I ran my first ever "5K" race two weekends ago, on July 25th, the Tough Mountain Challenge....leave it to me to pick a race up the side of a mountain through mud obstacles for my first attempt. It was so much fun! I was really thinking about backing out, but thanks to my wonderfully supportive husband I didn't. Haha.
The race is put on by Sunday River every year. Last year a couple of my friends ran it and LOVED it, so I registered. Dave and I drove over to Newry from Higgins Beach, so it only took about two hours rather than the usual three.....still plenty of time to stress about the race!
The course had 17 obstacles, and Dave was brave enough to practically run the entire thing to get photos of us and the course! He watched us start the race (and got plenty of great photos) and then hopped on the chair lift and got aerials shots on the way up to photo us midway.
The next obstacle shots were taken by Dave from the chairlift, so we aren't in them because we were WAY slower than the chairlift.
This last photo is of my LEAST favorite obstacle. It wasn't nearly the dirtiest, and it definitely wasn't the hardest..but it was so awful. We had to belly slide through a tunnel only the height and width of a hay bale. UGH! Talk about a challenge to claustrophobia.
Down the muddy slip-n-slide hill is where we finally caught up to Dave (who'd been running his own version of the race attempting to catch us at different obstacles). I made sure to run smack into him and give him a muddy kiss :-) I"m sure he just LOVED it.
The lilypad obstacle was next (after sliding through a narrow water pipe and up under the "lake" the obstacle was on) and it happened to be the one I was most nervous about.
Dave got an awesome spot and was able to get photos of us doing the whole thing!
Somehow I made it all the way across without really even wobbling too much! I was pretty sure I would smash my face slipping up the ramp at the end (by the way, it was a bobbing ramp made solely of plywood...no grip on it at all) but I avoided that mishap too. Danielle came along right behind me and made it all the way across with no problem!
The guy running the platform obstacle told me I should try to hit the bell when I jumped (obviously he thought that since I'm tall I could jump....HA) and if I did I'd be only the second female that day to make it. I tried.....
Of course, Dave was the in perfect spot to catch us walking...so he requested a pose. :)
He didn't catch photos of us at the next few obstacles (I'm not really upset, they were a little terrible) so our trip under the barbed wire and my graceful fall off the backside of a wall will have to go undocumented.
The rest of the race seemed to fly by....we only had a short run to the concrete barrier obstacle, and then the last one of the race was the slide! The barriers were pretty easy for me, another advantage of being tall.
The run to the slide was only a few hundred meters, it took us longer standing in line then it did to actually get there. The slide itself, though? SO FREAKING FAST! I was actually pretty nervous near the end (as you can tell from the photo) but I just had a quick dunk at the end, nothing terrible.
Quick dunk in a dirty pond, and quick sprint (ok, jog really) down to the finish line!
Success! Crossing that finish line felt so good...I know we could have done the course faster, and next time I probably will (not next year, but hopefully the year after that!) but just finishing it felt so good.
Part of our registration was a "free" beer on race day - we could either have it at the shotgun station in the middle of the course (no thanks....I'd prefer not to puke while attempting to run) or celebrate with it after. We chose the latter, obviously. :)
My final thoughts on this day - amazing. If you have an opportunity to try a race like this, take it. You'll probably surprise yourself at how well you can actually do.
Dreamer, decorator, wife, business owner, personal fitness trainer. 20-something.