Wet, muddy, humid and hilly. These four words perfectly describe the Terrain Race in Slinger, Wisconsin. This race was held at Little Switzerland, a small midwestern ski resort located about 30 miles northwest of Milwaukee. When we pulled up to the venue, the hills really did not seem too intimidating, especially considering the standard 5k distance of this race. However, once we started running, I quickly realized that these hills would be more of an obstacle than anticipated. The wet, muddy grass along with the slick mountain bike trails proved to be quite the challenge.
I took off in the competitive heat with about 20 other women. Right out of the gate, we ran uphill and hit a 4-foot wall before continuing the climb via mountain bike trails to the top of the hill. We hit all of the obstacles usually found in the terrain race, but there were two obstacles in particular that caught some women off guard. The tire drag was placed in an area with tall grass and thick mud, which took some extra effort in gaining traction. When I ran the course the second time about an hour later, it was no problem whatsoever, because a nice path had been made by each tire. The other obstacle that took a few wristbands was the Tarzan. For those of you unfamiliar, the Tarzan swing is a series of ropes hanging about 2 feet off the ground and you have to pass from one rope to the other without your feet touching the ground. The ropes were fairly slick from the thunderstorms the night before, and people were slipping right off. It took me two tries to get through this obstacle. The key is to grab high, get a good swing going, wrap your feet or pinch the rope between your feet and make quick transfers.
I ended up taking 5th in this race, I was gunning for a podium, but the top three women were fierce and fast! It was fun to run a race back in the Midwest. Living in Arizona, I am used to sandy, desert trails and this was a great change of pace. I most definitely do not get the opportunity to race in muddy, wet conditions very often, so that made this race all the more fun!
Running with my kids
My 8-year-old daughter and I ran the course about 15 minutes after I finished the competitive heat. I love that the Terrain Race allows kids to run the adult course when they are 7 years old. All of the fellow competitors were so helpful in assisting her on certain obstacles and we returned the favor by cheering on the other racers on the course. My son ran the ½ mile mini-monkey with about 50 other kids, and as usual, he had a great race and was proud of his earned monkey medal.
The Terrain Race does an awesome job running a smooth, fun and challenging event. The venue was perfect, the volunteers were amazing and the course was challenging. I most definitely recommend this race for both a first-time obstacle course racer and a seasoned vet of the sport.
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