Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Race Review: Slime Run (How I survived my first Obstacle Fun Run)

Race Review:  Sat. May 17th, 2014
The Slime Run (almost a 5K)

I have accomplished my first obstacle race!  The Slime Run's webpage shows pictures of people being showered in thick green goo, and it isn't exactly like that.  It's more of a watered down, slick, colorful goo?  Here I am at the start of the race and my "after" pic at the finish.  Not as epic as I was hoping for with the mess factor.  

I had a morning wave time, but the race is pretty low-key on organization and you could probably show up for any wave time that you wanted to.  

There is NO bag check, so you want to lock your change of clothes and such in your car.  
Parking?  $10.

Ten dollars is way too much to pay to park, especially when the race is within a couple blocks of the transit center ($5 for an all day pass).   I had some other errands to do after the race (packet pickup for my Half Marathon the next day!  Woo Hoo!) so, pay or figure a way around it?  

My errands that required me to be sorta clean and use my change of clothes.  

Did I mention there is no bag check?  

No problem!  

If you have anything you need to take with you on a sticky/slimy/muddy or just wet course... ziplock bags are your friend.

I put a change of clothes, phone, lightweight flip flops and anything else I thought I couldn't live without in a gallon zip lock bag and put that in a nylon cinch up bag/backpack.... with another one inside the ziploc bag so that I could contain the slimy stuff in that ziploc bag and have a clean bag to carry around on my other errands before my trip home.  

Now that you know how to prepare for your Slime Run, this is what you should know about the course:  

For whatever location you sign up to do this race, this will be your course map.  ;-)  

After the start was announced for my wave, some cannons at the start line spray participants with green slime.  (Though I did the very first wave and only one cannon went off.  Perhaps that was fixed before the end of the day?) 

After that, I came upon rows of tires were were supposed to run through.  I don't know how those football camp films make it look so easy, but I was pretty sure I was going to trip and kill myself or someone was going to trip and knock me over, and kill me.

We ran on pretty much the same route as the Cosmic Run that I had volunteered at in April.  I could still see the colorful cornstarch on the ground where the concert had been and where the color stations had been.  After getting sprayed by teenagers who delighted it spraying me in the face with their slime guns, I passed a stretch of pink earth.  That was where I had tried so hard not to hit people in the face with my pink glow-in-the-dark corn starch a few weeks ago.

About that time, and about 1 mile into the course, we had an inflatable slide down to a pool of cold, sticky water.  Not quite slime, but slimy looking.

Brrrr.  Did I mention you should bring an old pair of shoes on their last leg of life?  They will get completely, utterly soaked and there is no going back.

So on this chilly May morning in the Pacific Northwest, I crawled out of the inflatable pool of cold liquid and ran on.  Fun, but COLD!

The next obstacle was concrete barriers like the ones often seen on highways to keep cars on their side of the divider.  

Teenagers hollered at us to jump over them.  
Everyone walked around them.  

The runners were sprayed some more by volunteers (in the face) and then we had a section of bungee cord type cables to crawl though, climb over and get untangled from.

At this point we circle back  on the course and run past later waves just starting the course.

I highly recommend starting early. 

The "run" was at a stand still and the line to go down the slime slide was at least half a mile long.

The final major obstacle is an inflatable staircase that we all struggled to clamber up.  The smooth vinyl stairs were muddy from the wet shoes of previous racers who had already gone before me and there was nothing to hold on to in order to stay on your bouncy step on the staircase.  I watched the couple in front of me struggle to help their son up each step without  falling themselves.  Then some older kids jumped on and instantly everyone's balance was shaken.  I slid to the bottom.


 While they thought it was funny to knock everyone down, I said "screw this" as I rubbed my back and thought about my impeccable timing to want to do every race in the world... and the half marathon I had planned the following day.  The second one in 8 days.

I walked around the obstacle and congratulated myself for giving it a try and playing it safe.  No need to seriously hurt myself.  At least that's what I told myself so I could justify taking home one of the medals.

This has to be the first fun run that I've seen that offered bling at the end.  They had merchandise for sale (towel anyone?) and a couple small handouts for registered participants, but the quickest way to my heart (besides a really cool race shirt) is the bling.

So, after climbing through the final inflatable tunnel, I claimed my prize and sat back and watched the finishers climb into their cars to warm up and the new faces start to queue up for their start.  (Not exactly a huge, festive party... but fun nonetheless).

My app on my phone clocked the race at 2.88 miles, just about the same distance as the race I had been at earlier here.

It was quite the experience, and hoping that the next two obstacle races I have already committed myself to will be fun, but I'm thinking I should probably stick to colored corn starch and no major races right before one of these events.

As I type this, I should also point out that I'm scheduled to do Kiss Me Dirty the day before my "Beat The Blerch" half marathon.  I might also be signed up to do the Oregon Marathon HALF with Uberthons 7 days before all of that.

Do you do obstacle/slime/mud/color runs?  Enjoy them?

Do you put too much on your race schedule?  (Tell me about it so I know I'm not the only insane person out there).  


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