My running buddy, Jenn, and I decided it would be fun to sign up for an obstacle course race in Staten Island as a good way to prepare us for Broad Street. Fun is the operative word here.
Leading up to the race all we knew was that we would be running about 8 miles through trails with a number of 'mystery' obstacles along the way. It couldn't be that hard right?! Wrong!
We showed up Saturday morning and while we waited for our start time we were surrounded by athletes that looked like they were ready to do battle. Apparently we had no idea what we were in for as we donned our hot pink and green spandex and sparkly shirts.
* Note to self: Always do a rehearsal run in whatever costume get up you expect to run at least 8 miles in.
The race started with us crawling through mud on our hands and knees under some netting. It continued with what I suppose you could call a run through the woods but it was really more a walk for fear we would trip over one of the many roots or rocks in our path. The next obstacle we came across was 'Mount Moses' which was basically a very large cliff that we had to climb up with the help of a single rope. After slipping a few times I finally made it to the top. A little more 'running' lead us to a lake which we had to kayak across. Just picture it, two small girls with not a lot of upper body strength attempting to paddle! We must have been quite the sight to see!
After we finally made it to the shore, sopping wet, the run continued through the mud. And more mud and more mud until we found ourselves running for a half a mile through a stream.
I think it was around this time where I noticed that the coolness I felt on my butt was not because I was wet but because my pants had split. Thus the reason for the note to self. Thankfully with some quick thinking I turned my shirt into a skirt and ran in just my sports bra on top. While it wasn't the best solution it was the only solution.
But, back to the stream, which wasn't a dried up stream, it was freezing cold water up to our ankles that made us numb! And just when we thought we were done with the stream we were lead to a drainage pipe that we had to shimmy through on our hands and knees. Once again the water was freezing and the cement was hard (we have bruises on our knees to prove that!) but we made it through to find out we had to continue to run through the water! At this point we were about halfway through the race and I think Jenn and I both wanted to cry.
As we continued to run we came up to our next obstacle which entailed us having our arms tied together while we carried a 25lb bag of sand. We were given a map of this wooded area with 5 checkpoints. Three of these checkpoints would give us a number for the combination of our lock. Of course we weren't lucky enough to find our combination in the first three checkpoints and had to go to all five! Once we finally navigated out of the woods and unlocked our lock we were unlocked from each other and left the bag to some other sorry team to carry around for 30 minutes. If we weren't drained before, we were completely spent after that one.
About 3 miles and a couple of brain teasers later the finish line was in sight! I'm not sure which of us was happier but very quickly that happiness vanished as we found out we had one more obstacle to complete. We had to climb up a wall and then get across some netting to then climb down the other side.
As we finally made it across the finish line we hugged and laughed and said NEVER AGAIN!
It was great to experience something different and maybe if we were more prepared it would have been a bit easier on us, but for now we may just stick to road races. We ended up finishing in 2 hours and 44 minutes which put us 314 out of 634 total teams and 56 out of 184 female teams. Not too shabby especially with a hole in my pants for more than half the race!
Now I need to focus on restoring my muscles and my energy to Broad Street! Only 6 more days til the race that I've spent 10 weeks preparing for!