Last Saturday, Brent, 5 of my cousins, my aunt & I participated in the Mastadon Challenge 5K fun run in conjunction with the Saline Celtic Festival. I was planning to have this race-recap post up on TUESDAY but my computer had different ideas about that and well yeah… I need to get better at these timely posts but better late than never I suppose.
A few weeks ago I got a message from my Aunt asking me if I wanted to do a fun race with her and a few of my cousins in July. Since it seemed like a WAYS away I said YES without even really thinking it through & Brent agreed as well. After a week or two went by I realized that we needed to register and that’s when reality hit, we were running an obstacle course race.
I was pretty excited to challenge myself, do something fun with my cousins and support the local community while getting in a workout. Brent on the other hand was a bit more worried about the running component of the race & decided to forego the “family” fun-run for the individual race where he could do it at his pace and feel comfortable with the obstacles.
Saturday morning we were up bright & early to get ready, get hydrated and get to the registration booth before the individual race began. Brent got lined up and the race coordinator started to explain all of the obstacles that they were going to encounter, it started to sound legit, heres a run down:
Over & Under hurdles
5 foot wall climb — 10 foot wall climb — 5 foot wall climb
Cargo net climb up and over
1mile straight away
Kangaroo Ball Bounce 100ft down & back
Army Crawl through Sand
Tire Flips 100ft down & back
Lily Pad Crossing
Crawl up a hill
While they did not track our times, as it was strictly a fun run, Brent finished in about 30 minutes. Then he hung out with us until the family race started. Because of the obstacles they sent us out in waves, giving everyone a bit of time to make it through obstacles without too much bottle necking.
Once our wave was set free we headed up the hill through the woods and towards our first obstacle which was the over-under hurdles. I definitely had the “slow poke” mentality when it came to the hurdles, high jumping is not my thang, and this 6-0 girl doesn’t get that low that often 😉 but they were fun and we were all cheering each other on! Then it was time for the 3 walls. The 2 five foot walls had slats to put your feet between the 2x4planks so they were pretty quick to hop.
The 10 foot wall was a bit of a different story. The wall was flat plywood with a 2×4 on its side about half way up the wall and a thin rope with a few knots in it. We had to use the rope to get to the 2×4 and then use that to get our footing and climb up the remainder of the wall. The 10foot wall was our first “bottle necking” or delay in the race. We worked together to help the people in front of us over the wall & cheered each other on.
While it sounded very manageable this was definitely a perception vs. reality situation. Perceived = easy… reality = much more strategic & challenging. I thought after helping a few people over I would have no problem getting over the wall but instead I needed two tries. The first try I really just thought I could jump up and use my [lack of] upper body strength to pull me to the ledge… reality was I needed to attack the wall at more of an angle so that I could utilize my upper body strength and get good footing on the wall.
After getting over the walls we made our way into the woods and after a few slippery hills and some rugged terrain we hit the cargo net & our second delay. We had a bit of waiting but then slowly started to make our way up the net over the huge tree branch and down the net again. Then it was more trekking through mud and muck. At one point we went from walking in ankle deep standing water to walking through thick knee deep mud. This was the type of mud where you were a bit worried about your shoe staying on your foot when you pulled it out of the mud.
Once we made it through all the mud, muck and hills we came out of the woods and hit a straight away. Through the woods the 9 of us stuck together, helping each other out where we needed it, but then we hit the open field and just started to run. Before I knew it my cousin Kyle, hit the ground running and started passing us all so I picked up the pace and headed off with him to our next obstacle…
The kangaroo balls… okay so I don’t know what these things are called but I loved them when I was a kid! We had to bounce the ball down to the cone (about 100ft away) and back before continuing on. The girl helping at this part of the race recommended getting air, so essentially we were doing squat jumps down and back the whole way! It was so fun!
After the balls we wadded through the freezing cold pond & headed up the backside of the course which included army crawling through a sand pit, pulling some tires then flipping tractor tires, before he had to head back across the water via lily pads or floating foam pads tied together that were extremely slippery!
Then we took a quick dip in the pool before making our way back in the woods for the final stretch of the 5K. Kyle & I stuck together making our way up a few slippery slopes then we encountered dead-mans-hill which had a crawling obstacle set up… Kyle & I both eyed the roots, rocks, mud & muck that was under the orange lattice work and decided that running up the hill sounded like a MUCH BETTER idea. I felt bad for about a second for skipping the obstacle but I like my elbows & knees… a lot.
Kyle & I rounded the last corner and there we were facing the last obstacle…
The Slip & Slide!!!!!
Talk about the best ending to a race possible & reminded me how much fun slip’n’slides are… it also made me really want to make one of my own!
We waited for the rest of our group to make it down the slip & slide before getting hosed down by a fireman and heading back to the house to shower & grab a beer.
It was such a fun day & I cannot wait to do more fun runs with my family. I am usually not someone who will pay to run a 5K but doing these obstacle races and things as a group made it so worth the money and was a great use of our time!
big thanks to Brent for being our race photographer and following us around!