Friday, May 27, 2011

Magic Shoes 5k and the Ridiculous Obstacle challenge 2 races 1 day

Last Saturday I had to choose what race to run and I chose wrong.  This Saturday Instead of either or I choose both. The rapture was slated to occur that evening, might as well get as much racing in while I still could.  Plus the inferno will good on some sore muscles.

Last year I did some work for Jamba Juice.  Where I scored a free membership to Active Advantage.  It's a membership active sells for  I think it's 60 bucks a year which covers although exorbant evil ticket master like charges (L.A. marathon was around $10 ouch) Active hits you with when you sign up for a race.
I personally would always rather send in my entry than pay active a few bucks (cheap bastard) I never thought I'd be a member of this program buts it was free, so why the hell not.

One perk of being an Active Advantage member is that periodically they give free entries to random events via email if you can be one of the first few people to claim it by clicking a link.

I'm dumb enough to run just about any race at any distance so as soon as I get the email I sign up without looking where or when the race takes place.

Last Monday I got an Email for the Magic Shoe 5k to be held that Saturday.  I payed no attention to where is what held and blindly signed up.

Corona Del Mar, you say ? (where the hell is that?)

It turns out it was kind of by Irvine about 45 minutes away from my home, kind of far to drive for a 5k but it was free so what the hell.

 I had also signed up for a couple other freebie races on active.  It turns out  one of them was held Ridiculous Obstacle Challenge 5k on the same day.  Whoops! But the ROC race did'nt start till 9a.m.?  Google maps said it would take me an hour to drive from from race 1 to race 2. Lucky for the the ROC had races going off at 9,10,11,12,1,2.  and they still had openings for the 1 and 2 p.m. slots it should be easy to switch times right?.

Upon looking at the race website I realized I had to pick up my bib number in San Diego (No way) It wasn't worth driving over 150 miles  round trip to pick up a bib number. Maybe they could make an acception for me?
(what a pain in the ass I am becoming)

I called up the contact number on the web site which sent me to thay then gave me the # of the race director Rory. He wasn't rude on the phone but basically told me there is no possible way to get my number on race day and I was s**t out of luck.

For about an hour I conceded to the thought of not running before taking checking with my facebook friends to see if anyone else was participating that may be able to pick up my stuff.
(it was worth a shot)

My barefoot buddy Robert Shackelfold  (AKA, Shacky) offered to help me out.  (sweet)
I still had to change my time.

Time to call up active again, I thought it be easy but once again they gave me Rory's phone number (oh brother) and once again he told me there is nothing I do for you all times final their is no way to switch times, period. (doh)

I figured I 'd give one last shot Via email, maybe there I could find someone with a sympathy for me.

"My name is Patrick Sweeney and I am signed up for the 9 a.m. race.  I completely forgot I had another 5k that I was running for a friends charity that morning at 8 a.m.  If the 1p.m. or 2 p.m. races are not sold out could I please switch to one of those. Please! I'll buy you  a coke or a beer if you can make this happen :)  If not I'm afraid I can not participate.  I'm  not to concerned about official time (although I think I will be in contention to win).  If you cant get me a different bib or chip, would anything terrible happen if I wore my 9 a.m.  bib and chip during one of the 1p.m. or races?  I promise not to do it if the time slot is sold out That way I am not preventing you selling slots or making the course overcrowded.  Thanks a lot for your consideration."

Within minutes I recived a an email from some kick ass chick named Tiffany. "No problem Pat you are now switched to the to the 1p.m. race."'
(well that was easy)

The Day before the race

Time for a little game called spot the discrepancies.
Shacky kindly picked up my bib but noticed a problem?

What I first noticed is that my race time still said 9a.m. So I emailed Tiffany again and she said that was no problem.

Then I noticed  bib did not match the chip. Another email to Tiffany with an instance response (thank you) This would be a problem, Shacky kindly offered to go back to and get me a new bib  I was now racer 5824 but my bib would still say 9a.m..

Enough with the shenanigans Lets get to race day.

Magic Shoes 5k

The  race started at Corona Del Mar High School about 45 minutes from my house.  They were collecting running shoes for the poor so with mixed emotions I brought 3 pairs to donate.  It felt a little hypocritical of me giving away shoes that I feel may destructive to others bodies if they run in them.  But whats right for me may not be whats best for everyone else.  And if some one needs shoes to work in or to keep their feet warm I'm glad to give them mine.

Before the race a running club compiled of about 60 little rug rats measuring in at 3 to 4 feet tall lined up at the front.  I thought this may be a little dangerous with a stampede of fast grownups behind them. I struck up a conversation with one of the moms telling her how perfect these kids would be for the 100 mile club, she seemed interested but maybe she was just being nice.
 They then asked if there were  any seeded runners could they should please move up to the front of starting line.
 Am I a seeded runner?
 Seedy Yes (Insert maniacal laughter here) but seeded runner? I was deffinetly the fastest guy there in sandals, I decided that was good enough and proceeded to the front.


