Saturday, August 4, 2012

Thunder Challenge

Thunder Challenge-Larkspur Colorado
I did my first adventure race today, a 10K run/walk/hike with ten or so obstacles challenges to surpass.

Project Sanctuary  Super Hero's: Randi, Michelle, Heather and Ginny 
Here are the female members of the team that I ran with. 

The first challenge consisted of running up and down a  hill carrying an empty beer keg or a 10 pound sand bag. 

After that we jumped into a pit of water, lurched out of the water pit and headed over to the next obstacle. 

We hit the first few obstacles early in the course and then began a long hike before we encountered the next challenge.  And we climbed and climbed and climbed. 

View from the top of the climb

You want me to do what?
We finally got to the last challenge where we had to swing over another pit of water with a rope in one hand and then reach out with the other hand and began scaling a large wall.

A couple of things I learned today about adventure racing.

1.  Having a very strong upper body is an absolute necessity.  There was a lot of pulling oneself up over walls, houses, monkey bars.   The people that had strong upper bodies had a huge advantage.

2.  If you do not have a strong upper body, make sure you have a strong team.

I had signed up to do this race as an individual and was fortunate to bump into a friend of mine, Heather Ehle at the registration table.  She invited me to join her team and I am so happy that I took her up on her offer.

When I got to the last challenge, I didn't think I could do it.

I got coaching from a Navy Seal on how to tackle the challenge.  "Commit to jumping over the water, explode into the wall and grab the wall with your other hand."

My teammate Ginny went first and made it safely over the water and started to climb over the wall.

I don't think I exploded into the wall, I think it was more of a glide, but somehow I made it over the water and started to scale the final obstacle.

I got up to the top and wasn't sure I could get my leg over the top of the wall.  I was stuck.  I couldn't go up, couldn't go down.

Luckily my teammate Ginny was there for me.  She waited for me.  She coached me to swing my leg over the wall, she reassured me that I was safe.

I've got your back!

It was the perfect ending for the day.  The Thunder Challenge was designed by Navy Seals.  The Thunder   Challenge was put on to benefit Project Sanctuary.

One of Heather's military family members from Project Sanctuary, Ginny stood on a wall for me.

This is what our military does for us every day.   They stand on a wall and say nothing's going to hurt you, not on my watch!

Thank you Ginny and a heartfelt thanks to the men and women of our armed forces and their families.

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