Saturday, June 21, 2014

Barbarian Challenge

Before the Race!
The day after I gave birth to Walker, I was surfing the internet and came across an adventure race that sounded appealing.  I was bound and determined to lose the pregnancy weight and get back into shape quickly, so this gave me something to work towards.  Knowing how much more fun it would be to have a team, I discussed my intentions with my friend and workout buddy, Lauren Tanner.  By that evening, we were signed up as a team of four: "Mudders and Fathers."  I can't say that our husbands were thrilled about it, but we all had 6 months to get ready, so it wasn't that scary.

As soon as I was released by my doctor, I began working out and jumping back into my normal routine of spinning, doing bootcamp, running and lifting some.  I felt great, and ready to conquer the Barbarian Challenge until I learned about some of the challenges the week before the race.  This race was the Warrior Dash (which I did before I got pregnant with Walker) on steroids.  It was a 5.8 mile course through the Noccalula Falls in Gadsden, Alabama. 

The yellow things are electrodes, see how many there are?
The terrain was super tough, and coupled with typical Alabama summer heat...it was hard!  The hills were atrocious and the very first challenge was crawling through stinky mud, while trying to dodge electric shock cords that hung down.  It was designed in such a fashion where it was impossible to completely miss them, but fortunately my bootie took the brunt of it.

looks easier than it was, especially when you have blisters
Some of the other challenges were crawling over wrecked cars (where there was broken glass and protruding metal), more mud crawling, but under barbed wire, running up and down VERY steep hills, pulling yourself up a 20 foot rope (or doing 50 push-ups if you couldn't lift your own body weight), and the last challenge was the toughest for me...climbing up a piece of flat wood that was on an angle and rested on a bus.  They had three ropes that hung down about a third of the way down, but all of the folks had to wait their turn, and then get a running start to make it up the other 2/3s of the way up the wall.  I tried seven times, and ultimately never made it (I was the only one of our team, which was a huge bummer).

I would be remiss to not mention all of the water on the course.  But for me, it was a welcomed challenge because it gave me the opportunity to cool off and wash off the mud.  When it was all said and done, it took us about 2 hrs to complete.  This time included all of the waiting we did at the various challenges.  Shockingly there were 1200 people that registered and PAID to do this challenge with us.  Though we were in the fourth heat (a group took off every 30 minutes), we still caught up and passed people who began before us, so we all felt good about that.

It is hard to say that we had fun, but it was certainly an accomplishment for all of us.  Though I can't say for sure that we would do this race again (the electrodes were a deal breaker for the Tanners), I do think I convinced Lauren to do another adventure race sometime in the next year.  One thing I learned though...wear gloves!  Though they wouldn't have prevented all of my injuries (we all had road rash, blisters and I got poison ivy), it would have made several of the challenges much easier!
Mudders and Fathers, aka Rainbow Bright

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