Friday, March 14, 2014

A Ridiculous Post - ROC 5k

The Ridiculous Obstacle Race is an untimed 5k fun run with obstacles similar to something you would see in the Wipe Out TV series or maybe on the old Nickelodeon. Being a sucker for any new obstacle races in the area, Brian, a friend of ours, and myself signed up for the October event in Brooklyn.

Unfortunately, the government shutdown botched the event’s plans and they were forced to change the date to a week later and move it from the Aviator Center, where these types of races are held on a regular basis, to the parking lot of the Aqueduct racetrack. The later date meant that it was a lot colder than we would have liked, and setting up in a parking lot surely effected the course set up and number of obstacles. There was supposed to be the usual post race party with vendors, beer, etc, but there were none to be found on race day.

The one major advantage to all this, however, was that many of the runners who had signed up originally couldn’t make the new date, so there weren’t that many people there and at times we had the course to ourselves to repeat obstacles as much as we liked. We were also allowed to show up to any start time we wanted due to the low attendance.

Being named the Ridiculous Obstacle Race, participants are encouraged to dress ridiculous and there were costume contests to judge just how ridiculous we looked. While we didn’t wear full blown costumes, Larissa from The Traveling Mortician and I did partake in looking ridiculous by wearing rainbow tutu’s. Brian chose to wear regular clothes...

Ridiculous obstacle race tutu
We took ridiculous to new levels with these tutu's

Our wave went off at 1:30pm and we ran for less than a quarter mile before arriving at the first obstacle, which were about 5 barricades to get over. We easily cleared these and continued on the course which oddly went up stairs into a building/convention area and exited into the top deck of the parking lot. We could tell this was not the intended set up of this course and wondered how much better it would be if they had it at the Aviator center. 

Ridiculous obstacle race brooklyn
Brian and I on the top of the parking deck, an odd addition to the course
On the parking deck, we came to one of the most anticipated obstacles of the course, the world’s largest moon bounce. We took our time bouncing across this as it was more fun than challenging. We then came to an inflatable rope climb which you had to slide down once you reached the top, which we quickly managed. Next up was the wooden wall climb, and there were walls of varying lengths. I went for the second highest wall while Brian easily scaled the highest wall.

Roc Race world's largest moon bounce
The worlds largest moon bounce lived up to the hype. A lot of fun!

Worlds largest moon bounce

After these 3 obstacles, it was back through the same convention area and down the stairs. There was also an elevator in the building in case you were already ready to quit. Once we were back on the ground, there was a stretch of running before we came to the monkey bars with an inflatable bottom that was filled with suds. We had a a lot of fun with this obstacle and Brian snapped a picture of me doing a pull-up on the last monkey bar. We hadn’t seen any race photographers up until this point so we were glad we had brought our waterproof camera to document the event ourselves.

Ridiculous obstacle race monkey bars
The start of the monkey bars, they had their own emcee

Ridiculous obstacle race monkey bars
The foam machine at the bottom added an interesting aspect to the obstacle

Ridiculous obstacle race monkey bars
Pull-up time!
After the monkey bars, we came to the main obstacle of the entire event, which was the wrecking ball. You had to walk across a spinning balance beam while a huge wrecking balls consistently heads in your direction threatening to throw you off into the water below. Brian went first and wiped out about halfway through, I followed in the same manner. Larissa went last and had a pretty bad wipeout right at the start, losing her sunglasses. We asked the volunteers if we could jump in and look for them and he briefly allowed Brian to do so, but he couldn’t find them and they asked us to move along as to not hold back the other racers and check back later.

We all took a second attempt at the obstacle. Brian wiped out more towards the end, and Larissa wiped out for a second time as well. I was able to cross without falling on my second attempt and was overly proud of myself. 

Ridiculous obstacle race wrecking ball
The infamous wrecking ball

Ridiculous obstacle race wrecking ball
Probably the best obstacle I have seen at a 5k to date
After this, obstacles were close together and there wasn’t much running to be had. There were many different inflatable slides, a slip and slide full of foam, a section with tires to traverse, a rope section to cross, and a tarzan swing. I epically failed at the Tarzan swing as I didn’t let go when I was supposed to and started heading back towards the platform. A volunteer helped me stop, whoops... 

Ridiculous obstacle race tarzan swing
Brian timed this picture perfectly to show my obstacle fail

Ridiculous obstacle race slide
The ascent to one of the slides. It was slippery and steeper than it looks

Ridiculous obstacle race slip-n-slide
After the foam slip-n-slide

We came to one final slide that had a volunteer spraying a hose on us as we climbed to the top. While the course was fun, we didn’t enjoy running around soaking wet in the cold October air. We slid down this last slide into the finish line to end the course. We then took some pictures by the bubble machine, covered in suds. 

Ridiculous obstacle race foam machine
They might have overdid the suds at the foam machine a bit

Since there was no after party, we changed and got ready to leave. We tried one last time to have the volunteer recover the missing sunglasses, but were told we would have to wait until they drained the water out of the obstacle and that we could contact them to mail them back to Larissa. As it turns out, she never received them. They told her they gave them to the lost and found at the Aqueduct, and the Aqueduct told her that after 48 hours they give any lost and found items to charity. She didn’t know they even had them until a week after the event, so we aren’t sure what really happened there.

We found this race to be a good time but the obstacles weren’t very challenging, so it is a good obstacle race for first timers. It also is the perfect set up to get race pictures as any spectators would have had access watch most of the obstacles. We would definitely run this again and are considering signing up this year if it comes back to the area!

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