Let me start by saying that I LOVED this race! I’m pretty sure this is the first race where I thought to myself “Man, I can’t wait to run this again next year” WHILE still running it! It was a ton of fun and if it comes to a city near you, I recommend checking it out.
First, it was a 5k with 11 obstacles. The obstacles consisted of climbing over mountains made out of hay, dirt, and tires (separate mountains). Climbing over “jersey barriers.” Scooting through a maze that was also covered in a net around waist height (so you had to bend down to go through it). There were plenty of balance beams. We had to carry large logs for awhile. And my favorite: the thing where you have to run with your feet through tires (so you get some nice high knees) while also being hit by inflatable pink balls!
On top of the fun obstacles, the course itself was pretty challenging. Some of it was on a paved road, some of it was over gravel, but most of the running was a gorgeous trail run through the woods. Obviously, this part is specific to the Massachusetts one. I like to consider myself a trail runner (although let’s be real, half of my trail is paved), however, my trail is along the Charles River and is mostly flat, flat, flat. The trail for this 5k was LEGIT! It was winding, thin, and constantly going either uphill or downhill (steeply). And we actually had to hop over fallen trees! Luckily, everyone started in preassigned waves that were separated by 15 minutes, so I never felt like the course was crowded. Absolutely top-notch orchestration, I have to admit.
Besides the actual run, there were a lot of things that I liked about this race. It was my first ever “Women-only” event. If all “women-only” events are this nice, I will totally be doing more of them. Everyone was so cordial! Plus, so many people really thought about what they were wearing. I loved it! I wish I had gotten pictures of my favorites, but let me at least describe them.
- For about half of the run, I followed some women from a Boston Book Club, the back of their shirts read “I like BIG books and I cannot lie” (oh how I love it!)
- There were about 20 women in aprons as “Domestic Divas”
- There were some shirts that read: “My mascara runs faster than you!”
- “If you run faster, you’ll get wine sooner! “
- “Oxygen PLEASE!”
- And one of my favorites: some women from a labor and delivery unit at some hospital (it said on the front of their shirts but I can’t remember now) had on the back of their shirts “We deliver!”
Everyone was so friendly and encouraging the whole time, I had no idea women could all be so supportive of each other. Early on in the race, I knew I wouldn’t be the fastest, but I could try for the nicest! So anytime I was passed by someone or actually passed someone, I threw out a compliment. It was so easy! Everyone had on something cute (even if it was just a pair of socks that said “Bad Ass (with an arrow pointing up).” It was great chatting everyone up. Of course it was easier to talk to everyone because this was my first race without music. Whoa! But one of the women on my team ran my pace, so we had each other to talk to the whole time. That’s a first for me and it was awesome!
That was actually another of my favorites for this race. I ran as part of team of 10! We were a variety of speeds and we all mostly ran our own race… but with a buddy who was similar to us. I loved it!
They also have the best swag bag I’ve gotten so far:
Plus, 90% of the vendors at the vendor fair were giving out free goodies. For example:
- Socks from Asics
- Frozen greek yogurt pops from Yasso
- 5 hour energy shots
- More Luna bars
- Sahale Snacks – I took the cranberry, sesame seed, and honey covered almonds – AMAZING! I totally recommend them!
- Beer from Coors light
- Coconut water from Zico (I’ve tried coconut water a ton of times and I must be missing something, I never see the appeal)
- And samples of about half a dozen energy or recovery drinks – most of which tasted pretty chemical filled.
There were just a few things that I think Shape could work on for next year:
- They could use some bottles of water at the finish line. Instead we were given 3 oz dixie cups that we could fill up ourselves… dehydration was plentiful
- On the course we were handed the same cups and we could also fill them up ourselves, on Facebook a lot of runners complained that they should have been filled up for us and I can see their point. I was running slowly so it didn’t bother me, but if I was going for speed I would have been pretty upset.
- Something to nibble on at the finish line would have been good (none of us knew about the Luna bar in our bags). Once we realized everyone was giving out samples, it wasn’t so bad. But those first 30 minutes waiting for all of our friends to finish was a little tough without food.
- They had a bag check at the race and I’m glad I didn’t use it (I left everything in my car), it was a total disaster!
All in all though, I would totally do this race again! It was a blast!
Because I didn’t know what the run/obstacles would be like. I didn’t go in with many expectations. I was hoping to finish in 45 minutes. I thought there would be more upper body stuff (there was really only 1). Next year, I know to be smarter on the obstacles. When going over the Jersey Barriers (you know, those large sometimes concrete road blocks, these were plastic though), I lead with my right leg on all of them and my right glute hurt like whoa the whole time. Next year, I need to switch up the leg choice every other time.
Place: 3184 (out of 5489 total – thus 58%)
Division Place: 1379 (out of 2286 – thus 60%)
On my team, I was the second fastest runner (well… tied for second when you count my racing buddy, one other women on our team beat us by about 15 minutes). I’m pretty psyched about that too!