Hey friends, happy Monday! Surprised to hear from me?? It’s been crazy, I know, but that is life…it’s crazy, messy and beautiful. Anyways, I have some exciting news…I ran my first “race” of 2015 last week!! Back in December my sister texted me asking if I wanted to do a Rugged Maniac race with her. I have never run a race with my sister (we were planning to do the Tough Mudder last year but she was seriously injured and needed major surgery so that was postponed) so I of course said yes.
Well, weeks went by and finally last Sunday it was race time. I think this is the first year since I started running that I didn’t run a race until almost the end of the year–eek! I will use “race” loosely for this specific event because they didn’t time you with chips (unless you bought them for extra $). This kind of race is more about having fun and doing the obstacles, rather than getting a PR on a course. ( I am sure there are some that were there to really compete, but I would say 95% of the people there were in groups doing it for pure fun.)
In general, I don’t usually do these kinds of events. I have done one Spartan race before (back in 2010) and while I had a great time with friends, I found it to be pricey for a 5k and would have rather spent that money on a road or trail race (which are usually much cheaper too!) However, my sister loves these kinds of races and I was happy to do this with her.
So, on Sunday morning I woke up and headed the 40 minutes down to her house where we met up with some of her friends and headed to Southwick. When we arrived, we had to pay $10 a car to park. This kind of annoyed me since the race is not cheap (prices start at $49 and go up to $110) and then you have to pay to park, pay if you want a timing chip, etc. It seems like they nickle and dime you for everything additional, but whatever. We parked, got out our bags stocked with towels and a change of clothing and walked to the registration table.
The check in was SUPER quick (less than 5 minutes,) we got our bibs and t-shirt and then headed to the bag check which was very quick too. I will say it wasn’t incredibly organized (it has a more relaxed feel) but it didn’t feel chaotic if that makes sense.
We had about 30 minutes to kill before our wave started so we walked around a bit and took a before pic!Finally, it was time for our wave to start. We met up with a few more friends and before we knew it, we were off. One difference I noticed in this race vs. the Spartan I did was that there were SO many more obstacles. There were 25 in this race, which at first seemed like a lot, but I really had such a blast doing them all.
There were a lot of back ups with all the people at the obstacles, which is why I think it would be super hard to actually try for a PR at a race like this, but going in with the “just have fun” mentality helped me a lot. One HUGE plus to this race is that you get free race pics, this was the biggest perk in my opinion. Here are some pics of us running over fire ( I LOVE this picture series)…
Then going down the ridiculously high slide into water (check out Ashley’s face…she is terrified of heights–I can’t lie, I didn’t love the stomach drop either!)
And…this is where I lost my favorite headband (total amateur move, I have no idea why I thought it was a good idea to wear it, but what can I do now?) Needless to say, its sitting in the bottom of a mud pit right now. This was the one obstacle I was looking forward to the least, as we were fully submerged in the muddy water and I can’t pretend that I don’t hate the feeling of being so dirty, but it wasn’t AS bad as I thought it would be. I also made sure to keep my mouth closed anywhere near water. There was also a lot of sliding around on our stomachs in mud under barbed wire. Those weren’t as hard as I thought they would be since I am so short and a lot of scaling high walls–especially the last one where you literally had to sprint to get up as high on the wall as possible and have someone pull you over the top.
One we scaled that wall, we had to go over a rope floor and climb down and we were at the finish. The finish line was a cluster–this was the most unorganized finish line I have ever seen. There were at least a hundred people packed in trying to get through the finish line. It took us over 10 minutes to get through to get our medals. They were giving out water and some cut up bananas and oranges that I skipped because I just wanted to get my bag so I could get cleaned up and into new clothes.
We went, took a few pics and then headed to the bag check area.
After we got our bags (super quick process) we went over to the clean up area, washed up and got changed into clean clothes before heading over to the area where they had music and drinks. I grabbed a chocolate milk and the rest of our group had some beer (I’m not a beer drinker.) We stayed about 15 minutes or so and then headed out. We had a 25 minute drive to my sisters and then I had to drive back home.
Overall, while there are some things about this race that were unorganized or annoying to me, for my first race of 2015 (and maybe my last?) I had a blast and I am really glad I did this race with my sister and her friends.
Question of the day
Have you ever done a race like this? Thoughts, experiences?