Participants will be converging on Plattekill Mountain in Roxbury today for a unique run that features tough terrain, rock walls and a slide full of slime.
The Superhero Scramble is an obstacle course race with a twist: Contestants are encouraged to dress up in superhero costumes.
“Superhero was the most positive thing I could think of,” said Sean “Ace” O’Connor, President, CEO and co-founder of Superhero Scramble, when asked how he’d come up with the concept.
The idea for creating an obstacle course race began to form in O’Connor’s head after he participated in a race himself in February 2011.
“I was really inspired seeing all these different types of people doing it,” said O’Connor, saying that he saw everyone from couch potatoes to serious athletes taking part.
O’Connor then spent the next six months traveling the country and participating in an obstacle course race a week and in November of that year, the first Superhero Scramble race was held.
There have now been 10 Superhero Scramble races, which can range from four miles to marathon distance and feature 20+ obstacles.
O’Connor said that he and his company were drawn to Plattekill after a friend from New York recommended it.
“We look for really wicked terrain, and Plattekill has one of the most wicked terrains you can find,” he said.
O’Connor said they’d first contacted Plattekill in April, and that the management has been very receptive and cooperative.
“They saw ... us as being the leaders in the industry.”
O’Connor says that the race in Plattekill will be just over six miles. Participants will be sent out in eight different waves, with the first wave starting at 9:00 a.m. and the last launching at 1:00 p.m. Some of the obstacles that contestants will need to overcome include rock walls, water crossings, a leap of faith and the Super Slime Slide. And while costumes aren’t mandatory, plenty of people take advantage of the opportunity to run in them.
“I would say the majority of people do come in Superhero costumes,” O’Connor said. “It’s a chance to act like a little kid again.”
Those who finish the race will be given a Tee Shirt, a free beer and access to free photos of themselves competing. The site will feature food and drink available from Plattekill, as well as dancing, a DJ and a live band. There will also be kids races for children 4 to 13.
“It’s an all day party/festival,” said O’Connor, saying that the festivities will go on until 4:30. “People make a day of it.”
Registering on the day of the race at Plattekill costs $100 for adults and $35 for children. Pre-registration prices started at $40 for adults and $25 for children, with the price rising for the adults the more people preregistered.
O’Connor said that this year’s race will have a few thousand people, and that he expects two to three times that amount next year.
“We’re definitely coming back,” O’Connor said. “We’re actually launching next year’s event today.”
Those who participate in the Plattekill race will get a coupon good for 50% off the registration price of any Superhero Scramble races now in preregistration. This includes next year’s race in Plattekill.
“It boosts the whole area that we come into,” said O’Connor, when asked what the attitude towards the races were in the communities where they are held. “They’re excited for us to come into town.”
When asked about how he liked the region, O’Connor had good things to say.
“It’s absolutely gorgeous,” O’Connor said. “The people have been great, we definitely love it here.”