The car is loaded, breakfast burritos are wrapped and ready to go (to be forgotten later), and 3 crazy friends set out on another muddy adventure!
It’s time for The Patriot Challenge. 3.5 miles at Lucas Motor Speedway. Mud and obstacles and my way of celebrating my birthday weekend (when you’re birthday is July 4th you can have an extension!).
Heading out we’re all excited. Stitch and I are ready to introduce our friend Chris aka Puppy to our addiction. He questions if he, too, will become addicted…we just laugh! How can you not?
The sky was overcast and blah with some rain popping on and off as well but it didn’t dampen our spirits at all. For those of us who love to do OCRs rain just means better mud! We arrived excited and ready to meet up with our fellow Corn Fed Spartans and have some fun.
We made it through registration and hiked to the starting line which was set off with a drag strip light, kinda cool. Once again we were attempting to use the video camera to capture some of the fun. Once again we managed to “oops” that as I learned when viewing the amazing video of….get ready for this….the sky. Video camera, 2. Lilo & Stitch video adventures, 0. Sigh.
Moving along, and we were, there was a LOT of “empty space” aka running/walking in this one before you hit an obstacle. There was an interesting mix of obstacles as well including some “Crossfit” type things such as a weight push, a street hockey/cone set up to navigate through, and a “grenade toss” that if you made it in (I did!) you didn’t have to crawl under a net through a muddy path which I chose to do anyway. Speaking of mud, there wasn’t much. I know not all OCRs are muddy but once you’re used to that addiction you get bummed when there’s not enough.
Overall we had a great time because we were running with our team as well as enjoying sharing the experience with Puppy (who is yes, now addicted and a Corn Fed member as well). There were good and bad points which I’ll point out in a moment but just being part of the team and enjoying the camaraderie and silliness we managed to create made this a kick ass birthday event! After the race many of us went to a cookout at a local park and continued the fun and merrymaking.
I had “interviewed” Stitch for his opinion on this one as well and here’s the combo of our thoughts on The Patriot Challenge:
The Slide! I think this was by far almost everyone’s favorite. A cool and refreshing 20 foot (ish) drop through cold water into a pit of mucky mud! As soon as you stood you were faced with mud hills and mud crawl to shimmy under (except in Stitch’s case since he decided to belly flop into a slide and almost cleared the whole thing). As soon as you climbed a couple of mud hills there was a little balance beam area to walk over as well. (A pause to speak of earlier balancing acts. As we walked the track to get to the obstacles there were a group of us who, in true Corn Fed style, created our own obstacle by climbing onto the race walls and making it a balance beam trek!).
The tire flip was another well liked moment. The tire flip was sponsored by our team and was pretty cool. There were large tractor tires (Puppy is a bad ass, just saying!) and little tires that I was tempted with.
A couple of other interesting ones that we came across were the grenade toss (which if you hit your target you got to skip the mud crawl obstacle, I hit but did it anyway…Muddy Lilo style!) and the street hockey goal. Both were quick but a fun break.
From Pita’s thoughts on other good points “I liked how at some of the obstacles there was someone who explained how to do it. Like at the water slide, that guy took a few minutes to explain so you won’t get hurt.” I agree with that observation. The slide without explanation could have been a bit of a hazard. We also all agreed that having a fire hose at the end of the race to hose you down was awesome! Again from Stitch “It was refreshing watching the mud flow off yourself and run down the track. A sense of accomplishment was achieved.”.
The downsides were there and I’ll just give a quick thought on those. All races are different in their own way and this one was no exception. There was a lot of “empty space” with just getting to the next obstacle BUT the obstacles were good once you reached them. The course wasn’t marked well in spots (I didn’t realize we actually missed an area until I looked at photos other’s had taken that day) and some of the obstacles were a little shaky to navigate. (Case in point, climbing up steel drums that were stacked to the top of a cargo container and across a metal bar over more drums to another container and back down even more drums. Challenge and exciting, yes, but the slippery factor and the stacking made it a little questionable).
Also on the not as fun side but a challenge in a way…we climb up and over chain link fences I don’t know how many times. While I love climbing I felt that it was just set up kind of odd. There were a couple that had sharp edges and if you weren’t paying attention that might have been a little rough to scale.
My final not so loved part. They had timing chips on the bibs but out of the 3 of us the only one who showed a time was Stitch, and his was 23 hours! There were some photos, not many, and I appreciate that the Patriot shares those for free therefore I won’t complain at the lack of. We had people with cameras with us so that didn’t hinder really.
Overall however the race was fun and a challenge and it was a great part of my birthday weekend! We were thrilled to introduce yet another person to the OCR addiction as well as to our Corn Fed family! I added more bling to my wall (granted this was some tiny little bling but hey, it’s another one to hang) and great memories that I will smile about for ages!
Next up in the wonderfully muddy world of Lilo….the Super Spartan! Myself, Stitch, and the newly addicted Puppy are going to be tackling 8 plus miles of mud and obstacles on July 20th! I can’t wait!
Find your passion and embrace it! Get muddy! Have fun! Live Life!
Oh, and those breakfast burritos? Found those 2 days later in the trunk of the car! Typical!
Peace and Muddiness,