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The original item was published from 6/10/2019 4:32:00 PM to 6/15/2022 10:05:01 PM.

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Posted on: June 10, 2019

[ARCHIVED] Gadsden’s Barbarian Challenge 2019

Barbarian Challenge

Gadsden, Ala. – 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 six-mile obstacle course run through scenic Noccalula Falls Park. With a motto of “Fear Is Not An Option,” over 1,000 participants are already registered to participate in the eighth-annual extreme competition set for June 15, 2019. Registration is open at

The Barbarian Challenge course is approximately six miles long and includes more than 20 natural and challenging human-made obstacles. The course takes you into the Black Creek Gorge and up close and personal with the Noccalula Falls. This year’s event is a North America and World OCR Series qualifier, drawing top talent to the Barbarian battlefield. The team competition returns 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. More information is available at 

The Barbarian Challenge is for those 12 years old and older. Anyone under the age of 15 must have their parent or guardian present to sign a consent waiver and run with them. If your youth doesn’t not have an adult to run with them send an email to and we can connect you with a youth guide. 

Race or “horde” times are at 8 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 9 a.m. for competitors and 9:30 a.m., 10 a.m., 10:30 a.m., and 11 a.m. for non-competitors. The event is held rain or shine. All finishers receive a Barbarian medal. The overall female and male winners from the 8 a.m. horde will receive the coveted Barbarian Sword. Age category winners will be selected from the fastest overall in the first three competitive hordes. Returning again this year are Athena and Clydesdale categories with awards for men over 225 pounds and Women over 165 pounds. The awards ceremony will start at approximately noon. 

The smallest barbarians can participate in the Kid’s Barbarian Challenge competition, sponsored by The Factory. The race is open to kids 5 to 12 years old and will feature 10-15 obstacles over a one-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. 

In addition to the race, there will be music and food vendors selling barbarian-inspired food. Shuttles will be available from nearby parking areas. The event and parking are free to spectators. 

On Friday, June 14th, a Packet Pick-up Party will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Noccalula Falls Kiwanis Pavilion. Barbarian Challenge and Kid’s Barbarian Challenge participants can pick up their race packets and visit with other competitors. 

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. The Barbarian Challenge is held at Noccalula Falls Park located at 1500 Noccalula Road in Gadsden, Ala. For more information, visit or call Christina Richardson with City of Gadsden Parks and Recreation at 256.549.4663.

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