If you’re a fit, healthy, a bit crazy person who likes a new challenge and doesn’t mind getting more than a little dirty… obstacle racing might be the thing for you! These things really only started to pop up in Canada in the last few years, but are now becoming hugely popular. Yesterday, I made the trek up the Hardwood Hills north of Barrie Ontario to give it a shot. I’m not the kind of person who gets nervous generally. Heading into a Provincial Championships ball hockey game, while many of my team mates are ready to hurl from nerves, or careening down a steep single track through the forest on my mountain bike, or faced with some stressful situation at work, I’m generally pretty calm and collected. Yesterday, I have to admit, I was a bit terrified. “What the hell have I gotten myself into?!” ran through my head a few times. To start things off, my GPS gave me the best “WTF?” it could when I tried to figure out where exactly I was going. Then when I finally figured it out (including the directions that said to turn on 15&16 sideroad… YES. That’s actually the name of the road! Who does that?) Anyways, once I got there, I was a little surprised to find that the parking was about 5kms from the shuttle buses to the event. Shuttle buses. Ya, 6 buses for 5000 competitors and all their entourage. After the 5km trudge through a field, the line to get on a bus took more than an hour. Once I finally got to the event, guess what? Another line to register :p Good thing I got there 3 hours early hoping to watch a bunch before my turn! haha. When I finally was waiting at the starting line, it started to pour. BUT… with all the things that seem to work against us leading up to the actual race, it WAS AWESOME!!! Easily one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had. 🙂 Only part I would change would be having to do it without Ange, but we’re now signed up to do it together in July, so no worries there.
So… the race! The first third was rolling hills. I’m a runner, but I’m not used to running steep hills. I’m also super competitive with myself though, and damn stubborn. Those hills were NOT going to win! (although the wet and slippery grass/mud was interesting) Then came the obstacles! We climb ropes, walls and giant piles of hay bales. We waded through a seemingly endless amount of smelly, sticky mud – at one point I took a step and sunk over waist level 😮 We carried sand bags, pushed loaded wheel barrels, battled warrior guys with those giant padded Q-tip looking things, AND leapt over fire! WHAT A RUSH!! Sound awesome?? Check it out: