The race started out with a short run on pavement to the over-under-through section. From there the course went to a dirt bike track. Since it was raining at the time, the track was a muddy sloppy mess and it was very difficult to keep your footing. After running around the track for a bit we came to the jerry can carry. The cans were filled with water and weighed 40-50 pounds each. We had to carry the cans around more of the track including up some very slick, muddy hills. These small hills caused trouble for many racers, especially those without good footwear. Upon completing the jerry can loop we had to climb a very large A-frame ladder wall where the rungs were quite far apart. The obstacle was made harder by the fact that it was covered in rain and mud.
After a little more running on the track, we climbed a 12 foot ladder wall and entered the paved race track portion of the course. We were a little more than a mile into the course at this point. The next obstacle was the monkey bars. The bars were sloped downwards over a pool of water and each bar set that they would also spin. The spinning bars along with the downward slope when combined with the rain made this a very challenging obstacle. Originally the elite wave was going to be forced to go up the slope instead of down, but the rain made the bars so slippery that they estimated there would be a 90% failure rate.
After running though a large field of tires and over a large A-frame cargo net it was back into the mud for a tube crawl. These were about 12-15 foot long tubes that were about 3ft in diameter. Unlike other races though, these were about half filled with water. Once we were out of the tubes we had to do 20 “ 8 count body builders” .
At this point the course split and the 15k racers were sent off onto another dirt bike track filled with 8ft walls, angled tubes to climb through, a Tarzan swing, and more mud! Upon exiting this dirt bike track, the course went off into the woods for some trail running. As I made my way through the course I came upon a group of people I stopped to speak and after talking with them I finally realized it was one of the managing directors I had been emailing back and forth about the race so I decided to finish the race with them. Not long after the trail started there was a rope climb, a log wall, and a small crawl under a net. Then we went onto a “river crossing” which was actually a slog down a river that had a sandy clay at the bottom. Each step through huge river killed the energy from your legs because you had to dislodge your foot from the sludge at the bottom. To get out of the river we had to climb up a little waterfall but it was incredibly slick and I had to grab a handful of roots to get out.
At this point we hit one of the most brutal group of obstacles I’ve ever seen. It started out with back to back 12ft walls that required a rope to get over. From there it was onto an inverse wall that was about 8ft tall and then a rope traverse over water. There were about 6 ropes that were about 75-100 feet long and were nice and thick so they didn’t bounce all over the place.
We then had a series of 6ft walls, a balance beam, and a climb over a hay bale and a log. At this point your upper body is shot so the 6ft walls seemed a lot more difficult than they normally would be. We then went back into the woods for a tactical ladder climb. A tactical ladder is only wide enough to get one foot on a rung at a time. When your arms and shoulders are shot, this can be a difficult climb.
At this point we exited the woods for good and got back out into an open gravel/parking lot area. There was a giant sloped metal structure to run up and over and then we got to a cargo net traverse, balance beam, and a giant mound of dirt with a horizontal log to climb over at the top.
We then ran over to a pond, had to do a 200ft swim across, ran across the opposite bank of the pond then had to swim back across. When going back across we were forced to use the guide ropes which made the process a lot slower and more awkward than if we could just swim. Upon climbing out of the pond for a second time we had to do the “bangers and mash” obstacle which was a horizontal traverse wall using only ropes, balance beam, and a second traverse wall using blocks. The problem here was that they only put 3 foot holds on the wall so it required a lot of finger/upper body strength to swing from hand hold to hand hold. Overall this was a very creative and incredible take on an obstacle we’ve all seen a hundred times.
After a short run we had to pick up a 50 pound sand bag and carry it about 100 yards down a line of trees, then turn around and carry it back. Followed by the HooYah.
At this point we were back to the festival area and had to go to the paintball shooting range. We had 3 shots to hit a target or we had to do more body builders. To the final obstacle, the Tsunami. This was a giant curved wall with a few ropes at the top. We had to run up the curved wall as high as possible, grab a rope, and pull ourselves over the top of the wall. This turned out to be a very challenging obstacle and left many people running up the wall only to slide back down and have to try again. By the end of the day there was quite a buildup of people taking turns trying to get up the wall. The reward for getting to the top was a super speedy water slide down into a pool.
Now that we were nice and clean after splashing into a pool, we had to finish with a mud crawl under non-barbed wire and around Normandy walls. This left everyone who finished absolutely caked with mud and created some pretty epic finish line photos.