In the market for OCR shoes

After participating in the Battlefrog Chicago, I have come to the realization that running shoes are definitely not ideal for muddy and rocky terrain.  So I’ve been reading articles, browsing websites, and mentally shopping for the ideal shoe.  Surprisingly there are quite a few on the market for this ever growing sport of obstacle course racing.  I’ve already signed up for the 2016 Battlefrog as well as the Spartan Sprint, Spartan Super, and the Spartan Beast so I know that I’ll give them a true workout.  Obviously I’m new to OCR races and would love the input of others who may have more to offer.

Reebok All Terrain Super 2.0

Reebok All Terrain Super 2.0 – This is the one I’m seriously looking at.  I’m not sure who uses this shoe in OCR racing but I like the look, the tread, and a reasonable price.

Reebok Spartan 2

Reebok All Terrain Super 2.0 Trifecta – I like the tread on here also coming from a reputable company but also for the cool logo!


Icebug Zeals – This seems to be a pretty popular shoe amongst the elite OCR runners and I wish a store around me had them so that I could try them out.

Innov-8 Mudclaw

Inov-8 Mudclaws – What an awesome aggressive looking tread on these!  No mud is slowing these shoes down.

Galena Lead Rush 1/2 Marathon

I was totally in need of a runcation and saw an ad for the Galena Lead Rush sometime during the summer.  I haven’t been there since I was a kid and don’t remember much about it!

The price was right and I wanted to run some hills.  How naive!  I obviously didn’t prepare for the amount of hill work that I needed.  No worries…I can handle anything that comes my way.  (I’ll come back to that!)

Packet pickup and a nice backdrop!

Flat Frank all ready and anxiously awaiting the next morning!

This is just one of the hills!  Doesn’t it scream leg pain?!

Now I’ll be honest, while it may have been a more challenging course, it was absolutely breathtaking.  I could not have asked for a more scenic route.  The first 5 miles were mostly flat but still beautiful.  It hits you right in the legs from miles 6-8.  Right when you make the turn and see the elevation – wow!

The next few miles had it’s elevation changes but still not as drastic as the 6-8.  Now, I may be in the dissenting opinion, but I LOVE the downhills.  I know it’s not great for anyone with knee problems or ACL injuries, but if you take the hill the right way, it is manageable.  And finally, we come to the finish line…

How can you beat a finish line with a huge crowd, scenic river views, and a ski lift back to the top??



Don’t let it fool you.  This pic may show a superstar runner in his prime, but the legs are jello!  I still managed to get a PR for a 1/2 marathon and a finer appreciation for hillwork!



So, I’ve contemplated starting a blog for the last couple of years…

I’m not even sure where to begin but can honestly say that at this point in my life, running has become much more than a necessity.  In a million years, I would have never thought that would come out of my mouth.  But, here I am, constantly thinking about running and what it has done for me.

So, where to begin?  Hmmm, maybe an introduction to who I am and why you’re even reading this.  Simply put, my name is Frank Nardomarino and I am a career Lieutenant/Paramedic and have been doing so for the last 18 years.  I have always been into fitness and sports of some sort and have dabbled in mountain bike racing, baseball, athletic training, and hiking to name a few.  But over the last few years, something changed.  Something drew me to running and the whole mindset of “I have to run!”  It’s hard to explain and yet most runners have been there and have that same urge.

While my racing portfolio is modest, I have become rather addicted to the whole race experience and running in general.  There is something inside me that allows me to think more clearly and understand what is important in life while I run.  Maybe it’s the scenery and maybe it’s my heart beating out of my chest.

Either way, I plan on using this blog as my personal journal of running, races, obstacle course racing, nutrition, and fitness in general.  I always encourage input and if you’re enjoying it, please let me know.

Thanks for listening,


Libertyville Running Club

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