Recently, I completed my first adventure/endurance race and holy….eff…was it hard.
I mean, there are hard races (like the one I ran Sunday in Baltimore that was a bit hillier than I was prepared for) but then there are races that just challenge your endurance and make you leave everything out on the course. Those races can be marathons or they can be endurance 5k races. Regardless of the race that challenges your endurance and confidence as an athlete, the Foam Fest 5k was that race for me.
It was a good race – the Foam Fest 5k course was challenging enough, it looped through woods (wowza hills!) and up and down motocross jumps on a dirt path. We started by running through a massive pile of foam. Woo?
The obstacles seemed pretty standard for a mud run/endurance race based on what I’ve heard – army crawling through mud (gross. I was so grossed out), over/unders on logs, walls that you climb over, you know the drill.
It was pretty well organized with some solid volunteers kicking around. I was late for the race because it took us longer to get down there than we anticipated, but jumping into another wave wasn’t difficult – they started about 10 – 15 minutes apart. However, as I’ve heard from many others who have completed other endurance runs, I did think that there was a lack of volunteers on the course with many obstacles not having any supervision. Although I personally never felt unsafe, I can see how if someone was a newbie, they could certain feel like something was lacking with the race.
The course it self first sent us through a dirt motocross track for about the fist mile, into the woods, there were a couple of inflatable obstacles that were fun but nothing challenging.
There was one obstacle that held us up for about 10 minutes or so – annoying – it was when you had run over a foam bridge over a pool of muddy water. Of course I fell. Of course I did.
The course had a couple of more obstacles in the field area before we headed into the woods for a good mile and a half with a few obstacles (spider web, army crawling) along the way. We came out of the woods around mile 2-2.5 for a few more inflatable obstacles and a couple of ropes challenges which were…okay…but kind of cheesy at best.
It should be noted that my lululemon cool racerback tank top grew in length about four inches because of the water. Thus looking like my shorts were MIA.
We finished off after a massive slide that totally scared the pants off me. I’m afraid of heights so I definitely had breathe deeply for that one.
All in all, it was a really fun, challenging race. But there were tons of walkers, groups and people of all levels so it was an all-levels race. Definitely, no matter what level you are, go in expecting to run for time.
Unfortunately, Foam Fest has since gone bankrupt leaving a lot of people out of money (the race wasn’t cheap!) and angry – understandably so.
All in all, it was fun day. It would have been a lot more fun had I ran it with a group of pals. It’s definitely an all-level kind of activity – no one is going to make you feel bad for walking up hills or struggling through obstacles. Everyone was super supportive and the volunteers were great along the way (when I saw them. there didn’t seem to be an over abundance of them).
Have you ever done an obstacle race?
Disclosure: I was provided with a free entry to the race thanks to Fit Approach as a race ambassador. All thoughts here are my own.