Amelia Earhart Park, Hialeah, FL
October 11, 2014
Having been burnt by 2 smaller obstacle course races last year, I've been too nervous to sign up for any small local events. I took a chance with the Miami Terminator because it was a Living Social deal with a discount on top of that. *Buyer beware of small races offered through the online coupon sites. Lots of entries are sold, and it's been my experience that the smaller companies sometimes struggle with organization and having enough volunteers.
I actually really enjoyed this race. Registration/check-in definitely needed more volunteers, and as a result the heats were all delayed about 30 minutes. But I have no other complaints whatsoever. I'll break down the review...
I purchased my entry through Living Social, so got a great deal. The evening before the race, they had onsite registration and a course preview, where racers could test the obstacles. I chose not to drive down for that. Communication was great-- I received an email 2 weeks before the event, and another 2 emails in the week before the event.
On race morning, check-in was slow. I arrived the recommended 1 hour before start time-- parking was good, except for the $10 fee. Registration was well-organized, they just needed more volunteers to speed up the process.
Bag check was offered for free (bonus!). I don't remember seeing any advertisement for it. We were also given a pretty nice tech t-shirt.
I ran in the chip-timed, competitive heat. The timers were all set and ready to go at start time. There was some delay-- supposedly the owner of the race company was also running the first heat, and we were all waiting for him to get to the start line. After about a 25 minute delay, "God Bless America" played (the deluxe version-- don't ask me why they 1) didn't play the National Anthem and 2) chose the longest slowest rendition of the song to play), and we were off.
The 3 mile well-marked course was obstacle heavy (the website boasts 40) with water obstacles, which I'm finding I love for the variety. I'll just list as many obstacles as I can remember:
- logs to climb over (about 4 ft. tall)-- a series about 50 feet in, so there was some back up on the first few before the crowd thinned
- wading through a culvert
- lily pads-- hop across until you fall off and swim the remainder
- swim/pull through water
- giant pvc tunnel--slide/crawl through
- multiple (4 ft, 5 ft. and two 8 ft.-- height is my best guess) walls to climb
- rope climb-- with or without knots
- cargo net climb
- climb over stacked tires
- monkey bars
- rock wall climb
- tire flips
- "the Terminator"-- massive obstacle with 3 different options-- decline/incline monkey bars or 2 other America Ninja Warrior style monkey bar type crossings
- slanted wall (don't know the technical name-- 45 degree angle, run up, grab the rope and climb the ladder down the other side)
- barbed wire mud crawl
- ice crawl
There did appear to be "course marshals" out at the obstacles, making sure they were completed or at least attempted. At the rope climb, rings, and the monkey bars, I saw people doing 10 burpees for failed obstacles. Those penalties were given at the obstacles-- no instructions were given prior to the start.
We got a little medal with the race name and shape of the state of Florida (this race has also been held in Texas) and a water bottle. Wash off station was TINY, so I just waded out into the lake to get the mud off.
We were promised a free beer at the finish-- were even given wristbands for it, but I didn't see it anywhere nearby. (I also wasn't really looking for it, as I travel alone to races and wouldn't be drinking, anyway.) Some food trucks were on site, but I wasn't looking to eat.
For a small race, I thought it was excellent! I personally had a great race. I haven't yet seen the official results, but there were only 3 mud covered females around the finish line, so I believe I came in 4th. I'm most proud of my domination of the obstacles-- I opted for the no-knot rope climb instead of waiting for the knotted one and successfully completed all obstacles, including the rings (which usually give me trouble) and the decline/incline monkey bars.
I will definitely register for this event again when it comes back to South Florida.
From the Key West event on the beach--
but some of the obstacles were the same.