Saturday, May 5, 2012

TBF Weekend Warrior - Anna & Robin

Anna’s Race
When the race started I was running towards the jumpy house.  Lots of kids were passing me but when got there, I passed a lot of kids.  When I got out of the jumpy house, I saw 3 kids ahead of me.  Then I kept running and when I saw the water slide, I thought I’m not going in there.  But I went in there.  When I got to the part where I had to run in the water, I thought again I’m going in there.   But I went in there.  When I finished I felt real happy.  Then I ran into the water and got soaking wet!

Robin's Race
I find out that today’s race is open-ended.  Meaning I can decide the route I can take.  I like that because I’d like to run the shortest race I can possibly can…especially since my legs are still in recovery mode.  At the start, they hand out a map but tell us not to look.  They instruct us that we’ll need to run south to find 2 check points at which we’ll collect a gold coin.  I know that our friend Dave Campbell is at one of them.  It will be fun to find him!  Francie, Dave’s wife, is here at the start supporting the TBF staff.  We then will turn in the coins and then be able to go through the “Gauntlet” or obstacle course.  It’s made up of a jumpy house maze, vertical spider web maze with slide, mud pit, military slip and slide, hay bales, tires, military dirt crawl, zig-zags, balance beam, and trekking through the water.
Ready, set, go!  We all start running south and looking at our maps.  The first check point is at 600’ and the 2nd is at 400’.  I’m guessing that the 1st is on the big hill with the water tower on the south side of Granite Beach Park.  I know how to get there from other races but today there is so much water in Folsom Lake that it has flooded normally dry spots so I cannot even follow that route.  I have to be creative and find another way.  I decide to run that course backwards.  There are two guys ahead of me and two guys behind me.
I lose sight of all of these guys when I decide to take the road instead of the trail partway through.  I make it to the hill and climb up the first trail I know.  As I get to the top, I see Dave.  Yeah!  I can see those 2 guys that were behind me coming up the hill in front of me now.  Oh, they found a short-cut!  I’m using that on the way back!  I get the coin from Dave…”thanks Dave!”  I grab some water and go!  I’m feeling great.  My legs are hanging in there!  Thanks Jesus!
The 2nd check point is along the water so I know just where to go.  I head down the other side of the hill and follow the trail along the water.  I see lots of mtn. bikers and runners out for their weekend workout.  It’s a beautiful sunny day! 
I spot a Red Bull flag that is a marker on the course.  I’m going the right way!  And soon I see the 2 guys who were ahead running towards me.  Okay, it cannot be much further!  Soon I see the check point.  I grab the coin some sport’s drink and go.
Now I just need to find the shortest route back to the Gauntlet.  I decide to back track up the hill and down the new shortcut.  On my way back, I see those other two guys.  “Just a little further”.  I also see a lot of other racers on the way and let them know they are on the right track. It’s tough climbing back up the hill but I’m able to do it at a pretty good pace.  Before I can even see Dave again I spot a trail off to my left.  That’s got to be it!  I run down and sure enough I’m back on the trail I ran in on.  Wow, that was way faster and shorter!
I book it back as fast as I can.  I stick to the trail this time and stay off the road hoping that it’s quicker.  Soon enough I’m turning in my coins at the start of the Gauntlet.  Okay, now for the fun and easy part!  I run across the beach and climb into the jumpy house maze.  Right away I can see that this is not easy!  I feel exhausted already.  I don’t know how Anna does this so well!  I can hardly stay upright!  I have so much respect for those Survivor players on TV.  The do stuff harder than this and without much food or rest.
Finally I finish that and figure out how to get into the vertical spider web.  Oh my gosh, it’s hard to squeeze through these slats!  Slowly but surely I make it up to the top and slide down the slide.  I run through the mud pit as gingerly as I can not to get too dirty…ha, ha!  Time for the slip in slide.  I try to slide but there it’s sandy so it’s not very comfortable as you would expect. 
I’m breathing hard and struggling to keep it up.  I scramble over the hay bales and through the tires.  Next is the military dirt crawl.  It hurts crawling on my hands and knees on the dirt!  I finally figure out that I can lift my knees of the ground like a monkey.  That makes the rest of the crawl easier but not easy!  More tires and more hay bales!  Troy tells me that someone is catching me.  I guess I’m really slow!  Wait, he’s kidding, phew!  I’m pooped but my family is cheering and the race director is cheering!  Go, Robin, go!  I can see I’m almost done so I dig down and finish up the last bit: up and down some rivets with rope, zig-zag and water run.  I cross the finish line happy to have had the experience and happy to be done!