Sunday, November 17, 2013

100+ kids defeat giant Obstacle Dash course

"What was your favorite obstacle?" I asked at least ten children Saturday morning. Most of them had to take a minute or two to pick one, then tell me, "the hay pyramid" or "the big spider web." These energetic kids were at the Saline Fairgrounds for the first ever Obstacle Dash community event, a series of kid-friendly obstacles spread over a course about 3/4 of a mile long.

For the roughly 140 Ann Arbor elementary and middle school kids who took part in the Rec&Ed Obstacle Dash after school class, the event was a chance to test their skills on bigger obstacles. The event was also open to any 2nd - 8th grade students who wanted to try the course.

Carry the weight across the planks and paving stones...
without touching the grass.

Kids crawled, ducked, jumped and even rolled
through a long "spider web" obstacle.
The Obstacle Dash program's themes of team work, sportsmanship, self-confidence, dedication, courage, leadership and perseverance were apparent at each obstacle throughout the course. Coaches from One on One Sports Training took groups of kids through the course, talking about these themes and encouraging the participants to cheer for each other.

Rec&Ed co-created the Obstacle Dash program last spring with One on One Sports Training. Grant funding from the Michigan Dept of Community Health supported Rec&Ed in offering the program at four pilot elementary schools. The program was so popular with kids and parents that we expanded the program district-wide this fall.

Each group celebrated at the end of the course while
their parents snapped pictures. Many kids ran the course more than once.

Along with One on One, we'll be offering an Obstacle Dash Day during the February school break and a full Obstacle Dash after school program next spring. Interested in learning more? Contact Sheri Judkins by email or at 994-2300 ext. 53233.


  1. That looks just TOO COOL! I only wish my 1st grade granddaughters and Kindergarten grandson could do it... Got any plans for a course for younger kids?

  2. Hi Martha, great question! We offered the program to K-2 year olds last spring and may do so again in the future. For safety reasons we wanted to have slightly older kids out on the course on Saturday. We're also incorporating bits of Obstacle Dash into various summer camps, so I'm sure your grandkids will get to experience Obstacle Dash in the not-too-distant future!