Del Mar: ‘Ridiculous Obstacle Challenge Race’ to debut at Del Mar Fairgrounds
By Marlena Chavira-Medford
Inflatable slides and swinging boulders aren’t a part of your typical 5K, but then again, the Ridiculous Obstacle Challenge Race isn’t your typical 5K. The event, which is slated for May 21 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, takes a page from the pop culture playbook of Japan, where these sorts of wacky obstacle courses have been bringing in high TV ratings for years.
“I think the shows you see in Japan create interest and the ‘what if’ or ‘could I’ question: What if this was offered for me to participate in? Could I do well or fail miserably like many on TV do?” said Latana Meade, president of VAVi Sport & Social Club, which is behind this event. “Our hope was to turn the ‘what if’ into a reality.”
Though VAVi Sport & Social Club coordinates a medley of adult league sports, it’s also known for its untraditional athletic offerings, such as the Del Mar Mud Run last November.
“We have noticed over the last few years that people are more and more open to non-traditional sports and activities,” he said. “The data shows that people love to relive their youth and get a little ridiculous.”
Adding to that ridiculousness, race participants are encouraged to don playful costumes, and, in fact, awards will go out to the best getups. The 5K Ridiculous Obstacle Challenge is open to individual competitors, four-person teams and unlimited team sign-ups (for groups of five or more).
More than 5,000 people have already signed up to give the 20-obstacle course their best shot, and race organizers are expecting the 7,000 slots to sell out by race day.
After the race there will be a party featuring live music and DJs, beverages, food vendors and kiosks featuring several local businesses. For more information and to register for the ROC Race, please visit www.rocrace.com
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