you had to climb up and over. There was a short option and a tall option. I almost took the short option because I remembered when I did the Warrior Dash a couple years ago I was really scared at the top of the wall I climbed and almost couldn’t get back down. I faced my fear and did the tall option anyway! It really wasn’t that tall 🙂

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The next obstacle was the Tight Rope Traverse, which was crossing a water pit while walking across a rope. Again, they had a short and long one and I chose the long one (this time by accident, but it was no big deal). This one was fun!

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The Belly Flop Drop was awesome! We climbed up an inflatable slide using a rope, then flopped down the other side. I didn’t belly flop though, I went down on my butt which ended up not being the best choice (use your imagination for that one) and I’m pretty sure I flashed some people :).

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In between the obstacles people were running, but a lot of people were walking too. It was so laid back and relaxed and I loved it! I wanted to run because I was excited about the next obstacles, but we also took it easy at times. Kevin was feeling really hot in his long sleeved cotton shirt, so we walked a few times so he didn’t overheat (it was warm out!)

The next obstacle was the Tire Mile. I am the most uncoordinated, clumsy person so I knew I would fail at this… and I did. I definitely tripped and fell. Haha! Of course Kevin went through like a graceful athlete.

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The next one was one of my favorites- a huge moon bounce. It was super long and I bounced my way through it, on my feet, on my butt, doing rolls, etc. It was SO MUCH FUN!

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Up until this point Kevin and I were sweaty but still relatively dry. All that changed with the next obstacle- the Aqua Drag. This was basically like a huge slip and slide that ended with a pool that you fall into. Kevin went flying through it and landed in the pool at the end, while I only made it about 3/4 of the way before stopping? Haha. We were totally soaked afterwards though! It actually felt great!

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Next up was the Tarzan Swing. I wasn’t sure about this one because my upper body strength is zero. I had visions of myself falling into the muddy water below. But somehow I made it across fine. I just held on for dear life and tried to tuck my legs up super high.

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The next one was their ‘mystery obstacle’ which was called Foam of Fury. It was kind of like another slip and slide only with foam everywhere. Except when we did it there wasn’t any foam. I think they were having a problem with it because it seemed like some people were working on the machine. I didn’t care though, it was fun to do it again and get wet.

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And then it was time for the wrecking ball! This was actually the first obstacle we had to wait for, and we only waited for a few minutes. The announcer said that only about 20 people had made it across so far that day without falling. I knew I definitely wouldn’t be one of them. My balance is terrible and just looking at what I was supposed to walk across made me dizzy. I surprised myself by actually making it about halfway through on the wet, slippery surface before losing my balance and falling in. It wasn’t even the wrecking ball that got me!! Kevin was behind me and fell in too. The water was 4 feet deep so we were completely submerged. It was awesome 🙂

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Last but definitely not least- the world’s largest inflatable slide! We waited for this one too, but I was super glad that we only had to stop and wait for 2 of the 12 obstacles. Kevin and I climbed up together and then went down the other side. It actually was way bigger and steeper than I thought it would be, and we went FAST! It took my breath away! There was a photographer at the bottom and I hope he got some good pictures because Kevin and I were both having so much fun. You actually slide right through the finish line at the bottom, which was really cool. Once again, we got completely soaked.

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When we were done we could not stop talking about how much fun we had. We were soaked and happy. My Garmin said we had covered 2.75 miles total in 39:45, but it didn’t even feel like it with all the obstacles we did. We hung out for a little while then made our way back to the car to change into dry clothes.


So wet!

After we were dry we headed back to my friend’s house to get the baby and have some lunch with her and her new fiance. It was a really great day spent with people I love!

This race was seriously SO much fun. I would definitely recommend it to others, and I want to do it again when it comes back. If you are looking for a well organized, extremely entertaining, and laid back 5K race this one is for you!

8 responses to “ROC Race 5K (Ridiculous Obstacle Challenge)

  1. Looks like fun! I haven’t gotten too into “just for fun” races, but I’m beginning to realize that there is definitely a time and a place for them.

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  6. This Race looks really fun it’s coming to my city. I am 2 months pregnant and in great shape do you think it’s doable? I would definitely talk to my doctor but wanted some feedback from someone that’s done the race.

    • Congrats on your pregnancy!! As far as obstacle races go the ROC race is very mild. There are some where you might have a chance to slip and fall (narrow balance beams, slippery foam, etc.) so you’d have to be careful but you can always skip anything you don’t feel comfortable doing! It was a lot of fun!

  7. Amazing! On average how long would it take to complete the course?

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