Holy fuck, this was fun. Was fifth woman to finish, placed first for my age group(women 20-24) and while I was a good ~4 minutes 30 seconds slower than my best 5k, that was to be expected, happy enough with how I did.

Basically, the Military Challenge is a 5k obstacle course/mud run. It had stormed most the night before so the course was extra muddy(they actually had a truck stuck in the mud at one point) and there were roughly two dozen obstacles.




Sorry, I might have made it bigger than needed.

The Obstacles:
* Water ditch- Literal ditch in the ground filled with water, often up to my waist and muddy. Tended to take them at a jump, leaping as far across as possible only to end up hitting the water and trudging up the other side.

* Water Crossing- Kinda in the lake, literally. At least waist high, they had a rope on each side marking the way to go since there was a bend in the path so I just grabbed that and hauled myself along.

* Frame wall/wall climb- Same thing? Climbing a wall w/ rope. Got a nice bruise from hitting one of the outcroppings on the back of the first one.

* Over and Under- Lots of strings tied tightly between trees you had to duck under or get over. Think of those scenes in shows where there's a field of lazers and it's kinda like that only touched a string obviously won't hurt/set off an alarm. I mostly just ducked under them, lol.

* Tires- Just, tires. Some were pretty simple, others had really awful shoe-sucking mud.

* Rope webs- I actually don't remember, lol. Maybe I'm mistaking this and the over under? I remember there being hurdles sooner than the map says, so maybe it was replaced?

* Plank walk- Planks of wood across a water ditch. Tried walking on just one for the first then just used two, one for each foot, on the second.

* Hay stack- Large stack of hay. Was already pretty slick on the back getting down when I went through, not sure how bad it was for later folks.

* Hurdles- There were three to six at each point with them. They were roughly chest-high for me. Was envious seeing dudes much taller than me who could do a legit vault over them, I kinda half vaulted/half climbed them. :\

* Mud pit- Crawling, in the mud. Holy fuck, that stank. Like, this one woman and I were joking about it as I passed her. "Smells like pig shit" "I've been wondering if they mixed some fertilizer in" "Should have used more bleach"(the person running it had joked in the opening that they'd bleached the mud for us so we'd be clean) "Yeah, three or four bottles more at least!" One volunteer heard us and seemed amused.

* Cargo net- Fucking hated this. Like, the rungs were so slack it was hard to get up. Basically up the side of the building's stairway.

* Low crawl- Similar to mud pits. Really tore up my knees on this and the pits.

* Bubble pit- Just a wall of suds. Was really muddy the second time around(will get to that)

* Slip n Slide- Down a hill, wasn't actually all that slippery, tried to slide at first but ended up being all 'fuck it' and ran down it.

So, yeah. Tons of fun. Got very messy and while they hosed us down with fire hoses at the end, really needed to scrub at home.

One thing I noticed when running was they didn't mark the miles, though didn't feel that a bad thing. Never really felt I was out of pace, though maybe that means I could have done better? Either way, I started with the 7:00/mi group(basically the second wave of runners) and ended up passing a couple people who'd started in the 6:00/mi group ahead of us. When I finished there were still quite a few who hadn't even started. Took them about 2 hours to cycle all 1800+ runners through the course in this manner.

After that there was a kid's challenge, they did about a mile including the cargo net(I think, not sure on that one), a bounce house obstacle thing, the low crawl, bubble pit, and slip n slide. Was cute though they took awhile since they had the kids run by age.

By this point I'd changed into clean shoes and socks, wiped myself off with the towel I'd brought, and changed tops, because after the kids run was a one mile race. The Diamond Dash wasn't timed, though top male and female winner received jewelry(watch for dude and diamond necklace for the woman). Was pretty sure I had little chance, but since I'd never run a mile race before, I thought it'd be fun, and it was free to run.

What I didn't expect was them to put us through the obstacles again on it. Oy. Was the same course as the kids, minus bounce house and add a little distance. Kept up with the winner until the cargo net, then her six inches or so taller self hauled arse over that thing and was gone, lol. Ah well, came in third for the women in that by less than a second(the second place woman was pretty neck-and-neck with me at the end).

No hard feelings though, the winner was fierce. She won for women in both the 5k and the mile. Totally had a crush moment talking to her while cleaning off in the ice-filled kiddie pools at the finish when she was all "I just love running, it's awesome" gushing. Seriously though, girl was a freaking Amazon, meant in a totally sincere and good way.

So, yeah, overall it was tons of fun and afterward I went and got LASIK done then came home and crashed for eight hours. Good day.

That said, I will criticize their organization on just one point: In the e-mail they sent out about packet pick-up they implied there would be none on race day, which is pretty unheard of. So, I e-mailed them asking about it since I couldn't possibly pick it up the day before due to work. Someone working with them messaged me back and said there would be no packet pick-up day of the race. I was all 'the fuck...' but figured I'd show up anyway because there's no way that can be the case. And, it wasn't. I had no problem picking it up there, though, again, what the hell is with them saying that to begin with? Blah.
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