Saturday, August 9, 2014

Battlefrog Tristate 5k race recap

Battlefrog is the newest mud run on the block, with both 5k and 15k distances filled with some challenging obstacles designed by Navy Seals. I learned about this race via Groupon, and at $27 for the 5k entry (plus the mandatory insurance charge), signing up was a no brainer. 

We got to the starting line just as the 10 wave took off and immediately got to the back of the pack as we tried and failed to get the Gopro to work. (Luckily, event photos are free, so we at least got some pictures!) Now we had some catching up to do. We easily cleared the first two obstacles, which were 2 five foot walls and then walls to go over, under, a through a window. We climbed through a rat tunnel, and next was a series of muddy hills to run over. 

battlefrog rat tunnel
Rat tunnel

We started closing the gap with the back of the pack. We were able to pass a few people, and arrived at a slip and slide where another race photographer waited.

battlefrog slip n slide
Slip n Slide!

Now mostly caught up, there was some raceway unders to crawl through, which is one of the only situations where my 5'0 height is an advantage, and after clearing this obstacle we arrived at what I think was one of the toughest obstacles on the course, the jerry can carry. The jugs were 20 lbs for men and 10lbs for women. We fell a bit behind again as they ran out of women's cans and I let a few other women pick theirs up first before getting mine. I hoisted the can onto my shoulder and we passed the back of the pack again, but then we arrived at this really steep mud mound that was hard enough to get up without have to lug the jerry can with us.

Battlefrog jerry can hill
The steep jerry can hill was no joke!

battlefrog jerry can

battlefrog jerry can

Once we dropped the can off, we reached the delta ladder, which was a tall wooden structure with large gaps between wooden rungs to climb over. Here is where we got hopelessly behind for the race as one of people in front of us froze at the top and took at least 10 minutes to be talked over. 

After clearing the ladder and running for a bit we reached the monkey bars, the obstacle I was most looking forward to. The bars were on a decline, had a bit of a reach to them, and were over a pool of muddy water. I am embarrassed to report that I failed not only once, but twice on these bars. Brian passed with flying colors and even did a set of 5 pull-ups on the last bar... I took the 10 burpee penalty, then we ran to the next obstacle, which to my dismay was 20 more burpees...

battlefrog moneky bars
Brian crushing the monkey bars, and me in the background pre wipeout...
By this point my arms were feeling it, and we had a bear crawl to power through before reaching a rope climb, where we had to ring the cow bell at the top. Brian completed this easily while i made it two thirds of the way up, then my grip slid on the mud and I fell off the rope. Here goes 15 more burpees... My fitness weakness is now blatantly clear - must...improve....grip....strength!

We ran quite a long ways through a muddy stream, then came to a cargo net. For some reason I really excel at the cargo nets and wall climbs, even with my height disadvantage, and we got some momentum going again. Just when we thought we may be done with the upper body intensive obstacles, we reached the 12 foot rope walls. They had 2 spots with just a rope with no knots and no wood across the wall to assist in getting over. Most people waited for the rope with 2 knots and also 2 wood boards to help with the climb.

Determined not to fail at another upper body obstacle, I used the rope knots to get good footing and then pulled myself up and over with the rope. After scaling both these walls, I was proud I at least completed that one, but my arms were completely spent. We ran another little ways and arrived at a paintball area called amphibious assault. We had 3 tries to hit a target, and failure meant more burpees. Thankfully we both hit the target, Brian on the second try and me on the third.

We then approached the final obstacles, which was Tsunami, a really really tall half pipe wall with a rope near the top, which you then slide down from. There was a line for this, and, knowing how tired my arms were, I decided to skip this obstacle, which I now tremendously regret! The final obstacle was normandy jacks, which was another form of a bear climb under barbed wire with a ton of mud, and once through you have arrived at the finish line and receive your medal.

We watched the Navy seal demonstration which was pretty cool, had our free beer, and were on our way home by 1pm. As I wrote this post 2 days later, I was still a bit sore from the obstacles. It really pointed out what I needed to work on for my next race.

Overall, I highly recommend this course as it was very challenging yet doable!

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