I took a trip down to Wichita Falls, Texas to check out Texoma’s Hellish Obstacle Run (T.H.O.R.) this past weekend. Here’s how it went and if you should make the trip to northern Texas to run their course.
Parking & Check In: Check-in was smooth and easy with parking available right next to the festival. I ran in the first wave so I had a really good spot, however if you ran in one of the later waves you may have had to walk a little to the festival as people parked on the sides of the park road that led to the festival area.
Location/Terrain/Course: Unlike most Obstacle Course Races (OCRs), this one isn’t in the middle of the countryside, it starts in a park inside the city limits. No 45-minute drive out into the middle of nowhere, I literally got off the main highway and was at the start line about a mile later. The course started in a park and utilized what appeared to be a dirt bike trail for most of the race. This was a great use of terrain and course because the course was clearly defined at all times plus it had a mix of terrain that is fun whether riding a bike or running.
Obstacles: The 5k race had 20+ obstacles spread across the course. Despite some of the obstacles only having one or two lanes they did a good job of back loading most of those to prevent lines at obstacles. After the competitive wave I went back out for a 2nd lap and never saw a line more than a couple of people deep.
From looking online, I was a little concerned since the majority of the pictures you’ll see on their Facebook look super muddy. At first glance I was expecting just endless mud pits, but there actually wasn’t that much mud. The last obstacle (The Gauntlet) is muddy, which is in the festival, so it tends to be the most photographed but the rest of the course was mostly trail running with obstacles and a water crossing.
My favorite obstacles were the slip n’ slide obstacle going down hill, the super long monkey bridge over the river, walk the plank (a mix of balance beams, swinging bags, rope traverse over water) and the final gauntlet (ice bath into mud pits with obstacles separating the pits). For those looking for technical grip obstacles, this isn’t that type of course, the only grip obstacle was a set of monkey bars early in the race.
Other obstacles rounded out the list including A frame cargo net, a tall climbing wall, bouncy bridges, tunnels, wall/fence climbs, rolling thunder type obstacle (tires on a high hurdle) and wooden angled paths normally used for mountain bikers.
Awards/Medals: The finisher medal was definitely one of the cooler ones I’ve seen at OCRs. The medal had a hammer (Mjolnir style) that spins. For those fast enough to be competitive for the overall win, the winner and runner-up in the male and female categories each received a giant medal hammer shaped trophy. They also gave out the trophies immediately post completion of the competitive wave…which was cool and avoided the awards ceremony that constantly gets pushed later in the day that I’ve experienced at many other races.
Festival: They did a great job with the festival. A couple of food trucks were present, a shaved ice truck, music to keep you entertained, vendors giving away free stuff and perhaps most importantly two bounce houses for the kids. Plenty of port-a-potties were available and male/female changing tents were available near the all grass festival.
Overall: Overall this was a great local race. They utilized the terrain and course they had in a great way at a location essentially in the city. For those that haven’t done many OCRs this is a great venue to bring people to in order to introduce them to the sport or get them interested in a new hobby. For me, the drive was a bit long (~6 hours) so not something I plan to attend annually but I am glad I went down for the race. With brands like Warrior Dash no longer around, brands like THOR have picked up the baton (or hammer?) to help grow our sport. A fun festival, good obstacles and a great time makes this a prime event for beginners, experienced athletes bringing someone new into the sport or anyone looking for a local fun event.