Yup, here's me a couple months behind on a post I wanted to finalize and get posted a looong time ago! Oh well, it's done now and it's getting me excited for my next 5K, the Color Me Rad run in May! Woop Woop! If you wanna sign up for our team the team name is "Mad Skittles" and team captain last name is "Homolka" (aka my last name). Everyone's welcome!
Saturday was RACE DAY!! We woke up extra early (ok so just an hour earlier but still) to get prepped and ready to run. The day before we laughed because we were more worried about our wardrobe and what we were going to wear to crawl through mud and get trashed then we were about actually running the race. We decided on neon colors that way the first aid people could easily find us (we were joking but by all means 100% serious about that part). We also got some super crazy socks to wear as part of the "team unity" thing that we had dreamed up. Mine were of course leopard print and the coordinating colors were pink and orange. Tina choose the plaid design with lime green and blue's in them. I was kind of impressed with myself because besides the shoes (and undies) everything I wore were actually bought the day before. I got the socks for less than $1, the shorts were on clearance for $2 and the tank was also on clearance from Old Navy for $1.70. The only thing I really paid for was the sports bra which was actually on sale for less than $5. So for less than $10 I completed a whole outfit, and I thought it was going to be completely trashed and I'd have to throw it away but it all washed out and the tank is now one of my new favs. I really wish our Old Navy had some of these tanks as I'd totally go back and buy 15 more. If you look closely you can see the chip attached to my shoe, they were the timers for the race. Back to the story, it was about an hour drive to the race course but we were so excited we didn't care, we jammed out and got ready for a race of our lifetime! My goal was to finish in less than one hour as this was my first race and I wasn't sure exactly what to expect.
There were so many people when we got there we had no clue what we were supposed to do. We parked
after paying the outrageous $10 and then headed towards the race course. We walked up and just looked around confused for awhile, they did have a dj, but I wasn't impressed with his music selection. He barely played any songs I knew. They didn't have the best signage as to what you're supposed to do when you get there. We meet up with out other team mate and we kind of stretched a little bit then got into the "line" for the beginning of the race. Here was our before team picture. Cute? Clean!
We never really heard an official go horn or anything we just saw the people in front of us take off so we followed. The start gate was kind of packed as we were all trying to get in front of each other or around each other and then we hit the first obstacle and people kind of scattered. We lost Tina within the first five minutes and couldn't find her, I felt horrible for leaving a wounded soldier behind but someone said, "save yourself." So I guess you could say, that's what I did.
The first couple of obstacles were kinda easy, we had to crawl into a pit full of mud and wade through waist deep water. Next was crawling through some giant tube like tunnels with a couple inches worth of water in them. I was actually short enough that I could sort of walk through them so I didn't get too muddy at this point. After the tunnels were some tires hung up that you were Then more running, followed by some giant 2-3 inches deep worth of slop mud, not just normal nasty mud but like pig pen mud, the sloppy stinky stuff you try to avoid at all costs.
After the pig pen mess was the long wait. We had to climb over a wall of military style boards, it was tall, and we had to wait in line a good 10-25 minutes as there was a traffic jam of people waiting to crawl over it and you couldn't go around it because there was brush on both sides. So, we stood there and waited for our turn. This my dear friends, is what made my time horrible! It gave us a super long break to the point of wanting to just quit because those who were banking on good times were getting frustrated that they had to wait so long. I'd have to say that this was the worst part of the race on their planning part. They should have either spaced out more boards in this area for people to cross over or had less runners in each heat so there wouldn't be such a stand-still. Finally after crawling over the wall (in less than a minute) we made our way to the next obstacle. The picture above is of me climbing the wall, it was super hard for us shorties out there.
Run, run, run some more to the next obstacle. The running was one of the easier parts of this race, you had so many breaks while doing obstacles that you had time to gather yourself and catch your breath before the next spurt of running started again. Next came the GIANT water/mud slide. You'd think this would be fun right? Ya, think again... It was straight up painful! I'm talkin rub your butt on wet sandpaper and then throw some giant rocks into it, yup that's what it really felt like.
There were a couple other obstacles scattered through out it all. The only thing is disliked about the placement of the obstacles was that most of them were placed at the end meaning you ran for awhile then had seven different obstacles to jam into a small amount of space. Another tough one was the spider web thingy towards the end, I mean with umpteen million people attempting it together, you have no room to really attempt it. Oh and the whole monkey bars act, give me a break! I have NO upper body strength, that is the ONLY obstacle I truly skipped over.
They gave you one last dosing of mud that you had to crawl through before hitting the finish line. You had to army crawl under some twine to the end, that's where everyone got the most muddy. Once you hit that finish line you had to give your chip back and then grab a medal. A bit confusing again because there were no real instructions and they didn't tell you where you could find your time. I guess the only thing you could do was wait for the results online... Here's the after picture. It was an extremely fun experience!
Notice how I'm only covered from my legs down? Ya, I kinda cheated at the end, I didn't do full out army crawl, just hands and knees crawl. Oh well, I felt it was fair!
Overall my experience was pleasant. I'd do it again if I was asked too by a friend but would prefer cheaper rates if they're not going to space us out and cram so many people into each wave. I know it's a fun run, but having to wait for others to go is not fun. Either decrease the amount of people you have in each wave or don't charge as much for registration. The people I met were all excited and polite and the overall atmosphere was filled with hopes of finishing the race. It was a fun buddy sport just make sure you bring a towel and dry clothes. I'm one of those people that needs some type of medal to make me feel like I've accomplished something so the best part to me was being able to take a medal and the dirty bib home to hang on my wall. I cannot wait to participate in more in hopes of "filling up" the wall. Kind of my bragging rights and inspiration to push myself a little harder while running at home.
Oh, and how could we forget an after shot of our "team"?! Cute eh? Ya, we still cannot figure out how Tina got so muddy. We managed to make it through without being covered. Along with her being covered she somehow managed to get mud in her eye, it was serious enough she went to the doctor and ended up having to wear glasses in hopes to remove any infection from getting worse. Poor Tina, bad experience all around for her, first we lose her then she almost losses an eye! Next time, I promise not to leave her behind, so much for a good team member. I'm still sucking up in hopes she'll someday forgive me! But, she must not be too mad, she gave me some yummy recipes of hers to try out. ;)
Also, like I mentioned, bring a towel. We only had one, so we used the buddy system again. The firefighter hose water is CHILLY! Plus, standing in soaking wet clothes didn't help. I changed right away but Tina opted to stay in cold wet clothes until we got home to shower. Eh.
We got home and did our shower thing then kind of relaxed the rest of the day. Nothing really exciting happened. We really just wanted to relax after the race. Might have dosed off for awhile and occasionally played with the kiddos.
And here my dear followers, is the official race results! Take into consideration that good 20 minute wait I had in the forest just to climb over the planks that took less than a minute to actually do. If you take that into consideration (like I told you to) then I'd say I really did easily hit my goal of finishing in under an hour. Although I do admit I kind of feel like a failure looking at my average mile pace of 20:28 because I talked myself up and saw my best pace was under nine minutes, I know I wasn't pushing myself and wasn't running three full miles together but still, was there really a ten minute difference between my average mile times? Seems kind of fishy and depressing. But, I place 83rd in my division and I place 519 in the female division out of over 1,757 so that's pretty darn good I think! Also, it doesn't say it in those stats but the average time for all racers was 1:09:21 so that means I was deff below average on that part! Woot Woot!
The experience was great and I do see myself wanting to do more races in the future but I think if I continue to run and practice I could improve my score. I don't mind doing these for fun with friends but I would like to try one for myself sometime just to see how well I could do if I were to push myself.