Running a 10K sounds hard enough. Throw in some "unusual" obstacle challenges and it sounds...fun?
"There's nothing like this in the Southeast," says marketing and public relations coordinator Lyndsi Lane of the inaugural Chattanooga Challenge & Festival being presented by Get Out Chattanooga magazine. "Traditionally, obstacle course races are only done in big cities. The entire course will be very spectator-driven." While Chattanooga may not be the biggest city - thank, God - it is an iconic city; many people recognize the "See Rock City" barns and can at least hum the tune to "Chattanooga Choo Choo." Some of those same celebrated hallmarks will become challenges for the individuals and teams (up to four people) participating in the March race.
"There are 10 obstacles, and they're all themed after 'novelty Chattanooga,'" explains Sarah Bass, wellness coordinator for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. For example, racers will get up close and personal with the Rock City barns normally seen from their car windows dotting the distant landscape.
The related challenge won't be any less intimidating than the cavern's fairy dioramas: a rope climb to the top where they'll "run"- or inch or crawl - across the pitched roof before climbing back down on the other side. In the spirit of one of the nation's most recognized aquariums - and some of its most recognized inhabitants - comes the "Penguin Plunge," an obstacle the details of which are still being finalized but that will definitely include "some kind of contact with water at the temperature penguins live in," says Bass.
Now add in the "festival" part, a free all-day family fun event featuring an outdoor-geared film screening, live entertainment and vendors with a selection of gear and other merchandise for those who like to "get out," along with a variety of concessions. Top it all off with the fact that 100 percent of the event's proceeds will go to the Chattanooga Times Free Press Foundation, a new 501(c)(3) clearinghouse for Chattanooga nonprofits, and you've got yourself a winner.
"With all the proceeds benefiting the Chattanooga Times Free Press Foundation, the race promises to help us continue to grow in our commitment to the many nonprofits in the Greater Chattanooga area," says Chattanooga Times Free Press President Jason Taylor.
Despite whether you're one of the actual winners of the timed race, you're sure to win big by following the 12-week training program designed to help get everyone, regardless of their current fitness level, ready for the challenges that await them on the downtown course.
Early bird registration begins Jan. 1 for the March 23 event.
Visit getoutchattanooga.com for more details and to register. Cost is $38 per person or $140 per team of up to four people and includes a race T-shirt and day-of-race microchip for accurate timing and live updates at each obstacle that will be broadcast on individual participants' Facebook pages. Must be at least 14 years old to enter. The training program is also accessible online. Stay tuned for more about the festival.
VENDORS: For more information about setting up as a vendor at the event, contact event sales specialist Ellie Kuhn at 423-757-6380 or firstname.lastname@example.org.