Sunday, June 8, 2014

5K Foam Fest

Early this year my daughter mentioned us doing an obstacle race together.  I've looked at races like Tough Mudder and they are NOT for me!  Making my way through an obstacle of dangling live electrical wires is not my idea of fun.  I'll stick to straight running, thank you!  Then she showed me the website of an obstacle course called Foam Fest.  It's a 5K run with obstacles but no live electricity (whew!).  I wanted to do it but finances wouldn't allow it.  Then my daughter found a Groupon for almost 40% off and of the balance she paid half as my Mothers' Day present.  Thank you, my dear!  So we signed up not knowing exactly what the course would be like since they don't have the same course setup at every location.  They have a representative sample of obstacles on their website and that's all we had to go on. 
It ended up being at a very expansive ranch in Dade City, Florida that is used for horse racing and shows and they have cattle herds but we didn't see any animals when we were there.  The ranch is beautiful Florida woods and open grassland and we loved it!  We were in the first wave, leaving at 8:00 before the heat got too oppressive.  All we knew to expect were inflatables, obstacles, mud, and soapy foam! 

We took off running and about 1/4 mile away was the first obstacle, something like a bounce house but with only about 4-foot walls and no roof but there was foam.  We got wet and soapy!  We kept running but it wasn't easy to run on uneven grass.  We weren't trying to get a good time like in most 5Ks.  In fact, they don't even time you at all; it's just for fun.  We walked some because we didn't want my daughter's asthma to kick in, but sometimes we ran to put distance between us and the group of about 8 people in front of us that kept taking pictures at every obstacle.  One portion of the course went through the woods and they had something like bungee cord strung across the path in a random spider web fashion that we had to crawl under and/or through.  I stepped through some and crawled under others.  It was actually kind of liberating to crawl on the ground and smell the dirt.  I wasn't trying to stay clean; in fact, getting dirty is part of the point of the whole run!  We came upon two wooden wall structures about 10 feet high that we had to climb and I did it with no problem and while talking!  It wasn't a smooth wall; the boards were nailed in such that there were footholds. 
We came to an A frame with a rope net stretched across it to climb up, over, and down.  I figured that if I climbed near one of the support poles the rope wouldn't be as slack and would be sturdier.  I'm smart that way.  :-)  Height wasn't an issue for me.  The issue was wondering if my foot would slip and my leg or legs would fall through the openings and then I'd be stuck.  That didn't happen, though.  Whew!  I made it to the top with no problem but took my sweet time getting over the top support bar and starting down.  Once I did, though, I climbed down lickety split! 

On we went to the first mud obstacle. 

It was wet mud that we crawled through under more bungee cord on our hands and knees, not our bellies.  Later there was another mud pit that was not as wet but was VERY deep.  The monitor there kept telling people not to lose their shoes.  I stepped in and sunk almost to my knees!  I tried to step carefully but only a couple feet in I picked my leg up and my shoe stayed in the mud!  I laughed and reached down to pull it out but my hand came up empty!  It was really stuck!  I had to reach my hand down in the mud farther than I wanted to and really pull hard and when my shoe finally came up it made that squerching sound.  It's a good thing I wasn't wearing my good running shoes!  When I put it back on my foot there was a big glob of mud in the outer toe area.  I figured that since they were old, yucky, holey shoes the mud would work its way out as I ran or walked.  It didn't and it was uncomfortable.  I had to stop, take my shoe off, and pound it on the ground to get the mud glob out.  I'm glad we weren't doing this course for time! 
Other obstacles included bounce house-type contraptions with water and foam.  Ahhhhhh!!!  One was a rectangular pool about 3 feet high with 5 large rollers that you were supposed to alternate going over and under.  No problem.  I stepped into it and dropped down to my knees to go under the first one.  COLD!!!  COLD!!!  COLD!!!  COLD!!!  I went over the first one instead and then gathered my wits to try going under the second one.  The cold wasn't so bad but it was muddy from the people who'd gone before.  And we were the first wave!  I can't imagine what it was like a couple hours later.  Yuck!  

The second-to-last obstacle was called the Death Drop. 
It was a 42-foot inflatable waterslide!  I don't like those really big slides at water parks so I considered bypassing this obstacle.  I watched other people doing it, though, and decided to give it a try.  I had to pray going up because after the first five steps or so there was a net overhead so people didn't jump or fall off onto the ground.  I'm not highly claustrophobic but I don’t like enclosed spaces especially when there are other people around.  I made it up without hyperventilating, though, and got into position, crossing my ankles and arms.  It was actually fun going down!  The main lesson I learned from this course is that anticipation is often different from actuality. 
There was one last little obstacle and that was foam mats linked across a pond that you had to run over.
There were three paths, one with two mats, one with four, and one with six.  I chose to take the path with two mats because there would be less time and distance to fall into the pond where frogs are.  J  The second of my mats had a little depression in it where water had already started accumulating and that's where I fell, but only on the mat and not into the pond.  I tried to get up and keep running but fell again so I just crawled the rest of the way.  
Not pretty but they weren't giving style points.  I made it across and up the bank.  After that it was just a 1/4 mile or so to the finish line and our medals! 
Brianne made it look much easier than I did, but I'm glad we got to do this run together. 


No comments:

Post a Comment