Thursday, August 27, 2015

Fast and Furious

As a kid, my Dad would take my brother and I to play at Little Creek Base's Navy Seal training course. They had a huge cargo net, walls to climb over, monkey bars, sand pits and many other obstacles . I remember running around with my brother just having pure fun. I have been curious about obstacle course races since they first started popping up. A character flaw of mine is that I can I can sometimes be cynical. The "in your face" commercialism associated with Spartan races has prevented me from taking part. In an effort to not be ridiculous I decided to sign up for the race taking place on Oahu, to just have fun like when I was a kid. Arriving at the stunningly gorgeous Kualoa ranch in the early hours of the morning, I began to wonder why I decided to take part. There were people coming out of the woodworks, loud house/techno music blaring and drones in the air. Given my disposition, that type of atmosphere causes a tremendous sense of uneasiness that in any other circumstance would call for hard liquor. I anxiously anticipated the start of the run and disappearing into the shadow of the surrounding peaks. As soon as the race started my feelings of uneasiness were gone and a smile was beginning to form. I went out fairly hard and was joined by two fellows I could tell were in it for the long haul. The course took us running up a stream for over a mile, straight up a muddy fern covered slope with a 1,000ft+ climb and back down. There were several obstacles to keep things interesting. One involved filling a five gallon bucket with gravel and carrying it up and back down a steep hill, jumping over 8ft walls, cargo nets and a balance beam. I was feeling great until having to carry two 40lb sandbags up and down a hill. I had fun for all 12 rugged miles. I wish it was easier for me to get to another Spartan event because I learned a lot about how to approach the obstacles. I ended up coming in 3rd place overall which I was stoked about. I would definitely recommend these types of events to anyone looking to have a good time playing outside!

The following week was the Volcano half marathon. I love this event because I can walk to it from my house. This was my fifth time partaking in the run that goes through Volcano Village and up through pastures and cloud forrest to the 4,200ft elevation range. I was feeling pretty good and ran a nice steady 6:00 minute/mile pace the whole way finishing in 1:18. I have been slowly building up for the Water is Life 50k in Arizona. I love the 50k distance and am very excited to run through Hopi country and see some of Arizona in a few weeks!