Monday, May 23, 2011

Gladiator 5k

This weekend was the Gladiator 5k.  This was supposed to be a test not of my ability to run a 5k, but also an obstacle course.  I have been looking forward to this race since a friend mentioned it to me earlier this year.  The location was perfect as it was being ran in Cary, not very far from home.

Here is the list of obstacles that were supposed to be on the course.

  1. Gladiator Bars – Make your way across the gladiator bars while you’re suspended in the air.
  2. Walls - This part of the course is littered with walls varying in height; make your way over them however you can.
  3. Cargo Net - Three sets of cargo nets at 8’, 10’, and 14 feet one after another are quite the climb.
  4. Ab Crawl - You guessed it, get down on your stomach to crawl thru more than 80 feet of cammo-nets.
  5. Tire Valley – You’ve never seen tires quite like this. Make your way up, around, and through a never-ending valley of tires.
  6. Tunnel Crawl – Crawl your way through a series of dark, damp tunnels.
  7. Battle Walls – Without using your hands, high step your way over each post.
  8. Balance Beams – Balance is a must on the downhill balance logs. Don’t miss a step or it’s back to the beginning.
  9. Rope Bridge – Hold on tight while you crawl upside down along 29 feet of rope.
  10. Glory Wall – Getting over the 8 ft Glory Wall is a great accomplishment, so get your biceps ready!
  11. Monkey Bars – Make your way across the hardest monkey bars you’ve ever seen, while you are suspended in the air.
  12. Fence Jumps – Jump and slide your way through a series of wooden fences. All of your body

These all look completed awesome. I was totally excited to compete. 

The race ended up only having about half these obstacles and they were not very tough at all.  The toughest was an 8 foot wall.  Yep that's it.  Not very tough. 

Let me walk you though the day. 

My wave wasn't set to start until 9:30 so I did not need to get up early.  Another reason I was excited to participate in this race.  Had breakfast with Linda and JC.  this was supposed to be just a fun run so I had a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich.  Breakfast of Champions.  lol. 

Let home at @ 8:15 just to be sure that I was there and could get a quick look at the course as well as see the earlier legs take off.  The first wave was scheduled for 9:00.

The event started right on time.  The 9:00 wave went off as scheduled.   The course started with a quick downhill.

In my wave was a couple of guys with wigs.  I actually thought for a second that I should have dressed up.  That made me laugh.  One of the others waiting with me was excited because she thought she was the oldest in our group. But she was only 40 and surprised that there were several others of us that were older. 

Then the first obstacle.  It was a modified version of the Battle Bars.  When I got there the person in front of me used his hands to cross it and the race official/volunteer didn't say anything so I did the same.  One obstacle down.  Back up the hill we went.   Went back by the starting line and off to the Ab Crawl.  It was about 15 feet.  as I was crawling I saw several timing chips.  That was not good for those competitors that were ahead of me.  That meant their time would not be measured.  Oh well, as quick check down at my feet to ensure that I still had mine and I continued on.  I did yell back to the race official about the timing chips.  I do not know what if that made a difference but I felt better that I told someone. 

The next obstacle was a cargo net.  It felt like I was moving in slow motion as I crossed it.  But I made it without anyone passing me.  :)  In my wave of about 25 people, there were 3 guys still in front of me.  We were heading back down hill and went off onto a dirt trail.  At the bottom of the hill was the first wall.  It was about 6 feet.  Made it over with out much trouble.  Then to the next wall, it was about 8 feet.  Again made it over with much struggle and while running I past the next guy, so I am now third in my wave and feeling really strong.  Knowing that we still had many obstacles in front of us and I wasn't winded yet.  The next obstacle was the balance beams.  This was going to be a challenge for me since I am not very coordinated.  So I slowed my pace and made it over, no problem.  then the second balance beam.  Same thing.  Slow down and make it over.   Done.  Started back running and now more balance beams.  This time instead of being just a straight beam, this was a up and over.  When I arrived there were people on them.  Crap.  But they made it off just as I started.  There was another set immediately after the first, so I bypassed the slower runners and crossed the next set quickly.  Now I was in second in my group and loving it. 

More uphill running to the next obstacle.  It was the tunnel crawl.  it was about 20 feet.  Again just a bump in the road.  Made it quickly through and on back running.  More uphill.  I keep  the first place guy in my sights and felt like I could still catch him.  thinking it was only a matter of time now. 

We then crossed back into the soccer park and once we crossed the road we had the "mud pit".  Only there was no mud, only water.  So it was more similar to a slip and slide than a mud pit.  When I started into the pit there were two other competitors crawling through.  They were taking it easy and not splashing.  But of course you know that I went sliding pretty much head first and made a huge splash and totally drenched the caution.  lol.  I had to laugh at that.  I made it through no problem.  Now I could tell that I was getting close to the end. 

Ran down and around a small lake on the Soccer park and then around the parking lot.  There we found the "Tire Valley"  It was only about 15 feet across and it had tires hanging so we had to work through them.  Very easy.  I was just about ready to sprint up to catch the first place guy.  We only had a little stretch left to go.  Once we made it back to the payment we were told that we had to run down and touch a fence and back.  WTF?  What kind of obstacle is that? Oh well.  At this point the front runner must have gotten his second wind, because I could not close on him.  Made it to the finish and was really surprised with my time.  Around 21 minutes. 

21 minutes, wow.  I was really happy with that but being honest with myself, this must have been shorter that 5k.  I have run 5ks in tris and barely beat that time.  With the obstacles on the course there should not have been anyway my time was that good.


Well I will take it. I had a good time even with the disappointment with the course. 

1 comment:

  1. Sorry you didn't get what you expected but all things considered, it still sounds like a fun event!