Belly Flop Drop. Tarzan Swing. 40 Bounces to Freedom. No, these are the latest dance crazes. They’re obstacles, just 3 of the many from the Ridiculous Obstacle Course 5K I participated in the race this past Saturday. I’ve ran in mud. I’ve climbed hills. I’ve ran tires. But I’ve never ran a muck like this before.
When I signed up for the race, all I knew was there were trampolines. I don’t know about you, but I love trampolines. And anything that incorporates day-glo wear with trampolines is my kind of activity. My friend Amy signed up with me and enthusiastically sported our vibrant tie-dye in an effort to stand out.
Unfortunately, we were ill-prepared. There were teams of minions, brides, prom dresses, zombies; pretty much any and every costume you could think of. I was shocked to see so many runners looking so, well, ridiculous. Had I known, I’m sure my propensity for ridiculousness would have reigned supreme. Next time, ROC, next time…
The race was located at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in San Diego. We were signed up for the 11 am start time and were herded into the starting gate. Yep, the very gates used for the horse races. We had to wait a bit, they were letting runners go in small groups to lessen the wait time at the obstacles. Even though I had thoroughly sunblocked, I was already feeling the heat on my shoulders. It was dusty and hot and I was looking forward to those water obstacles.
The first obstacle we hit was Tunnel Vision, which is exactly what it sounds like, a tunnel. Out of the tunnel, we came to 40 Bounces to Freedom, a series of trampolines that escalated in height. You had to jump down and across the tramp to a high platform, getting higher and higher until you came to the end. The only way to get down was to slide down a pole, which I had never done before. And kind of freaked me out. But it was either down or back through the traffic and there was no going back now.
We ran on. Amy, my ridiculously fast friend, sprinted off ahead but I hung back with the group. We hopped some hurdles and scaled a gigantic mountain of dirt and then it was time to slide. For the obstacle named Cool Runnings, we had to grab an inner tube and run it up a hill, then proceed to slide down a water slide.
After the refreshing little dip, we had to run some more. We climbed more walls. I attempted to cross some monkey bars and cross a muddy pool on a rope swing. I failed at both. I was ready for more water by the time I got to the Aqua Drag. Basically, it’s a four-way slip and slide. You run as fast as you can and then dive onto this inflatable water slide, hoping to make it to the end. I neglected to build up enough speed and I hesitated, which resulted in a less than spectacular display. I got stuck on the slide about halfway down and had to inchworm my way to the end. Thankfully, I destroyed any documented evidence of this fiasco.
It seemed like we ran a lot in the beginning, but about halfway, the obstacles started piling up. And we started having to wait. After the longest tire run of my life, we ran up a ramp over the race track and into the Moon Bounce. It’s a bouncer for adults. The world’s largest, in fact. After bouncing across, we had to stand in line for the Wrecking Ball. The obstacle consisted of barrels strung across a pool of water. You had to cross the barrel bridge and avoid the two huge rubber balls that were flying around your head. I made it about halfway before I bailed. The last obstacle was the World’s Largest Inflatable Water Slide. I climbed to the top, where they scanned my timing chip before sending me down the slide. Best way to cross a finish line ever.
Not only was the race itself totally epic, but the after-party was amazing. Lots of vendors, with all kinds of food and drinks. Many products available for sample. And a soapy hose down for those who needed it.
We met up with Amy at the Alpha Warrior exhibit and then it was time to get our free beer and do a little dancing. Amy had placed 3rd in the women’s division for our time slot and had to pick up her awesome medal. We people watched some more, ate a delicious artichoke on a stick, and were able to see all the best costume winners. My vote goes to the couple who dressed up as Indiana Jones and the Boulder.
Registration for the Orange County race opens on May 15th and I’m seriously considering running this again. It was a blast, like being on a giant playground. And I want another shot at that ridiculous costume contest!
Would you participate in a race like the Ridiculous Obstacle Challenge? What would your costume be?