I went out fast as usual the course was looked to be pretty flat.  My plan was to try and run as close to 5 min pace as long as I could.  through the first 1/2 mile I was i the lead.  At that point The eventual winner jumped out in front and distanced himself from the field.

I finished my first mile in 5:06 (slower than I hoped) I was searching to find some kind of rhythm but it was nowhere to be found.  Thankfully it was only 5k and I should be able to grind out a few miles and finish the race respectively even if my body thinks otherwise.

During the second mile a group track club runners caught up to me.  I hung with them for a little while but my pace was erratic and I didn't have a consistent enough drive in my legs to stay with them.
 second mile 5:18

The course was easy enough I hoped for a PR sub 16 min's but it didn't look like it was in the cards today.  I kept running the best I could 3rd mile in 5:25 eventually finishing the race in 16:18 5th place overall.

I wasn't overly pleased nor was I disappointed, it was nice to spin my legs fast for a change.  No time to revel in my defeat.  I had another race to compete in and hopefully this time the outcome would be a little better.

Official Results
Garmin Data

Within 45 minutes of starting the race I found myself in my car heading down the highway to the Del Mar fairgrounds

I arrived by about 10:15 and my race wasn't till 1p.m.  the Marine layer was pretty thick and I was hoping for the sun's ray's to break on though by the time I would be competing .
This time I would run Barefoot and I finally got a chance to wear my Sport Kilt in competition

Was there waiting barefoot for me with my bib.
 I was hoping the race be more spectator friendly so I could put a game plan together but only the last  half mile was visible to the public.  Shacky I decided to watch the spectacle of humanity unfold and maybe gauge what kind of competion I would be up against.

The Competition

Out of the 5,000 plus people that ran I only saw 3 running barefoot I'm guessing there were less than 10 total.
People came from all over the world to compete
there were rock stars
Wrestlers of all types
some looked like my Brethren 
There were Flying monkeys

Girls from the 80's
the occasional Tutu
and Groups of Babes both sweet and sinister

But mostly

 it was just dudes in drag
sadly I think it liked me .:(
Good thing I don't eat hot wings
Many of them with wardrobe malfunctions.

All in all it was great mix of people.  About a third of the runners wore costumes. There were quite a few athletes participating in the event but a dude in a dress seemed like more interesting subject matter at the time.

Race Time

By about 12:30 the sun finally decided to join us it was time ditch the shirt
So much better than getting my whole face in the photo.
Keep your eye on the prize

Although we were promised one free miller lite at the end of the race I had a different beer in mind.

Mr. Kinevil was there to send us out on our way
Here's what they had in store for us:

Obstacles include:
• Snow Mountain• Inflatable Slide• Mt. Haybail
• Rolly Play• Tube Climb• Firepole Slide
• Hill Climb• Balance Beam•Over/Under
• Monkey Bars• Rope Swing• Climb & Slide
• K-Rails• Tire Mountain• Inflatable Obstacles
• Slide/Ball Pit• Climbing Wall• Boulder Dodge

Without actually seeing the obstacles the list was rather useless. I skimmed through the list real quick but really had no clue what we around each corner.

Time to get this show on the road.
I knew in a race like this it would be important to got to an early lead so I wouldn't get bottle necked at any of the obstacles.  I arrived at the starting line early and made my way to the front.

First obsatacle dodge Mexcian American gladiators
about 1/4 mile into the race I had opened about 100 ft lead running at sub 5min pace.
That's when I ran into these dudes.  I wasnt't sure if they were just there for show or if they were ready to unleash on me. Most people are unlucky if they get hit by just one of them. When I arrived the 6 of them were lined up in a row with nobody to swing at but me.  They had been sitting around while getting thirsty for blood and who better to take out on then some barefoot due in a kilt leading the race. BAM! BIFF! BOOM! WHACK!. shot to the face, shot to the body, I dodged the shot to nuts (thank goodness).  Out of the 6 dudes 4 of them got me pretty good, by the time I reached the 6th one instead of bracing for the impact I blasted through it nearly knocking the dude over. At least I got there fast enough to so they had time to recoil and nail the dudes behind me.

I was bit jarred but the body felt really good (much better than in my race earlier in the morning) My bare feet felt extremly nimble and I was cruising much faster than I expected.

Notice in these drawings most people are barefoot
Monkey bars piece of cake.

The next obstacle was a hill of snow. I approached with some caution,  The snow was easy but by this time in the afternoon the course was saturated in mud. at times I landing soft with each step navigating the course with ease.

