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Monday, February 7, 2011

Trying Something New: My First Obstacle Race

This last Saturday, my younger sister, Michelle, and I headed up to the mountains for the Vigor 5K, an obstacle race through the snow. I didn't know what to expect, so I trained by running, bouldering, weight lifting, and doing yoga.

What I didn't anticipate was how running through five to six inches of snow was going to be like running through deep, dry sand. Struggling through and over snow drifts was a battle. Every time you thought you knew what you were doing on the snow, you would hit a pocket of deeper stuff and your leg would sink down.

The beginning of a race is always filled with adrenaline-charged participants. This time was no different, except there was a huge snow bank to clamber over at the starting line. There were so many people, it was mayhem. Then, less than 100 yards away from the snow bank, another obstacle loomed: a seven-foot high log and chain ladder. There was a bottle neck at that point because only two or three people could climb the obstacle at once. We waited impatiently for those in front of us. Jumping up and down, jogging in place. In hind sight, I would have zipped over that first obstacle faster had I known I'd have to wait for the second one.

After those first two obstacles, the real challenge of running in the snow slowed a lot of people down. I kept trudging along. I wasn't about to walk. The next twelve obstacles involved climbing walls, shimmying through a web of ropes, spinning down a slope on a disc sled, crawling through a tunnel, and challenging more than endurance. This race seemed longer than a 5K, but much more fun than a basic running race. I was hooked.

Crossing the finish line, I saw my friend, Rachel. She placed second in our age group (Women 35-39) and I placed third. Out of 87 women, I was 14th. My sister, Michelle, placed second in her age group and 13th overall for women. Rachel smoked us both and came in 12th. Way to go, Rach!

Muscles that I didn't expect to be sore are sore and that's always a good feeling. I'll definitely do this race again next year. Thanks Global Endurance!


  1. That is SO awesome! Maybe one in summer? ;)

  2. You two look great! I totally agree, running in snow is hard!

  3. Thanks girls! Emily, running in the cold is actually easier than in the heat. If you get too hot, you can just peel off a layer and you won't risk running naked.
    Amy, I bet with all the snow you're getting out there on the East Coast, you could probably give me a few tips on running in snow.

  4. Oh, wow!!! This sounds like fun mayhem! You amaze me! I love how you're always up for this kind of stuff! So adventurous! xoxo


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