First off, I must issue an apology. It’s been more than a month since I’ve done this run and I promised a review. Nonetheless, I wanted to make sure I got this one out there.
The Insane Inflatable 5K is not the typical OCR. When one thinks of an obstacle course race, they think typically of barbed wire, mud, and beer. The Insane Inflatable 5K is great for those interested in OCR’s without getting dirty. Let’s get into the nitty gritty of it.
As always (or at least I hope to make it at such), let’s start with the organization. They had one of my favorite and smoothest check-in processes I’ve seen to date. Each individual at registration had an iPad and a stack of bibs. You walk, show them your ID, they find your name in the registration on the iPad, and enter a number in on the spot. Really smooth and incredibly easy. I couldn’t say if they were on WiFi to get to the registration, but it would make sense if they were. One of the advantages that Insane Inflatable has is that they can set up almost anywhere, especially in large park areas in big cities as opposed to remote areas like other OCR’s. That gives them some technological advantages as well.
Speaking of advantages of setting up anywhere, that’s exactly what they do. In fact, of any OCR, no one can handle the volume of events that Insane Inflatable 5K does. In 2016, they have nearly 90 events scheduled in over 40 states. Lightweight obstacles that are inflated on the spot and minimal manpower make it easy for them to have several events in a weekend. Plus with a good team on the ground (at least what I saw at the Orlando event I attended), they nail organizing a good event. Oh, and as an added bonus, they are usually able to keep the prices pretty low as well since they don’t need huge crews to set up obstacles. Just lots of extension cords.
Grade for Event Organization: A+
Next is the course itself. Overall, I enjoyed the obstacles. For what the course was, it worked. Admittedly though, as a guy who has done several OCR’s with some pretty intense obstacles, it’s just not the same. The best way I can put it: OCR’s are for the athlete looking for a new way to push boundaries; the Insane Inflatable 5K is for the fun runner who might want to try obstacle racing. It’s mainly a family thing as well. Most obstacle races have an age cut-off of 14 with parent permission. At one point, I was next to a family with kids as young as four. Again, for what the course is, it’s good for some good old-fashioned family fun. But for the experienced or even aspiring OCR enthusiast, it leaves a bit to be desired.
One thing: like all other OCR’s, they are adding new obstacles in 2016. Maybe some will be more fun for the hardcore OCR runner.
Grade for Obstacles: B+
Lastly, we look at the after party. And here’s what we got: more great fun for families. They had football throws, basketball shots, a DJ, food trucks, and plenty of fun for all ages. I mentioned in my review of Savage Race that having something for families is an area that some of these OCR’s could improve on, at least in the post-run party area. Since Insane Inflatable 5K is all about families, this comes easily for them.
Grade for After Party: A
Here’s my final verdict: while I’m more of a casual OCR runner as opposed to a serious athlete, I still like the obstacles I take on to push me. The Insane Inflatable 5K, while fun, didn’t do that. Does this mean I wouldn’t do it again? Not at all. In fact, it’s one I’m suggesting to other friends and family who aren’t looking to crawl in the mud or get dirty. It’s a great event to go out and have a good time. And it’s great for the whole family. So check it out! Bring the kids!