I’m not very athletic. I don’t particularly enjoy these races. But if my friend Nina invites me to something, I’ll do it. She’s great and I like hanging out with her.

My friend Nina Simon invited me to compete in the Goliathon obstacle course race on 5 October 2019.

I invited my girlfriend Rachel to join us. We all did it (or most of it) together and it was fun!

Three people at the start line of Goliathon

Group photo! Rachel, me, and Nina at the start of Goliathon 2019

Two women who completed the Goliathon 2019 obstacle course race, standing with arms flexed out in front of the Finish line. Both are wearing black leggings

Rachel and Nina at the Finish line for Goliathon 2019

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QR Codes On Wristbands in Obstacle Course

Nina has done several obstacle course races before. She thought this race’s use of QR codes was very well done.

  • Each of our wristbands had a QR code on it.
  • This code was scanned at the end of every obstacle using a smart phone.
Person's torso wearing orange shirt, another person is sticking out their arm and they're wearing a white wristband

Volunteer (in orange shirt) scans a race participant’s wristband QR code with their phone

  • Volunteers would scan us and say, “Great job, Nick!”
  • Then they would log that we completed the obstacle and at which level (and if done successfully).
  • We all liked how the volunteers used our names to address and congratulate us.
  • Nina: “The volunteers were very well-trained and knowledgeable about how to use the scoring software.”

Nina’s Notes

I asked Nina and Rachel to share their thoughts with me over breakfast the next morning. They didn’t know that I was going to blog their thoughts verbatim. Any typos or misunderstandings are the fault of the editor (me).

  • Really fun to take people of different abilities to because there was something for everyone. The levels were a neat mechanic.
  • Game theory trying to figure out how to get the most points.
Woman jumping between a board and a tire at an obstacle race

Nina making a huge jump on the Intermediate level

  • Many entry points to making it more enjoyable.
  • You have to pick and commit versus being able to go back and do an obstacle later.

Nina (left) and Rachel (right) on the rope climb

  • It was fun to approach each obstacle and figure out how to do it.
  • You see the same people again and again over the three hours. But we were not forced to interact with them.
  • The colored water was an interesting choice.
Woman running across tires in water at an obstacle course

This one was a lot harder than it looks! Nina jumping on Leap of Faith

  • The first obstacle was tied into the mission. Otherwise we did not see or read a lot about Charity Water or Cambodia.
  • It was not intense the way that some events are. It more felt like we were out on a beautiful Saturday having fun.
  • I felt like the obstacles were hard but never scary.
  • Never felt in danger. Always safe.

Rachel and Nina after crossing the finish line

  • It was homegrown but there were people performing at a hard level. That made this event unique because many of the non-Spartan events aren’t known for being serious.
  • We saw some great feats of strength by all members of our team at different points. Also saw some other people do some AMAZING stunts at difficult levels.

Rachel’s Reflections

  • I would recommend this event.
  • Light, small group at the start that didn’t feel crowded.
Woman at Goliathon 2019

Rachel traversing the green lake on a long rope.

  • Kid and child volunteers were helpful!
  • Beautiful weather.
Woman stepping on tire in green liquid water

Rachel bouncing along tires at the Leap of Faith obstacle

  • Never any lines at each obstacle.
  • The volunteers giving us great tips and advice about how to approach, attack, etc.
Rachel wet after a slide obstacle at Goliathon

Rachel didn’t like this photo BUT I LIKE IT A LOT. She’s soaked from the slide.

  • People seemed on the same page about points and awards.
  • It was easy. Easy to drop off our bags, easy to register, easy to keep score, etc.
  • The rules were clear. The yellow paint on obstacles showing where out of bounds were was consistent across all of the course.
Woman pushing her way through two wooden slats in an obstacle course

Rachel squeezing through the space – you can’t touch the yellow tops!

  • Never had problems getting wet, dunking our wrist bands, etc.
  • All of the volunteers were warm and helpful!

My Experience

I’m not very athletic. I don’t particularly enjoy these races. But if my friend Nina invites me to something, I’ll do it. She’s great and I like hanging out with her.

Previously: Hardcore Mudd Run with Nina Simon that I made a video about from 2016.

I participated in the first seven obstacles but only at the beginner level (G1).

Man wearing a shirt that says MUSUEMS ARE F***ING AWESOME

Me at the easiest obstacle on the whole Goliathon course. I wish I would have done the harder ones!

In hindsight, I wish I would have tried some harder levels.

But not this one: I didn’t want to fall into the water.

Man jumping across tires in green water at an obstacle course race

Me in my finest glory with a Presidential look on my face

Before the eighth obstacle I went back to get some suntan lotion. I got separated from our group and didn’t pick back up on the obstacles until the last one, #12.

This was it:

Wooden structure with blue, orange, and green colors - green far right side has four ropes hanging down so people could climb up

The last obstacle and I’m proud to say that I made it to the top of the orange one (with no rope)

I successfully completed that at the intermediate level (G2). It felt good!

About the Goliathon Obstacle Course

Course Map

Screenshot of Goliathon map with satellite imagery and legend

October 2019 Goliathon course map (source)

The obstacle course challenges are classified as:

  • G1 – for the young or inexperienced individual,
  • G2 – difficult for most obstacle enthusiasts, and
  • G3 – extreme obstacles that challenge elite athletes.

The cost to participate was $95 per person. Goliathon is a non-profit organization and all proceeds for 2019 went to Charity Water for wells in Cambodia.

Conclusion

I really liked going out into nature with two favorite women in my life.

It was humbling to see how athletic and strong these babes were. They both worked a lot harder than me.

I’m glad we all did it together.

Two women asleep in the back of a car

Rachel and Nina, fast asleep on the car ride back to NYC

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