Biggest Loser Off Road Challenge Review

The first Biggest Loser Off Road Challenge reviews of 2013 are coming in, and the race series has a lot of improving to do.Biggest Loser

I was pretty stoked when the Biggest Loser announced a new series of obstacle course races. They promised a “Non-intimidating Environment for New Runners and Walkers,” which I thought was a really cool addition to the obstacle course scene, because many events can be really intimidating for newbies, especially if they’ve struggled with weight. And it’s too bad because obstacle course races can be a powerful motivator to get people to be more active. So when Biggest Loser came along promising this non-intimidating environment, I saw a lot of potential in helping even more people reap the benefits of obstacle course racing.

But Biggest Loser didn’t quite deliver on this promise at the Off Road Challenge in Arizona on February 9th and 10th. The big issue is that they don’t actually design an obstacle course with Biggest Loser contestants in mind. The Biggest Loser course was more like an afterthought of the Spartan Sprint. So what that meant for participants is that they were on the same course at the same time as thousands of pretty hardcore Spartan athletes, many of who were trying to finish with a competitive time. The course primarily consisted of single-track trails in the rocky, cactus-filled desert, which made it difficult to pass people. It was a bit on the intimidating side, especially when a misstep could result in an unpleasant encounter with a cactus.

But even worse than having to be on the same course as all of the Spartan athletes is that the obstacles in a Spartan Race just aren’t appropriate for people who are new to the fitness scene. Even Dan Evans (Season 5 of Biggest Loser) didn’t attempt most of them as he walked through the course with participants. (Though he did take plenty of pictures of the few participants that did try, for promotion sake I imagine). But the truth is that I watched most of the Biggest Loser contestants walk by the obstacles such as the Log Jump, because falling from a 3-foot log if you are overweight is really dangerous, and yes, intimidating. And it was anything but confidence-building for the people I saw.

So come on Biggest Loser, if you are going to take $60 from participants, then offer an experience that actually builds confidence and isn’t intimidating. Otherwise they might as well pay the Spartan Race, suffer through pretty much the same thing, and get a cooler t-shirt along with better bragging rights.

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