It seemed Like every 30 seconds I was getting blasted from a fire hose by some snot nosed kids. (I was jealous of there job) I was running with a big smile face having fun and kicking butt.  Going barefoot was 100% the right choice and even with all the obstacles I finished my first mile in under 6 minutes.

I was amazed at how good my body felt. The ridiculousness of this event was right up my alley and I was loving every minute of it.  My favorite obstacle came on mile 2 when after climbing a cargo net, there was a big tarped slide leading into a pit of mud.  I jumped about 10 feet down the slide before landing on my bum  entering the mud  like a fat man belly flopping into the pool.

keep on trucking.

Hop through tires, jump over a wall, climb later, go down a pole, balance on beam Etc. Etc.  It was all pretty easy and my pace stayed  good.
second mile 6:14

One of the obsatacles was manned by a bunch of marines.  I'm not sure if they were more dumbfounded that some dude in a kilt was in the lead with second place nowhere in site or that the leader barefoot.  With an astonished tone in his voice I heard
"Man you got some tough feet."

My adrenaline was flowing and I didn't feel a single rock on the course.

By mile 2.5 I caught the stragglers of the 12:00 start time.  Now I had human obstacles to dodge.

When I approached this ball thing? a few girls were entering apprehensively while the workers tried to nail them.  Well, they didn't see me coming and I didn't see them until the last second.  I came screaming in like a freight train and was about to explode through the last ball when I noticed this tiny girl worker leaning on it not paying attension.  If I did not change my course she would have gone flying and probably got seriously hurt.  I made my best effort to do some kind football spin move (ala AL Bundy) to avoid her diverting maybe 80% of my energy away from her yet still I almost knocked her to the ground but she seemed Okay.

With pleanty  of gas in the tank. I climbed up the tunnel and sped through the final 1/2 mile with effortlessly.

The final obstacle. was the rope swing.  Pretty simple Yet some people had no clue
Some other dude in a Kilt
(I so do not want to see the photo that girl took. )

When I got to rope swing the girl wasn't ready for some dude sprinting up her.  It felt like I came to a complete stop but when I grabbed the rope I went sailing to other side with ease.

While others stopped to pose for pictures an the finish line. I blasted through it.

We asked this due working the mike to make a sexy pose.  He said he didn't know how?  Obviously this photo proves otherwise.

Muddy and happy the race was over and I was smiles like a 18 year old's first trip to the Nudie Bar.

Does life really get any better than this?

Self portrait, this time I got my whole face.
What?  You say there's a girl behind me.

Could you please turn around and smile?

Oh well.
Whatever at least I got some dudes in skirts to smile, (Is that really a good thing?) wait a second I am a dude in a skirt.  What the hell is going on.  Maybe some beer will fix this situation.

I had finished the race in first place but there was still a chance that someone in a later wave could beat my time but I doubted that would happen.  I ran hard and although I know there were spots where I could improve my time I was quite proud of my efforts.

We figured the results wouldn't be posted for a few hours so we better head to my cooler for refreshments.

Official results
They said there was no tailgating in the parking lot but I payed $9  to park and they put us in a field so far away they weren't gonna stop me
I had a good time hanging out with Shacky  and I think he had a good time drinking my beer.
Thanks for all your help.

I had an "end of the world" party to get to so I got out of their before finding out my official time and place.


The next morning I was stoked to see the results posted.  First off I needed to know where I finished in my race and then how that stacked up against  all the other races that day.  After a few clicks my name was nowhere to be found. (not again).  This time I was smart enough not to call Rory and go straight to my girl Tiffany.  I sent her an email with a link to my garmin data showing when I started and finished.  Once again she came through for me and few days later It was Confirmed online.
 I had won.

Examining the data from all the races I found that only 4 people ran a race Faster than 21:45  out of over 5,000 and all 4 of us were entered at different times  and finished before 19:15
(quite a big leap from first to second)

I ended up with the third fastest time overall.  It would be pretty awesome if somehow next year all of us could run head to head and really make it a race.  I bet if this happened we would all finish up to a minute faster.  I really enjoyed running in sunshine but by that time the course was a bit sloppy.  I would love to see what kind of time I could post if I started at  9a.m. on fresh legs and clean course.

The race was a blast I had really good time competing.  The course was well staffed and pretty damn fun.  Thank you to all the volunteers and to the people who helped me out online.  Tiffany I still owe you a Beer or a Coke as promised in my original email.

Bonus video's  if you're board

Shacky's video of the event
Half the time I didn't know he recording so I'm just blabbering away as usual. I aint eloquent and I aint pretty. But I do have a zest for life.

Some dudes helmet cam of the entire course

1 comment:

  1. Bravo, that was an awesome achievements to all of you guys. It's really a not easy race, you should make it through by yourself. Congratulations to all the racers especially to all the winners for a great job well done. Love those photos taken and videos during the race. Great laugh, you were so strong guys, especially those girls. Cool !