Friday, June 8, 2012

Run For Your Lives 2012

Last Saturday Jason and I participated in our first 5K obstacle course!  This wasn't just any 5K obstacle course though - it was infested with zombies!  

(This was my favorite zombie of the day!  He never broke character - ever.  When there were no runners coming through he came over to the fence and antagonized the runners waiting to go!)

Basically, we went through the course with a belt (similar to those worn in flag football) with "health" flags on it.  Zombies tried to steal your health and if you lost all your flags you were infected and became a zombie upon crossing the finish line. *The numbers show that out of almost 1,800 - there were only 300 "survivors."  We were not listed amongst the survivors...

We got there about four hours before our wave.  We wanted to get our registration before the crowds arrived, check things out, watch others run the course and get camp set up without being rushed etc.  It really was wonderful being there so early!

When it was time to get lined up we chose the desserts (12 min mile or longer) gate...

The appetizers and entrees were let out first and then it was out turn!  This first incline was almost the end of me - literally (not health flag-wise.)

It wound us up the hillside, there were people everywhere, zombies everywhere, rocks, potholes and more.

The next thing we came to was a covered mudslide:

At first I tried to crab-crawl down it but eventually just sat down and slid the whole way down.  Talk about fun - I couldn't stop once I got to the bottom and had to yell to our friend, Leigh (red bandana on the left) to get out of my way!

From there we went over stationary walls, through an abandoned structure, across monkey bars (which I fell off of into a chest deep pool of glorious, cold water), through a maze (filled with zombies), up and down some more hills, through mud, across creeks and balance beams, over cargo nets and so on...

Now, the end.  The end was scary - for me.  You see, there was this giant, orange tarp stretched down a hillside.  It led into a pool of muddy water.

 (This picture doesn't do it justice!  It was HUGE!)

View from the top of the hill - cluster of people = top of the slide

About one hour before our wave we watched someone get pulled from this pool with his ankle going unnatural ways...  It freaked me out.  I got the butterflies then.  Up until then I was calm and had no worries.

Leigh, myself and our "ballerina" (a straggler we picked up along the way) all went down the slide at the same time.  It was awesome!  You went so fast you almost didn't even realize you were on the slide and then before you knew it you were choking on muddy water.  It was a rush!

The final obstacle before the finish was the electric fence:

Yes, there really was an electric charge going through it!  I think we lucked out though because the jolts I felt were pretty minimal and earlier in the day you could hear it shocking people and them cursing.  I'm thinking as the day went on the charge got weaker.  That was fine by me!

From here it was a short jaunt to the finish line and the decontamination chambers (shower heads rigged up in a cement walkway under part of the track!)

Jason and I finished in an hour and a half!  We ended up at the end of our wave but we spent time waiting for others and vice versa.  One cool thing about an event like this is the bond you can form with complete strangers.  People get left behind when they can't keep up with their groups and in our wave we chose to just stick together and finish strong - as a group.  Jason, Leigh and I lost the other couple we were with on the first hill but we picked up two more on that same hill!  I don't mind one bit that our group of five finished dead last for our wave.  We stuck together and I think that as a result the two stragglers we picked up along the way had a better experience because they weren't alone!

Comparison pictures:


(well, after decontamination showers that is...)

*Keep in mind, Brandon's shirt was white at the start...

Our shoes after the race:

Once we got cleaned up and changed we actually went into town for Dairy Queen :)

Upon returning the campground was in full swing and we settled in for a relaxing night.

The people next to us came over, introduced themselves and invited us to their campfire!

As we were talking with everyone we began to realize that we were about the only runners who stayed to camp.  Everyone we talked to, and everyone they had talked to, were zombies!  They were so interested in what we thought of the race and what it was like.  Zombies had the opportunity to run the course after their zombie shift but from the sound of it, most of them were too tired to give it a shot!  We learned that zombies received free camping so that would explain why so many stayed!  Us runners had to pay twenty dollars.

Jason and I enjoyed a nice overnight away from the kids and we experienced something new and exciting!  We are anxious to see if this race ever returns to Minnesota.  If it does, we will be there!  We would probably even travel a reasonable distance to do it again we decided!

There were professional photographers there taking pictures.  If you want to see us, go HERE.  My bib number was 5522 and Jason's was 56541.  They are not the most flattering pictures but they were taken in the moment :) 

Oh, and our kids?  They were with my family and those lucky ducks went to the Minnesota Zoo!

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