Feel Good Friday – O2X Summit Challenge

Obstacle course races are huge these days and a lot of us are getting tired of the gimmicks (no thank you cage crawl).  They also use a whole lot of natural resources – water for mud pits and ice pools, fuel for transporting in materials for their obstacles, electricity for crazy electrocution gauntlets.

Enter the O2X series.  Launching this fall, the organizers have teamed up with One Percent for the Planet, Leave No Trace, and the EPA WasteWise program to create a new outdoor adventure race series that uses natural terrain and obstacles to create challenges to a finish line at the mountain summit.

On September 13-14 O2X (which stands for the fight for clean oxygen consumption during physical exertion) will debut at Mount Ellen at Sugarbush Resort located in the Mad River Valley in Warren, Vermont. A mountain running experience that blends trail running and creative natural challenges with a summit finish, the O2X Summit Challenge at Sugarbush will feature two distinct race courses – a Single Diamond route gaining 1,000 net vertical feet, and a Double Diamond route gaining 2,000 vertical feet. The course routes will blend single-track trails, access roads, glades and open slopes, and will be unveiled 90 days prior to the race start.

Founded by three former Navy SEALs (Gabriel Gomez, Adam La Reau, and Paul McCullough) and a recovering attorney (Craig Coffey), O2X Summit Challenges are centered on the core belief that natural terrain is both the most challenging and the most beneficial for athletic performance – a near-vertical hill for strength, a fallen tree for balance and/or a rock field for dexterity.

The course concepts were refined with the input of the O2X performance advisory board, a group that includes an elite Paralympic athlete, a professional sport nutritionist, a professional sport science expert and an Olympic trainer.

Designed to provide a healthy challenge for a variety of fitness levels, from weekend hikers to elite trail runners, every O2X race venue will showcase unique, unexpected and memorable features of the host mountain, and will conclude with an exhilarating summit finish.

Added bonus, there is $500 cash prize each for the men’s and women’s winners at each mountain, and $1k each for the men’s and women’s series winner (total points over all four races).

Now that is a race you can feel good about physically and mentally.

The 2014 O2X Summit Challenge calendar includes events at Sugarbush, Vermont (Sept. 13-14), Sunday River, Maine (Sept. 27-28), Loon Mountain, NH (Oct. 18-19) and Windham, NY (Oct. 25-26). 

For more information, please visit O2X.com or go to their Facebook page.

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