This race was an amazing experience! I participated in this event for my job and wrote about my experience. All photos except the first one were taken by our freelance photographer. Enjoy!
As I opened my eyes after a too-short six-hour snooze, the golden sunlight streamed through the window. I laid there for what seemed like ten seconds before the extremely loud iPhone alarm began beeping and ringing. It was go time.
My selfless husband rolled out of bed early on a Saturday morning alongside me even though he was not participating in Primal Rush, the four-mile obstacle course race that took place at Crow’s Lake in Jefferson on August 24th.
I convinced him to be my moral support since this was my first obstacle course race. I was more than ready for this new experience.
I fueled up with a light breakfast, laced up my shoes and stepped outside. The air was cool and crisp, which is very rare for an August day in Georgia.
After a short drive, we pulled into Crow’s Lake. The energy was high as the second wave of runners prepared to begin the race. They were bouncing up and down, laughing and taking “before” photos with friends. I was glad to see such a laid-back yet energetic atmosphere since I am no where near an advanced runner.
I was impressed with the check-in system because it was very organized, and the volunteers were nothing short of encouraging. When I was handed my race bib, Becky Lee, the Executive Director of the Tree House, told me “good luck and have fun” with a big smile on her face. Her cheery attitude toward the race eased my nerves and gave me the boost of confidence that I needed. I thought to myself, “Primal Rush is going to be a fun and unique experience. It doesn’t matter if I come in last place because it is my first race, and it supports a good cause.” Primal Rush benefits the Tree House, a non-profit organization whose mission is to reduce the impact and occurrence of child abuse.
Once 9:30 a.m. rolled around, it was time to make my way to the start line. I took a few “before” photos like everyone else was, and before I knew it, I was off.
The first portion of the race was the best part. I felt strong, and conquered the first handful of obstacles with no issues. I ran while holding a large wooden beam, ran through muddy puddles and jumped over and through wooden walls. In fact, I felt so strong that I even passed a group of young men that were probably much stronger and faster than me. This really boosted my confidence and I never felt the need to stop and walk.
Everything was going well until I realized my solitude on the trail for at least three to four minutes. Why hadn’t I passed anyone else? What happened to the guys that I passed a few minutes back? I kept going because I looked down and realized that I was on an obvious trail, and I did not want to turn around and risk losing valuable time.
Suddenly, I approached an opening in the woods and ran over to two teenage boys passing out cups of water. “Uhhh you went the wrong way,” one of them said. I looked over to my left and saw the group of guys that I had passed earlier about 100 feet away, crawling through black tunnels and realized this kid was absolutely correct. “How did this happen,” I asked. “I was on a trail the entire time and there was no sign directing me where to go.” He informed me that I wasn’t the first person to make the mistake and told me how to backtrack. I was livid since I lost a significant amount of time running the wrong way, but I hoped to catch up.
It was difficult to backtrack because I had to squish my way through large mud puddles without slipping. Once I arrived at the black tunnels, I was back on track, but very behind. Maybe even last. I wasn’t happy about it, but there was no way I would give up.
This is when I started to become very fatigued. I no longer could keep a continuous running pace because my lungs felt like they were about to collapse and I could feel my heart beating violently in my ears. Walk breaks became necessary, which wasn’t fun for me because I knew that running was the only way I’d catch up to the others, but sprinting the entire way would most likely not go well for me.
As I approached one of the small ponds, that is when I saw it. I caught up! I passed a handful of people and immediately jumped into the water for the “wade across” obstacle. It was a lot harder than I thought to catch up to the group of guys I had originally passed in the beginning because my feet felt like they were sinking as I walked through the pond in thigh-deep, murky water. Unfortunately, they were off to the next obstacle while I was still in the water. At least I wasn’t in last place anymore.
I continued to run and power walk through the woods until I reached other obstacles such as hopping through tires, climbing over massive walls, crawling under wires, carrying a bucket full of mud up and down a hill, and lastly, the swim.
I figured the “wade across” obstacle was considered the “swim” obstacle, but I was wrong. I had to swim across a dark, murky lake with my sneakers on my feet. That felt extremely odd, but I laughed the whole time as the firefighters told jokes about calling 911 under water.I didn’t understand, but I laughed anyway because they were floating in the middle of a lake with scuba gear preventing possible drowning incidents.
After pulling myself out of the water, volunteers cheered me on as I climbed an angled wall with a rope. It was the final obstacle!
I managed to muster up enough energy to run until I arrived at the finish line, and I’m proud to say that I was successful. It was a great feeling to finish– I felt accomplished and proud of myself for completing my first muddy obstacle course race. I even received a medal, which is a new experience for me!
Thank you, Primal Rush for providing such a fun and exciting day for me and the other participants! I cannot wait until next year’s race and will spread the word.