May 26, 2013

Race #2 - Survive the Farm 5K Obstacle Course Challenge

Oh man, where do I even begin?  This race was beyond tough.  This weekend I ran the Survive the Farm 5K Obstacle Course Challenge which benefited the 'Operation Adopt A Solider' and 'Hope for the Warriors'.  If you want an idea of the obstacles and the course, you can check out a video of the course here.  This was also the second race of my three races in three weeks - you can read about my first race, the CDPHP Workforce Team Challenge here.  The weather leading up to the race was nasty - it rained all week and race day the high topped out at only 42 degrees with constant rain.  Perfect day for running an obstacle course race - right?  I cannot even begin to tell you how tough this race was; I finished in just under an hour an ten minutes. 

The entire course was mud, everywhere you stepped you sank.  It was so muddy that throughout the majority of the race it was nearly impossible to run - every time I started to run I sank even deeper or slid all over the place.  My two goals for this race were to 1 - finish and 2 - finish without breaking anything, which was a very real possibility!  It was also COLD, really really cold.  Which didn't help anything when you were running through and jumping over creeks with water up to your knees, sliding into a pond that was chest deep and crawling under barbed wire. 

We got there around 9 AM, signed in, got our shirts and chips, after that we were freezing so we decided to go sit in the car for a while.  Around 9:50 we lined up for the race (there were 3 heats running at 10 AM, 11 AM and 12 PM) and waited - the national anthem was sung and then we were off!  Within the first 100 yards I was COVERED in mud up to my knees.  And at this point all the runners were still pretty close together so when I reached the first obstacle there was a bit of a line.  The first obstacle was five logs (approximately 50 feet long) over a creek that if I fell in would have been about up to my chest (I know this because I saw other women about my height fall in.  I made it over without falling in but the real test came when I had to climb up the hill on the other side! 

Following that obstacle there were about 13 more - everything from climbing a rope ladder to ducking and climbing over logs and army crawling under barbed wire.  All those were intense but the most challenging part of the entire course were the hills - and there were A LOT of them.  Envision trying to climb a 45 degree hill (at least) that is straight mud; and to make things even more challenging think about having to go down the opposite side!  I was basically mud surfing down hills, going from tree to tree trying not to fall flat on my face.  At the end after the barbed wire crawl (with worms) we climbed a decent hill to a slide at the top (an actual, huge slide) complete with what looked like dish soap and a huge hose.  Going down I picked up a lot of speed and at the end was dumped into a pond with water that came up to my chest!  After that it was about a 1/4 mile to the finish where there was a towel, warm clothes and a beer truck waiting!

Huge flag anchored to a fire truck for the race - the race was on Memorial Day weekend after all.
Group #1 getting ready to take off - I was somewhere in that pack.
Look at all that mud!
Coming in at the finish!
Almost there!
Completely exhausted and SO happy to be finished!
Our team!  Team Upstate/Downstate!
My very much earned dry fit shirt!
I survived the farm!

All in all the race was extremely challenging!  The rain (including the entire week of rain leading up to the race), the cold and of course the extreme mud made everything about the race 100x more challenging.  It would be interesting in seeing how the race could be on a warm sunny day (I think I could actually run a good portion of it) but at this point I am not willing to definitely commit to doing it again next year, we'll see though - I think I need time for my extreme soreness to go away.

1 comment:

  1. Abby, you guys all did a great job and I am truly inspired by all four of you. Hoping this will be enough to motivate me to get in shape so I can be part of the Upstate/Downstate team next year.