The Challenge Race Review 12/8/13
|Free photos-- a huge bonus!|
About a week or two before the event, I received an email and Facebook notification that the race had to be relocated. It added an extra 10-15 minutes of drive time farther south, but not really a big deal. Plus it would be held at the same location as the Miami Tough Mudder, so I was familiar with the site.
All of the issues that were big problems (parking, long registration lines and general disorganization) for the first event were solved. However, the first wave, which was supposed to start at 8:00 am was pushed back to 8:15, then to 8:30 and maybe again to a few minutes later. I was supposed to run in the 8:20 wave, but the early wave wasn't crowded, so a friend and I jumped into the first wave. But overall, this was not a big deal. Especially since I was allowed to (or not prevented from) jumping waves. (The waves were not chip timed. The race was a "fun" event-- otherwise I would NEVER advocate anyone jumping waves without proper permission from the director.)
The course was probably the best I've seen from a smaller, local race. "Mud" run is a bit of misnomer, as I think there were only 3 muddy/sandy spots, but this is South Florida-- with our sandy soil, it's tough to get great mud. To start, there were some over under walls, and then a log carry up a steep embankment. I love that they made use of the "hills" (the banked backsides of the race track). There were 3 different points of brain teasers-- a riddle, a tangram puzzle, and a triangle puzzle. For each of those, I did the physical punishment for missing the correct answer. (My brain does not work well under high pressure, so I voluntarily took 20 push ups twice? and 20 sit ups.) There was a really tall wall with a cargo net over it, some tunnels, some more walls, a short swim, piles and piles of rocks/gravel that we had to navigate through and some power poles that were stacked on their sides that we had to run down. Although they weren't difficult physically, it played with my mind, they were stacked several high and end to end, so we had to jump from one to another and at various heights.
The only changes that I would make are:
- Have a timed, elite wave. I think this would encourage more people to participate.
- Have an alternative to the swim. We were asked-- "Can you swim?" and then told if we couldn't swim, we were to keep running. It was very tempting to just skip the swim, as one female did and ended up passing me to finish before I did. I wouldn't advise penalizing those who can't swim, but to give them a challenge that would be as physically taxing as the swim would be a great option.
Overall this was a great race, and I hope there will be more Challenges in the future!