By: Travis E. Blythe
I had a great opportunity to head down to Mexico for little R&R and check out a little race called the XPLOR Bravest Race down in Playa Del Carmen at the XPLOR park. This was exactly what I had hoped it would be, a nice vacation race. I had a ton of fun and I can’t wait to do it again!
While many of you reading are going to be die hard Spartans, Tough Mudders, Warrior Dash or BattleFrog enthusiasts, take a min to clear your mind and just think about what I am about to tell you and open your mind to something that is out of the realm of OCR for a minute.
Sometimes you come across an event and you think how it would be fun, or the location sounds amazing and you wish you could go. Everyone thinks of Cancun and Playa del Carmen as vacation destinations and a place to get away for a long weekend. We had an opportunity to travel to Mexico and see what this little race was about. I have run many different types of events over the years and the uniqueness of this race put together with the location has to definitely be one of my favorites of all time. I know, I know, that is a pretty bold statement but I will tell you why I absolutely loved this race and why I want to return every year!
I am so used to running for time, trying to win age divisions, or just being so competitive that I forgot why I fell in love with this sport in the first place. This race made me remember why, made me remember how much fun you can have doing something that you love. This race was not timed, there were no competitive waves, no chip timing, the only objective was to finish with my flags on. Now I know what you are thinking, but no this was not a zombie run. Did they have people pulling flags?, yes they did. But this race was much more than that, I equate this to being a race almost in a water park and you ran from one obstacle to another. Technically, a rare few even ran, the majority of the participants just walked and talked and had a good time being in the company of friends.
I know you are thinking…what is so special? Well, if you have never been to XPLOR park or explored the caves and rivers down in Playa Del Carmen, then you definitely do not know what you are missing. This race had two water-slides, numerous cave swims, walls, cargo nets, rope cylinders, low crawls, swamps, monkey bars, tarzan ropes, canyons full of tires, tunnel crawls, a half pipe/warped wall and one epic cliff jump. I am sure I left out some other obstacles but those are the ones that come to mind the most!
We had an absolute blast, painted our faces in warpaint, high-fived the flag pullers and had fun along the way. I ended up finishing with one flag and got my awesome finisher medal for the ones who kept a flag! Yes they had two different medals!
It looks like the 2015 Race is going to be on September 13th! This is must race if you need a break from competition and want to just have a blast! The after party was awesome, live music, food and people everywhere!