Barbarian Challenge: What You Need To Know

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Last weekend Team Next Level completed the Barbarian Challenge in Gadsden, AL! Super proud of all of them, it was a tough one and they all powered through! If anyone is wondering about the Barbarian Challenge, keep reading to find out everything you need to know.

Q: How hard is the Barbarian Challange?

This is a question I think many people ask about every different race. I am going off of mine and my team's experience so just remember this answer will probably vary from person to person. Also, all of my answers are assuming you are in a "non-competitive" time-slot.

The most important thing you need to be able to do is walk and/or run 7 miles. Many of the obstacles you do not even have to attempt (though I highly encourage you to try them all!). But the one thing that you cannot avoid are the hills. There were a set of hills they called “the 4 hills of the apocalypse, ” and there was no going around them.

Q: Are there water stations on the course?

Yes, There were 4 water stations throughout the course, spaced about 2 miles apart. If you think you’ll need more water than that you can always get a Hydration Backpack like this:

Q: Where and when is the Barbarian Challenge?

The Barbarian Challenge is held in Gadsden, Alabama at the incredible Noccalula Falls Park. It is currently only one day each year, sometime during the summer. This year's race was on Saturday, June 16. Check out this awesome picture of the falls below:

Edit: The race this year (2019) is on June 15th in Gadsden, Alabama.

Q: How old do you have to be to race?

You have to be 13 years or older to run the race. But, they also have a separate course for kids (13u) which is around 1 mile.

Q: What should I bring to the race?

1. Photo ID: without your ID they won’t let you race.

2. Sunscreen: June in Alabama..enough said.

3. A change of clothes: after the race you’re going to be muddy, sweaty, and wet.

4. Body wash: not a must, but if you're traveling after the race it's great to take advantage of their showers to get clean before heading home!

5. Wet bag: or something to throw your wet/dirty clothes into. They did give us a drawstring bag that had our race t-shirt in it and I ended up using mine for my clothes.

6. Money: there are many vendors that you might want to buy stuff from so cash is always good. Bonus: parking is free and they have shuttles!

Q: Are there any swimming portions in the race?

Yes, You will have to cross a creek several times throughout the run. The depth of the water usually ranges from between ankle deep to chest deep. However, the last time you cross there is a swim portion. Although if you can’t swim there is a rope that you can use to pull yourself across.

Q: How tough are the obstacles?

The Barbarian Challenge was the third obstacle race that I have competed in, including Rugged Maniac, and this race had the toughest obstacles. Most of the obstacles were simple, something to climb over or something to crawl under, but as I mentioned earlier, the hills on this course were very tough. I saw several people have trouble with the 25ft rope climb. Another tough one was made from metal tubbing that had around 12 bars placed about a foot and a half apart that you would alternate going over and under the bars without your feet touching the ground. The final obstacle is what they call the Leap of Faith It was a 20ft climb to a platform with about a 8ft gap between another platform. You had to leap to the bar, then climb down a rope wall. Honestly, this one was tougher mentally than it was physically.

* Source: Barbarian Facebook Page

Q: What's included in your registration?

You receive a Barbarian Challenge t-shirt, a decal, a drawstring bag, a few samples, a voucher for a free round of mini golf at the park, and a super awesome medal.

Q: Would you recommend the Barbarian Challenge?

Absolutely! It was challenging, fun, and well put together! The value for your money is fantastic, especially if you register early. Overall we had an excellent time and are already excited for next year!

Which obstacle races are you curious about or hoping to compete in? Team Next Level has a few on the calendar but we are always looking for new challenges! Let us know which one you think we should take on next!

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