Monday, July 7, 2014

Hit & Run 5k

Ready to rock the course
Pre-race with the ladies
This race was sort of a mixed bag for me.  They had a really heavy online presence to pub this race so there was a lot of anticipation built up.  When their registration campaign opened they offered $20 registrations which most of my teammates and I snapped up right away.  Because, ya know, who can pass up a cheap race entry?  The videos showed a "Wipeout" style race with obstacles, water and tons of fun.  With all the hype we got a good number of registrants on our team and ended up winning largest team.  The perks for that were free sunglasses for all team members, gift cards that will be coming in the mail and a VIP race start.  What is a VIP race start you may ask?  Basically our whole team got our own wave time and a shout out from the DJ to send us on our way.  I have to admit, it felt pretty bad ass to all head to front of the starting line together as a team with our horn blowing and the flag waving in the wind.

Midwest Vikings, pre-race
The race was at Toyota Park in the parking lot so our course started off winding around the outside of the field and we hit our first obstacle, "Slippery Slopes".  Think of this as a foamy balance beam to cross with hanging barriers to throw you off balance.  Supposedly there would be dodge ball canons according to the website but we didn't see any. 

Next up was the "Wobble Walk".  Apparently we were supposed to walk on top of the posts to make our way across.  None of the volunteers made this clear and we all ended up just walking between them before climbing out of the pit.  On my way out of this obstacle I had a less than graceful slide down the tarp and ended up with some gnarly bouncy house burn as I like to call it.

The course winded through some gravel roads and around the parking lot for quite some time before reaching the next obstacle.  There weren't any mile markers so I'm not really sure where anything was according to distance on the course.  It was also a little tricky following the path when the whole parking lot had cones everywhere and we didn't have anyone in front of us to follow.  I saw a few people just skipping the course altogether and jumping from obstacle to obstacle.

Once we were back into the parking lot after the course detour through the gravel path we hit the next obstacle, "The Bouncy Bridge".  You climb up a ramp and at the top it has a sign saying "jump here" and truth be told I wasn't sure if I would actually make it from that spot to the first giant bouncy ball because it was so far.  It seemed like the ramp was a separate inflatable piece than the balls and I wonder if I would have stepped on the crack if I would have fallen through, thankfully I never found out.  I took in a deep breathe, took a flying leap and prayed for survival.  I'm not even sure what happened next.  I know I hit the bouncy ball and what seemed an alarming rate, flew back into the sky, did some sort of flip (that's what my teammates tell me, I have no recollection of said flip) and landed against the side of the bouncy house.  Once I regained my composure I swiftly made my exit from the bouncy balls or terror.

Getting "whacked" by the wall
By now our interest was starting to wane.  We did short sprints to race each other on our way to the next obstacle.  Finally we reached the "Whacking Wall".  I watched as those ahead of me got pummeled with dodge balls as they tried to make their way across the narrow path in front of a wall that randomly opens in various sections to knock you off.  I made it almost to the end before finally getting hit.  Afterwards I took part in tossing a couple balls at my teammates before heading onto the final obstacle.

spring through the freezing water
"Duck or Dive", that was the last obstacle that separated us from the finish line.  Think of this like a big kiddie pool with an array of wrecking balls above it circling to knock you down as you try to cross over a wobbly balance beam above the water.  I didn't make it very far before splashing into the cold water and making my exit.  Unfortunately this particular obstacle wasn't inflated at the bottom so one of my teammates busted open her knee after falling into the water.
Exiting the obstacle

The finish line was pretty anticlimactic.  No one there but our own spectators and some kiddie pools filled with water bottles.  Sort of a let down after a 5k with only 5 obstacles.  This race should have either been much shorter or included more obstacles.  Some kind of post-race party would have also been nice.  It wasn't the worst race ever, but they certainly have much room for improvement if they continue to put this race on.

My running buddies for the race
This weekend I'll be running the ROC (ridiculous obstacle course) Race.  Let's hope it's better than this one...
post-race (notice beer is missing)
As many Midwest Vikings we could find at the end


  1. Ouch! The bottom of that pool should have at least been padded. Hope your friend's knee is okay.

    1. Of all the obstacle course races I've done, this seemed the least likely to actually result in any injuries but I've already heard of quite a few. I doubt if we'll see this race come back again next year.