Challenge accepted: 6th annual Bear Crawl begins this Saturday in Nebo

A contestant in last year’s Bear Crawl OCR, photo courtesy of Bear Crawl OCR’s Facebook page.


The sixth annual Bear Crawl Obstacle Course Race takes place this Saturday at 8 a.m. at Collins Parkway in Nebo.

This year’s race is hosted by Southern Ground Fitness owner Cody Collins and organized by Collins and Shelby Roviello.

During the event, racers will navigate through woods and water, climb walls, lift heavy things, and help fellow runners overcome obstacles both mental and physical along the course, with more than 25 obstacles over 3-, 6- and 8-mile distances. Off-road activities start at 9 a.m. and will feature more than 10 mind-bending, muscle-wrenching obstacles including an inverted wall, bucket carry, atlas ball carry, a rope climb and barbell challenges.

According to race director Jeannie Conner, this year’s crawl has over 200 participants from across North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. Participant ages are anticipated from 9 years old to 77 years old.

“We want to celebrate community health and wellness,” said Conner, “and challenge people to learn their limits so they can set goals and improve. We’ve got a phenomenal amount of athletes of all different ages coming out to see what they can do.”

According to the race itinerary, the event is split into three divisions: Cub Crawl, Open and Elite. The Cub Crawl, starting at 10 a.m. and available to children 9 years old and younger, will be a half-mile and have 10+ obstacles. All participants must have a parent sign a waiver on the day of the event.

The Open Crawl, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with heats starting every 15 minutes, is for anyone running for completion. Your time will be tracked and you will be given a medal for finishing. There are no penalties or limitations on the number of attempts to complete an obstacle. An adult must accompany children under the age of 15. All participants must sign a waiver prior to starting.

The Elite Crawl is for anyone entering a competitive division, with heats starting every 15 minutes. Participants will compete within their age division (20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70-79), with prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in each age-group bracket.

According to Conner, goodie bags from Mission Health and The Vitamin Shoppe in Hickory will be available to participants, while RHA will be present with a substance abuse prevention table.

The race is open to all ages and skill levels including personal and corporate teams. Prices range from $20 to 60, with same day registration available on-site. Day-of registrants should plan to arrive at least one hour prior to desired heat time.

The 2019 Bear Crawl OCR will be held this Saturday, March 9 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 1200 Collins Parkway in Nebo. In the event of bad weather, a backup date will be March 16. For more information, contact Cody Collins at or visit

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