Obstacles + Mud = 8 Year Old Boy Nirvana

I am not sure it gets much better than spending a Saturday morning, climbing over obstacles, trudging through mud pits and swinging on ropes - oh, unless you get to do it with your Mom and torture your sister too! This past weekend was the Kids Challenge Obstacle race and it was pure Nirvana for my boy. 

 

The course is built for kids who have a sense of adventure! The course race series is designed for kids ages 5-16, with 13-15 fun and challenging obstacles and mud. Even though it says it's for kids, some of the hills were quite the challenge for the adults too.  Don't worry, there are plenty of water stations at the front and throughout the course and always the option to skip an obstacle if you want.  All of the obstacles are doable with little to no help from parents.  My kiddo was very proud that he did all of the obstacles with no help from me.  Such a fun way to spend some family time, while being out and active! After running jumping and climbing your way through the obstacles, you end with a fun slide down into MUD! You can get REALLY muddy or not so much - the choice is yours.  If you happen to get really muddy, you'll need to hit the rise station at the end of the course. 

A few tips:

*Wear snug fitting clothes, maybe in a moisture wicking fabric. Big cotton t-shirt will get caught in some of the obstacles and really carry around that mud and water

*Trail shoes if you have them, if not a pair of old tennis shoes you don't mind not being able to keep.  If you decide not to keep them, there is a place to donate them to charity

*Get there 45 minutes early.  It will give you time to check in, take pictures, stretch and get a little water before the race starts. 

*HAVE FUN! That's the whole point of doing such family fun thing is to enjoy every minute of it with the kids. 

 

The Kids Obstacle Challenge is  the largest touring adventure and obstacle course event series for kids in the nation! Every participant received a backpack that you could fill with some snacks and few other freebies, as well as a finisher medal.   And the best part is, it's a FAMILY adventure - parents get to run with their kids for free!

Visit https://www.kidsobstaclechallenge.com to see when the race is headed to your city! 

This is 40 - The Rugged Maniac Edition

Listen, it was on my bucket list (or my 40 List as I’ve been calling it).  It sounded like a really great idea when I signed up for it. I am so glad I did it, but listen.  Don’t do what I did, sign up for it and do it 2 weeks later with zero preparedness.

If you’re going to do it, plan better and here’s what you need to do:

1.       Cardio, cardio and maybe another day of cardio.  The race in KC was at Snow Creek (ya, know, snow creek where people ski and therefore there would be ski hills to climb).  I read that part, but didn’t really pay attention.  Not only was this race at Snow Creek, it started by climbing a ski hill.  Like, that was the start. Like, before all obstacles. Like, right out of the gate. Like, it almost fucking killed me! There were several hills through the whole damn race, so, do your cardio!

2.       Buy some trail shoes.  In my head, I was never doing this again, so I thought I would be fine wearing my old shoes and donating them at the end of the race(which I did and they do wonderful, charitable things with them).  My old tennis shoes did not have nearly enough grip on them and the see-saw obstacle, I couldn’t even climb on without slipping and face planting. So, if you’re going to do it, hop over to Amazon and pick up a pair of trail running shoes, they’re like $20.

3.       Do it with a friend or maybe even a group.  Some of the obstacles you will likely need a boost, so having a strong friend is helpful. A group would be even better to help pull, push and encourage you too. 

4.       Sign up for an early time.  The earlier, the less tracked through the course is, the weather maybe a little cooler.  I went at noon – dumb, don’t do that. It was hot and there were some deeper holes from where other people had already run.  Not the end of the world, but ya, know just trying to make it easier (and I am being very loose with the word easy).

5.       Where tight fitted clothing and quick dry material if you can.  If you’re a girl with curves, a pair of pants with a drawstring to keep them up, also helpful.  Because when you’re waist deep in mud and getting your ass caught on barbed wire, you are going to at least want your pants to stay up.   I’d say a tank top, so your sleeves don’t get caught on barbed wire or other obstacles, but if you’re afraid of getting scrapped, maybe long sleeves, but also maybe you shouldn’t be doing this race.

6.      You need to Pack: bug spray, sun screen, Advil (there will be pain, there will be bruises) and allergy medicine! Not sure what I encountered, but it sent my outdoor allergies into hyper drive! Towels, wipes, change of clothes and shoes.  If I had been thinking, a disposable camera would have been fun, but they provide a ton of free photos from the pro-photogs along the course. 

All and all it is something I am glad I did at least once.  It did not turn me into an addict and leave me with this burning desire to do it again and again, but I would consider doing it again with a group of people or with couples…that would require me to have a boyfriend and friends that have boyfriends/spouses, but I digress.

I did feel strong and capable and accomplished when it was over.  I was impressed with myself crawling through the muck, because if you know me in real life, I don’t do dirt and mud for real! The biggest take away for me in this race is it restored my belief in humanity. Odd to say of a mud run, but it really did. Perfect strangers helping others and cheering each other on.  When I climbed the tall wooden wall (not sure what it’s called) I freaked.  It was way taller than I was prepared for, it was shaky and I climbed to the top and could not talk myself down the other side – enter Captain America.  Not really Captain America, but he was wearing the shirt and that’s what I called him.  He climbed up and said you can do it, you’ve got it – here, I’ll help you, let me help you! I mean, I could have just cried right there, but that wouldn’t be very maniac like of me! He (and other random strangers) were just so kind and encouraging and we could all use a little kindness that right there is reason enough to do the Rugged Maniac.