New Columbus ‘Mayhem’ 5K obstacle course opens for Memorial Day

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Close to 200 people competed Monday in “Memorial Day Mayhem,” a 5K obstacle course time trial in east Columbus.

The event was the first of its kind at the Jewish Community Center on College Avenue. The “Black Diamond” course opened in August 2016.

The course consisted of 33 obstacles over more than three miles of terrain. Competitors took off in waves every 30 seconds. Among the first to begin and the first to finish was West Gardner, a high school junior.

“It rained last night so it was a little bit muddy,” Gardner said. “The river current was very strong. It was a fun one to tackle. Overall, lot of great obstacles. My favorite one was the last one, with the cliffhanger, I guess you could call it. It took a lot of arm strength, it was a lot of fun.”

Gardner, who is from the Cincinnati area, said he began doing obstacle course events two years ago and has competed all over Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.

“I mean, it’s definitely a mental game,” Gardner said. “I do track, and my friend tells me that running is ten percent physical, the rest is mental. So [it] definitely plays games on your mind. But yeah, just knowing that there are people breathing down your neck, it really pushes you to go farther.”

The course is open to members of the JCC. An event spokesperson said there are also obstacle course classes taught at the JCC on Sunday mornings. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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