Foam Fest Sounds Cool Right?

I am going to be completely honest, I had no idea what Foam Fest was until a buddy, who shall remain nameless (Josh), told me his buddy went to the event. I asked him to write-up what he thought about the event, and without further ado…….
Our fearless author enjoying some suds!

Our fearless author enjoying some suds!

FoamFest 5K was the latest big name OCR company to come to the WNY region.  If you are unfamiliar with what OCR stands for, it stands for Obstacle Course Race.  It’s good to see these events come into the region and to get more people exposed in this awesome sport.  Now, if you are like me, which many people are not, you may have never run this race before.  I have run 38 of these OCR races, all over the country and into Canada.  You name it; I’ve run it.
Foam3

Part of the course!

On to the actual Foam Fest race.  Having run this previously, I was skeptical at the location.  It did not scream FoamFest friendly.  It was held at Area 51 motocross in Batavia.  We got there early and ran in the first wave of people.

To my surprise, FoamFest made many improvements compared to last year when they first started this race.  Packet pickup was smooth, and they invested more money into their obstacles.  Now if you aren’t familiar with this race, this is probably the easiest OCR to run.  It is made up of a bunch of inflatable bounce houses and slip n slides.  They did a great job spacing out the obstacles on this course, and the course itself played out well for this race. I’m a big fan of the terrain when running OCR’s, so I was a bit disappointed by the lack of actual trail running.  They definitely upgraded their obstacles from last year, however.  The very first obstacle was the lily pads, which was a huge disappointment.  This is where the actual course they used was a downfall.  Lily pads work best when there is about 3 feet of water minimum.  The lily pads here were basically in a puddle and you could feel you feet hit the ground as you ran across the pads.  I did not see one person fall, and that was slightly disappointing.  The lily pads are meant for wipeouts.
Those Damn Lily Pads!

Those Damn Lily Pads!

 

The next big obstacle was the signature Death Drop.  It was taller than last year’s DeathDrop, but not nearly as fun.  I believe the netting at the top of the slide prevented you from actually feeling the drop. If you ran this last year, there was no netting, and if you kind of jumped down the slide, you could free fall almost to the bottom. This year’s prevented you from doing that, I assume for safety reasons.  I also felt the water coming down the slide wasn’t nearly as strong as it should have been. I hit a dry spot and came to a sudden abrupt stop at the bottom.  Disappointing.   However, the rest of the obstacles and cargo net climbs were fun. There’s not much you can say about those.  The finish was another disappointing part.  FoamFest is known for the finish to be a giant inflatable slip n slide across the finish line.  The way they laid out the course, this was not possible, instead you ran and zig zagged up a little hill to the finish.

All in all, I do give high marks to FoamFest for pulling off an awesome race either way.  A few improvements to the course layout next year and they can make this race even better.  Of course there was an after party and the after party is when all the shenanigans start. I was not able to stay, as I had another OCR up Toronto to run, but I heard that the post party was fun.  FoamFest is a very family friendly event, and if you don’t mind traveling, there are a few within driving distance you can make.  If not, wait until next June, as they will be back.
The next OCR in WNY is the Holiday Valley Mudslide on June 14th.  We will be there running this OCR for the first time.  There are plenty more coming to the area over the summer so stay tuned for our reviews and schedules.  And if you are new to the sport of OCR, head on over to the WNY OCR Freaks Facebook page, give us a like and stay up to date with everything OCR, nationwide and locally.
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