Having completed several adventure races, There are things I have come to expect, although I know each of these races are designed to be challenging in their own way.
There were some specific challenges with the scramble, most of which were things that the race organizers could easily fix.
- Communication - This was lacking at every turn. Most in my group (including me, and I was the team captain) did not get the emails or any information after registration. The website still said "information coming soon" on race morning when I went in search of parking information and wavers.
- Mile markers - These were also non-existent. I like to know where I am on the course, there were many discussions along the way wondering where we were.
- Support - There was no nutrition or Gatorade, and not nearly enough water.
- Punishments - If you failed at a task (not just skipped it) there were race officials there who made you do 20 Burpies and 10 Head Spins. This made me question the possibility of bringing a first time racer to compete. It was intimidating and caused many people to do tasks that they maybe should have not tried, like swimming.
- Lifeguards - This was the biggest issue, because it was a safety issue. There is A LOT of swimming on this course, and for great lengths, once across a huge lake with no way to stay near the shore, and there were very few life-guards. My friends and I spend extra time helping struggling swimmers and trying to get them to shore, this was a huge problem.
Interestingly enough, this was for me, my favorite part of the race. I loved the swimming, it actually made me want to look at triathlons! I was not crazy about the weird slime in the last element, which we believe was the gel that is inside baby diapers, mostly because we had no warning and most of us got it in our nose... and everywhere else, but this was an issue of personal preference, I am sure some people loved it.
I did love the way the fire and ice were set up in this race, where we jumped over the fire and did a military crawl through the ice water under barbed wire, this was a nice change from the dumpsters of ice water that most races have had.
Overall it was a really fun day, and I am glad we did it, but I am not sure this is one I will do again.
There were only positives about this race. There was plenty of close parking, the staff was amazing and friendly. The dry-fit shirts were nice and the course was well marked.
There was a really, really nice medal, nicer than many I have received for half-marathons! The highlight though was a personal one. I ran this race with my daughter - there were a lot of families there - many of whom stayed to enjoy the community festival at the end. I will be putting this one of my schedule for next Memorial Day - It was perfect!