On October 5, Boise will discover just how relevant the words of a Chinese philosopher from the 6th century BC are today, when the Western Idaho Fairgrounds becomes the venue for the Mayhem Obstacle Challenge, a 5-kilometer course with more than fifteen obstacles, including walls, cargo nets, mud holes, hills, and other features designed to test the “mightiness” of participants.
“Obstacle course racing is the fastest growing participant sport in history,” said event organizer and former World Cup skier Steve Youngerman. “In 2010, approximately 41,000 people entered about 20 U.S. events. In just two years, this number grew to 1.5 million in 150 events! For those of us in Idaho, participating in an obstacle race used to mean traveling out of state. Now, for the first time, we’re bringing a full-scale, professionally organized event to Boise.”
The Mayhem Obstacle Challenge is sponsored by BOB FM 96.1 and Deschutes Brewery, both of whom will participate in a post-event celebration featuring live music, food, cold beer, and other entertainment for obstacle challenge participants.
“As a local radio station whose listeners tend to have a zest for adventure, we’re very excited about bringing the Mayhem Obstacle Challenge to the Fairgrounds,” said Darrell Calton, general manager for Impact Radio. “Like rock ‘n roll, once you’ve experienced an event like this, you’re going to want more.”
Part of the attraction of obstacle challenges, apart from the purely physical, is that participants compete only against their own limitations. While the obstacles themselves are designed to test strength and endurance, they are also designed to be fun -- and to encourage teamwork.
“At some point in this course, you’ll need help getting to the finish line,” said Youngerman, “which is why we encourage team entries. You can sign up for fiveperson teams and compete for time. Come in costume, make the event a team building exercise, represent your company, your school, or just create some memorable moments with friends. You won’t find a better bonding experience in the space of five.
Besides its proximity to downtown Boise, the Western Idaho Fairgrounds venue offers plenty of parking and easy access to the obstacle challenge, and unlike other events of its kind, participants will not have to deal with shuttles to remote sites or extra fees for parking.