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Thrill-seeking athletes who are not afraid of getting muddy, wet or pushed to the limit will be taking part in Gadsden’s Barbarian Challenge, a six-mile obstacle course that runs through Noccalula Falls Park. With a motto of “Fear Is Not An Option,” over 1,000 participants are expected to participate in the extreme competition set for June 18, 2022. Registration is still open at www.barbarianchallenge.com. The event is hosted by the City of Gadsden Parks and Recreation Department and is presented by Greater Gadsden Area Tourism.
The course consists of over 25 natural and man-made obstacles up and down Lookout Mountain, including rope climbs, creek crossings and hill climbs. Obstacles include The Weaver, The Sternum Checker and Meat Hooks. Costumes of all kinds are encouraged.
The event is for those 12 and older. Participants can compete individually or as a team. Anyone under the age of 15 must have their parent or guardian present to sign a consent waiver and run with them. In addition to the race, there will be music and food vendors selling barbarian-inspired food.
Race times are at 8 a.m., 8:30 a.m. 9 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 10 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. and will be held rain or shine. All finishers receive a Barbarian medal. Overall female and male winner from the 8 a.m. run will receive the coveted “Conan the Barbarian” sword engraved with authentic runes. Age category winners will be selected from the fastest overall in all the races.
Sponsored by The Factory, the Kid’s Barbarian Challenge is open to children ages 5-12 and will feature 10-15 obstacles over a one-mile course. Finishers receive a medal.
The awards ceremony will start at approximately 12 p.m. Shuttles will be available from nearby parking areas at Mitchell Elementary School and Noccalula Falls Park. The event is free to spectators.
The official After Party will be held at Back Forty Beer Company from 2 to 6 p.m. Food specials will be available with proof of participation in the Barbarian Challenge. Live music starts at 4 p.m.