Monday, April 7, 2014

Sunriver Mudslinger Obstacle Course Race - a must do!

So my latest hobby has been competing in Obstacle Races.  Since retiring from mountain bike racing, I have found a new sport to keep me motivated to challenge myself.

Obstacle course racing requires many skills from the athlete; you must have endurance, strength and agility to name a few.  Not only do you need to run for the length of the course (anywhere between 3 and 13 miles for most) you also have to navigate the many obstacles (anywhere between 10-25) along the course.

The town of Sunriver hosted their 2nd annual Sunriver Mudslinger Obstacle Race event over the spring break weekend (March 23rd).  The weather was perfect, high 50's low 60's and sunny.  The course consisted of about 13 obstacles over the length of 1.5 miles.  Looking at the course on paper (or for that matter the internet), it didn't appear to be that difficult.   Wow, I was completely wrong but pleasantly surprised at the same time.

And we're off!
photo credit:  Sunriver Resort Photography

That's me, #14, with my friend Gordon wearing lucky #13
photo credit:  Sunriver Resort Photography

We started off by having to run around the outside of all the obstacles on a horse pasture (lots of ruts and bumps) for about a 1/2 mile.  Then it was time to crawl in the mud under wires, then over several walls, run through the tires, run along a couple balance beams, traverse a rope, and then on to the endless log barriers.  After feeling totally gased, we then had a few logs to navigate in water, run up a steep little hill, then more mud and water to go thru, crawl through a tunnel and then over some hail bails to the finish. Oh yeah, and how could I could I forget the 15 pushups.  Yeah only 15 pushups, easy right.  Yeah I can do 50-60 in a row no problem when fresh, however, at this point in the race, doing 15 was challenging.  I made it to 10 before having to stop and take a breathe.  Then did the next 5 but they were not easy.  Damn pushups.

Running 1.5 miles at hard pace can be challenging alone, but doing so with an obstacle every 50 yards is much harder than you think.  I was very impressed with the quality if obstacles they used in the race, and the amount of walls to climb over.  The hardest obstacle for me seemed to be having to jump over the 15 or so log hurdles spaced roughly 10 yards apart from each other towards the end of the race.  By that time my legs were already feeling tired and having to jump over the 2 foot hurdles 15 times just about put the finishing touches on them.  

I wasn't sure how long it would take me to finish.  The fasted I have run 1.5 miles was about 9:30, so I was guessing 12-15 minutes with all the obstacles.  I was shocked when I saw my finish time was only 11:22, good enough for 3rd place.  The winning time was by Matt Wright with a time of 10:44

first place finisher, Matt Wright, on the podium
photo credit:  Sunriver Resort Photography

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