The Terrain Race in Chandler, Arizona was 3.2 miles of pure mud! This race was held on the grounds of Raw Hide, a special event venue located about 20 miles south of Phoenix. Terrain has changed a few things up over the last few months and one of the first things that I noticed was that the starting line no longer took place in the infamous pools. Instead, this race started in ankle deep mud and there was also two foam cannons that shot off during the beginning of each heat throughout the day. Within the 500 feet, racers ran through a tunnel that opened up to a fairly flat terrain loaded with all of the typical Terrain Race obstacles.
As usual, the first obstacle that posed a problem for many of the competitive racers was the Tarzan Swing. The key to conquering this obstacle is to get a good swing off the start before reaching for the next rope. Once you have a good grip, transfer your feet to the second rope, while maintaining a good grip on both the initial rope and the second rope. Next, get some good momentum going and then finally transfer quickly to the next rope and repeat. Most racers get stuck on the middle rope because they lose momentum, so as long as you can keep that going, you are good to go.
Weaved between the tire flip, sandbag carry, 4-foot walls, tractor pull, tire hockey, and the rope wall were many areas of waist deep muddy water and sections of mud that sank like quicksand. This thick mud slowed down the racers and created a bit of a traffic jam at a few locations on the course.
The final few obstacles of the day were the cargo climb, the rig, the horizontal cargo crawl, and the incline/decline monkey bars. The rig took a lot of bands in the competitive heat and proved quite challenging for those racing in the open heats. There were about 8 lanes with various grip holds that took you to a horizontal bar. Form the horizontal bar, there was a very high reach up to an about 8 alternating rock climbing grips. I personally found that the best way to reach these holds was to chicken wing the horizontal bar to get the height needed to reach the next section of the rig.
Overall, this course had some flat, yet challenging terrain and it certainly was a traditional “mud run” in every sense of the word. What makes the Terrain Race so appealing is the low cost and the family-friendly environment. You only have to be 7 years old to run the 5k course, so you always see a ton of families running this course together and cheering each other on. While I have read that the Terrain Race will be undergoing some changes in 2019, I certainly hope that they will keep their costs low and maintain the current age limits for participants.
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