Gadsden, AL – Thrill-seeking athletes who are not afraid of getting muddy, wet, and pushed to the limit will be taking part in Gadsden’s Barbarian Challenge; a 6-mile obstacle course run through Noccalula Falls Park. With a motto of “Fear Is Not An Option,” over 1000 participants are already registered to participate in the seventh-annual extreme competition set for June 16th, 2018. Registration is open at www.barbarianchallenge.com and participants can register at the packet pick-up party on June 15th.
The Barbarian Challenge course is about 6 miles and includes more than 20 natural and challenging human-made obstacles. Some obstacles have names, like the Weaver, the Sternum Checker, or Leap of Faith. This year features two significant changes to the event. First, the race is a North America and World OCR Series qualifier, drawing top talent to the Barbarian battlefield. Second, the new team competition adds a new facet to the event with a five-person team event starting at 1 p.m. The team event will be run separately with several unique, team focused challenges. Read more at http://barbarianchallenge.com/
The Barbarian Challenge is for those 12 and older, anyone under the age of 15 must have their parent or guardian present to sign a consent waiver and run with them. In addition to the race, there will be music and food vendors selling barbarian-inspired food.
Race or “horde” times are at 8:00 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 9:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 10:00 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and 11:30 a.m. and are held rain or shine. All finishers receive a Barbarian medal. The overall female and male winners from the 8:00 a.m. horde will receive the coveted Barbarian Sword. Age category winners will be selected from the fastest overall in the first four competitive hordes. New this year are Athena and Clydesdale categories with awards for Men over 225 lbs and Women over 165 lbs.
The smallest barbarians can participate in the “Kid’s Barbarian Challenge” competition, sponsored by The Factory. The race is open to kids 5-12 years old and will feature 10-15 obstacles over a 1-mile course. Finishers receive a medal, and early registrants will also receive a t-shirt and goody bag. Children can also visit the free Kid’s Zone with inflatables, games and a great view of family members participating in the race.
The awards ceremony will start at approximately noon. Shuttles will be available from nearby parking areas at Mitchell Elementary, and Bellevue Baptist Church and the event is free to spectators.
On Friday, June 15th, a Packet Pick-up Party will be held from 5-8 p.m. at the 5th Street Market. Barbarian Challenge and Kid’s Barbarian Challenge participants can pick up their race packets and visit with other competitors. Beer and food will be available for purchase. A special Barbarian Challenge growler has been created by Back Forty and will be on sale.
The Barbarian Challenge is organized and staged by the City of Gadsden’s Parks and Recreation Department and is presented by Greater Gadsden Area Tourism, greatergadsden.com.
Christina Richardson, City of Gadsden Parks and Recreation, 256-549-4663