Urban Trials 5K obstacle course is designed to push mental and physical capacities

A new kind of 5K obstacle course called Urban Trials is coming to Sawyer Point on Nov. 8. The course was designed by former CIA and FBI agents and will include mental and physical obstacles, taking the typical 5K to the next level. 
“This race is a combination of everything and seeing if people can use their brains while they’re tired,” says Daryn Hillhouse, founder of Urban Trials.
Hillhouse, who is originally from Capetown, South Africa and served in the British military for five years, developed the idea for Urban Trials and pitched it to The Brandery. His startup class there is almost completed, just in time to launch his first event.
Urban Trials participants will begin at Sawyer Point and follow along the river by Great American Ball Park. The course will span the Purple People Bridge, then turn around in Northern Kentucky and come back through Friendship Park, ending again at Sawyer Point.
The course is designed to push participants both mentally and physically, and each obstacle will include a twist of some kind. For example, a set of monkey bars will be painted different colors, and, after completing the monkey bars, participants will be asked how many bars were red. If they don’t know the answer, they have to go back and redo the obstacle.
There’s also a maze, and the solution to the maze can be found within prior obstacles.
The event is open to individuals and teams; teams can pick and choose who they want to compete each obstacle. Hillhouse says Urban Trials is for everyone, no matter their level of fitness or age.
“The most important thing is that we have something for everyone,” he says. “We’re designing the course so that it’s compatible with families with younger kids. It’s not just for those who traditionally do obstacle races — it’s for everyone.”
Hillhouse also wants to give back to Cincinnati. Urban Trials has partnered with The Joseph House, a local organization that provides support for homeless veterans. A breakfast at the Joseph House Nov. 6 will preview and celebrate the race as well as provide a warm meal to homeless veterans. All race participants are invited and encouraged to attend.
In order for Urban Trials to be successful, Hillhouse says he needs 1,000 people to enter. If you’re interested in competing, visit Urban Trials’ website for more information. If you refer a friend to the event, you get $5 cash back, your friend gets $5 cash back and $5 is donated to the Joseph House.
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Caitlin Koenig is a Cincinnati transplant and 2012 grad of the School of Journalism at the University of Missouri. She's the department editor for Soapbox Media and currently lives in Northside with her husband, Andrew, and their three furry children. Follow Caitlin on Twitter at @caite_13.