Friday, October 12, 2012

Gladiator Rock n' Run

Even though I haven't given you my race recap of my Vermont weekend, I'm going to skip forward to what will be a less emotionally charged blog. (No need to fear, I will eventually revisit the championship race and all of the craziness that surrounded it.) Last week Corinne, Scott, Candy, myself, and several of my other Weeple friends, had the chance to run the Gladiator Rock n' Run at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA.

I was so excited to do run the Rock n' Run for the first time. I had absolutely no idea what to expect in terms of terrain or obstacles because I haven't ever done a mud run other than a Spartan. Before the race I watched  several videos on YouTube of the previous year so I would have an idea what to expect. (I decided to go with my racing flats which definitely seemed to be the right decision given the terrain.)

Scott and I headed down early in the morning to check in for my 7:30 A.M. 10K heat. It was super cold, but nice once we started running it warmed up nicely. The first 1/2 mile of the 10K included a jaunt inside the Rose Bowl and up and down the stairs. That really worked my legs which made the race a lot rougher than I had originally planned. After that, it was mostly an asphalt run with mud obstacles thrown in the mix including a rope climb, "spider web," many dumpster dives, and some mud pits and barb wire. It was definitely nothing like the hilly terrain in Vermont which gave my heavy legs and largely damaged left food a nice break. The 10K included some beautiful trail and a few rolling hills. The one thing that was more apparent than anything else was the amazing course marking. Many of you know that I had a slight "problem" with the course in VT. There was NO way I could have gotten lost here. Multiple signs, flagged ropes, and arrows assured that even the most horrid navigators (that's me) wouldn't get lost. I was excited to see Scott at the finish and headed over with him to begin his 5K heat. We ran the whole race together; his warm up for the Malibu Spartan Sprint in December. I remembered how much more fun it is to run these races with a friend, and how I got involved in these obstacle races in the first place.

My only qualm with the race: I ran most of the 10K heat in third place. At the end of my race I caught up to the two women that had been in front of me. They skipped the last obstacle and ran around it when they saw me coming up behind them. This made me third overall, but first to complete all of the obstacles. I truly wish this race had some accountability for their competitive heats and making sure that people don't just run around the obstacles. If you plan to skip the obstacles in order to place top 3, why not just run a traditional road race ladies? I had to head home to coach my soccer team before awards, so I stole this pic from Corinne. She and I both placed third overall. (I suspect she was the first woman to complete all of the obstacles in the 5K as well.) I'm still crossing my fingers that my awards will be sent out as promised. They are really sweet.

Oh, and a shout out on a separate line for the race shirt. These are the most KILLER race shirts I have ever seen! Awesome shirts by Affliction that I will wear everyday for the rest of my life. (Well, maybe not everyday, but any time I get the chance.) The picture definitely doesn't do it justice.

I would definitely run this race again and look forward to it next year. Thanks to Dan "Nitro" for putting on a great event. I look forward to rockin' your shirt all over the city. ;) -Ang

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