EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

November 10, 2012

Thousands run 'Rebel Race'

Event features camping, concert, and obstacle race

By Jonathan Phelps jphelps@eagletribune.com
The Eagle-Tribune

---- — HAVERHILL — Jeff Hixon jumped over a small fire as he ran down the hill to the finish line of the Rebel Race yesterday afternoon.

The race, which took place at Kimball Farm on East Broadway, featured many “military-style” obstacles, including 7-foot walls and large mud pits. People could either choose a 5k or 15k course.

Hixon, 38, of Boxford, said he has run many other similar obstacle races this year. He went for the 15k option yesterday.

“Some of the other obstacle races are mainly trail running,” Hixon said. “They had some pretty legit obstacles.”

He noted two 7-foot walls he had to scale, a rope traverse and mud pit.

Race Director Amit Nar said about 2,500 signed up to run the race and there were no problems reported at press time. The race also takes part in other areas of the country as well, he said.

“People are definitely excited to be here,” Nar said. “They had good time.”

Nar said they picked the eight-acre farm, located at the rural east end of Haverhill, at the edge of the historic Rocks Village area, after looking for sites in the Boston area and getting in touch with owner Tyler Kimball.

The event also featured overnight camping, a beer and wine bar and a live concert. Before the event, concerns were raised by city officials about the camping, parking, noise and other potential impacts of neighbors.

In light of those concerns, the License Commission put several restrictions on the event, including prohibiting parking on East Broadway, stopping music stop by 6 p.m. Saturday and hiring three city police officers to augment security efforts.

Mayor James Fiorentini asked police to keep a “close eye” on the event and to take “whatever action is necessary to make certain that the public and neighbors are protected.”

About 150 people were expected to camp out and the alcohol was restricted to one area of the property.

One police officer circled the property on one of the Haverhill Police Department’s ATVs.

There was also an ambulance on site in case of an emergency.

Haverhill police Capt. Kim Parolisi said there were no problems to report about the event as of 5 p.m. yesterday.

“They were very well organized,” Parolisi said. “They had a ton of staff and were well prepared.”

Lindsey Wilson, 24, of Methuen, stood at the end of the course, covered in mud, after finishing the race.

This was her first time giving such a race a try.

“It was intense, there were a lot of hills and it was muddy,” said Wilson, who was joined in the race by a group of friends.

Her favorite part? The mud, Wilson said.

“It was like a big slip-and-slide,” she said.