I think it is fair to say I am officially sucked into the world of OCRs (obstacle course races). I find myself counting down the days until the next OCR, finding new challenges to take on, and amping up my training to focus more on obstacles. It had been about 2 months since my last OCR and I could not wait to conquer some obstacles and get a little muddy with my teammates, Kurt and Stacy.
We arrived at Georgia International Horse Park about 1 1/2 hours before our wave time. When you register for Terrain Race, you select which wave you want to run - with the first waves being competitive waves followed by the open waves every 15 minutes. Since we had about a 90 minute drive to the race, we opted for a little bit later start wave of 10:15. There were two options for parking: regular parking and VIP parking. We opted for VIP and spent the extra $5 - WELL WORTH IT! We were basically right at the finish line (maybe 150 yards away) rather than over a half mile for regular parking.
We grabbed our bibs and checked out the race site before checking our bags at gear check. The way the start/finish line area was set up, you were able to catch a glimpse of a few of the obstacles along the way. After watching some of the obstacles and some photo ops, we headed over to gear check. Gear check was available for $5 but in return you received a $5 voucher for the merchandise area which was a nice exchange. I really just wanted my clean clothes nearby and would have used gear check anyways, but that was a nice bonus.
Up until I was watching YouTube videos of Terrain Race a few weeks ago, I had no clue about the "wet start". When you enter the corral area for your start wave, you get into one of three pools of water to wait for the horn to go off. Some people opted out of it, but I was committed to the full experience - wet shoes and all. I will admit it, the water was quite refreshing since it was in the mid-80s when we started.
After officially crossing the start line, we were hit with ALL THE WALLS! We had 4' and 6' walls to go over first and then a rope wall to traverse. I won't lie - when we got to the wall with the rope I started to try to question myself. I saw a lot of people struggling as we waited our turn, but I couldn't let others' performance impact me. I gathered my confidence and just went with it. Obstacles like this you have to be confident and trust in your training. A few months ago I would have probably let my mind mess with me, but today I knew I had the strength and mobility to get up and over.
Compared to the other OCRs that I have done this year, Terrain Race offered a number of different "lifting" obstacles including tire pulls, tire flips, and various carries. Some were much more challenging than the others but I loved the variety on the course. While I struggled a little, I could definitely tell a difference in my strength since my first OCR in March. I have been focusing on carries and adding them into my workouts almost daily, and it is really paying off.
I will be the first to admit that my upper body strength can use some working - especially when doing obstacles such as rings, bars, and ropes. There were too many that were strictly shoulder strength, but I was up for the challenge. I actually improved a bit on these since my Savage in March and my transition strategy that I picked up from American Ninja Warrior and some YouTube videos helped getting from the rope to the rings (even though I didn't make it the whole way).
Whoever's idea it was to put a mud pit just before the monkey bars, that was cruel. Straight up cruel! HAHA! Since it was so warm out, the mud dried pretty quickly which meant you would get a good bit of it off before making away across the inclined monkey bars. If you are "lucky" like me, you fell off and got to take a nice dip in the pool below though that both cleaned you off a little and cooled you down before the final obstacle.
The final obstacle was probably my favorite. It was like all of my favorite obstacles had a nice little obstacle baby - inclined balance beams, climbing, and cargo nets all in one! Bonus: you got to go down the firepole!
We crossed the finish line and received our bling. Question though....we get our medals in a plastic bag to keep them clean, however you hand over our finisher shirt in the finish chute as I am covered in mud? Can we get a bag for those? Please.
We rocked the obstacles and got all nice and sweaty and muddy, now it is time to clean off. Ok, this is the most amazing thing EVER - Dr. Bronner's All In-One Magic Foam Experience. While the name sounds like some crazy rave from your college days, it is actually a pretty awesome way to get thousands of muddy runners cleaned off quickly and efficiently. About 75 or so people at a time load into the box and get squirted with water, foam soap and more water. Within about 3 minutes, everyone is clean(ish)! No wasting water. No waiting in a endless line for a hose with no water pressure to wash off. It was a hilarious experience as you bathed with all of your new friends, but it really worked!
This was one of my favorite OCRs! There were about 25 obstacles and the variety was AWESOME and they were spread out nicely across the 3-ish miles. There was enough of a challenge along the way but also some flat out fun ones. Terrain Race comes by to Atlanta in October, but I already have another commitment that morning so I have to miss out which is a bummer. I will totally be on the lookout for it to return to Atlanta next spring/summer though!
I love to run and most importantly I love to have FUN while I run....I am the "Funner Runner"
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