Conquer The Gauntlet (CTG) is the Midwest’s favorite race series holding six events annually that are located between Des Moines, Iowa, and Dallas, Texas.  Their race series, which started in 2012, is four miles and 25 obstacles making it an action packed run from start to finish. 

While you can qualify for North American Obstacle Course Racing Championships (NORAM) or OCR World Championships (OCRWC) at one of a dozen different races in North America, here is why you should head to CTG:

Obstacles:

If a race calls itself an OCR, they better bring their A game on obstacles.  CTG has 4 miles and 25 legit obstacles.  A puddle of mud doesn’t count as an obstacle nor does that fallen log you just ran over.  Those five eight foot walls in row?  That counts as one obstacle.  The CTG build crew puts their heart and soul into every course.  Get ready to test yourself regardless of your ability level:

For the Elites:

I’m of the belief if you are going to win prize money or have an elite band at an OCR you should have to do every obstacle, no penalties.  CTG is known for having the most difficult obstacles in America out of any series.  Can you complete CTG’s pegboard Pegatron? 

Will you make it across the ever changing rig over water called Tarzan Swing? After those plus, Stairway to Heaven and Cliffhanger (uphill monkey bars that rotate) are you fast enough to win a cash prize and the coveted metal gauntlet?

conquer the gauntlet

For the Age Groupers:

Maybe you are getting better at obstacles but are still not 100% yet.  To qualify for the Age Group category of NORAM (or OCR World Championships) at CTG you don’t need to complete every obstacle. 

This doesn’t mean you can just run past all the obstacle (that’s called a disqualification), but it does mean you can continue running if you try and fail at Pegatron (after you give up your elite belt).  If you don’t challenge yourself, you’ll never know what your weaknesses are or how to improve. 

For those concerned about keeping your band at NORAM:

I’ve yet to meet a person that has kept their band at CTG and lost it at NORAM.  Maybe they exist but I haven’t found one.  Traveling to a championship can be a significant emotional, time and monetary investment.  If you want to ensure you come home with a band, come to CTG and keep your belt. 

Family Fun Feel

Unlike some of the bigger brands, the race has a more intimate feel with race owners present at the start and finish line sending waves off and welcoming them back home with a finisher’s medal.  Come race CTG, experience the event and you’ll find yourself adding the hashtag #CTGFamily to your post. 

OCR Community

Line up at the start line at any CTG and you’ll see people from all levels coming out to race.  In the earlier waves you will find the obsessive OCR fanatics that are present at events like OCRWC and NORAM. 

In the later waves you will find some of the same people back out on the course helping first timers by giving technique tips at obstacles or running alongside them.  Don’t know anyone at CTG?  Come hang out at the CTG Pro Team tent and make some new friends.  Everyone is welcome and I can guarantee you’ll leave with some new friends. 

ocrwc conquer the gauntlet

Quality Per Dollar Spent

I personally have not found a qualifying race that gives you this many quality obstacles for each dollar spent on registration.  If you sign up early enough, usually around six months or earlier, registration is only $49 (that’s if you didn’t use a discount code). 

At prices like that you could run the whole event series for what it would cost to run two races of some other series….plus you would still have some extra money to spend on CTG merchandise (I know you want that Pegatron shirt or maybe you want to wait for the new Akuma CTG jersey).   

You can qualify for Adventurey’s championship line up of events at a dozen different race series in North America. 

However, I’ll be at CTG and you should come out to it too. Whether you are trying to ensure success by challenging yourself with hard obstacles, are looking for a different feel to your race or want to just have fun while qualifying, CTG has a place for you.  #CTGFamily

Worried about preparing for CTG?  Pick-up a copy of the only book designed to prepare you for their race, Conquering The Gauntlet and follow along their Pro Team for weekly tips and workouts

–Evan Perperis

Evan Perperis, NSCA-CPT,  is an athlete on the Conquer The Gauntlet Pro Team and author of three books on Obstacle Course Racing. Included in his 39 podium finishes is a 2nd place Pro Coed Team at the 2018 North American OCR Championships and 1st Place Team at 2018 World’s Toughest Mudder. Find more of his content at www.teamstrengthspeed.com.