CRESTVIEW — The Shoal River robotics team is hosting the 4th annual Obstacle Trek Challenge on April 13.

The challenge began a few years ago when the robotics team needed money to go to the state competition.

“My husband and I had just completed our second Mud Run ourselves and we thought we could put one together,” said robotics coach Laurie Allen. “So the idea came from our personal experience and the need for funding.”

Allen said there is a wetland area behind the football field that is perfect for the course. The race is a 5K trail run with over 20 "challenge elements."

“We’ve had students as young as 5 or 6 run with their parents and get through it,” said Allen.

This year, there are four different options for the race: a fun run, an elite race, a solo three-hour multi-loop race, and a two- or three person three-hour relay multi-loop race.

The fun run is a noncompetitive run where runners can skip the obstacles and go at their own pace.

The other three races will have awards for the top three finishers. Competitors are required to complete every obstacle on the trail. The solo, multi-loop race gives competitors three hours to get through as many loops as possible in that time period. The two- or three-person multi-loop race is the same concept, but only one person on the team goes at a time, while the others wait for their turn.

“This is an answer to wanting more and wanting it to be competitive,” said Allen.

The challenges include walls, a fence, lots of mud, CrossFit elements and natural obstacles.

“Last year, we had a slide into the pond,” said Allen. “This year we’re going to cross the pond on a raft. There will be a rope across the pond and you’ll have to pull yourself across.”

Check in for the races will begin at 6:45 a.m. The fun run starts at 8 a.m., with the other start times being staggered to give the runners enough time to get far enough ahead.

The fun run costs $35, while the other three options cost $45 per runner. All proceeds from the run will go to the robotics team.

To sign up for the race, visit or the Shoal River Middle School Facebook page. Competitors can also register on the day of the race at the school.