If you’ve read my Running Resume (if not, click here), you know my bestie, Jessica, and I have a goal to complete at least one 5K per month. Although she’s out of commission with an injury at the moment, she still tagged along as the best cheerleader *ever* to the Insane Inflatable 5K in Tuscaloosa, AL this past Saturday.
Jessica and I were a part of an eleven person team for Oxford Adult Care and Weight Loss (Visit their website here) sponsored by our buddy Kanina Crosen. My hubby, Chris, and 12-year-old stepson, Hayden, joined us, too.
Scroll down to the bottom of this post to see some snapshots of the race.
Race: Insane Inflatable 5K
Location: Tuscaloosa, AL
Date: April 25, 2015
Time: 11:30 AM hoard
Registration Price: $77.00 (tax included)
What’s Included: Race t-shirt and participation medal
Stars: ★★☆☆☆ (2 out of 5)
We set out on our journey for what would be my 11th race from my home at 8:00 AM. To be honest, I really wasn’t excited about this race in the past several weeks leading up to it, but for some reason the morning of the race I was completely ecstatic about bouncing around on ginormous inflatables and making a daggum fool out of myself in front of hundreds of people.
A few hours later, Waze led us straight to the middle of BFE where we arrived at Griffin Farm Pumpkin Patch. Traffic was backed up, which was completely understandable. It had been raining earlier in the morning, so we expected some mud and delays upon our arrival since we didn’t sign up until the 11:30 hoard.
But, much to our dismay, we paid a whopping $10.00 to park in this hot mess:
According to a few participants who were leaving, the race organizers did not properly plan for the number of cars when mowing the fields earlier in the week, leaving the participants arriving for the later hoards to park in ant hill-infested grass with hidden holes and snake friends. This proved especially annoying considering we were not notified of an additional 5K we would have to walk uphill to in order to get to the registration tent for packet pickup (this is sarcasm, btw) that was nice and muddy from the rainy weather. Thanks, Mother Nature.
When we arrived at the registration tent and entrance, mud was everywhere. I know there is no way for the race organizers to plan for this or really for them to do anything about it, but I was super annoyed by the jungle we had to park in, so the mud annoyed me even more. Combine the mud and the smell of cow dung from the pumpkin patch and you’ve got me in a fabulous mood.
My mood eased up a bit when packet pickup was super simple. The volunteer we dealt with was friendly, and to me that makes a huge difference in how I feel about packet pickup. I mean, why sign up to be a volunteer if you’re going to be a stick in the mud? No pun intended here.
Not only was packet pickup easy, it was quick, too. So quick, in fact, that we had a ridiculous amount of time to waste before our hoard was to take off. Normally this was a good thing, but no one was announcing when the hoards should line up, so I found my anxious self constantly looking at my phone clock making sure we weren’t going to miss our start time. Luckily we didn’t have to use bag check since Jessica was not running the race.
Finally, start time…the fun begins…or so I thought. The first obstacle is immediately at the start line. The next obstacle? ALMOST A MILE INTO THE RACE. By the time I finished running almost completely uphill for the first mile to the next obstacle, I am totally exhausted. Keep in mind, I’m a freakin’ runner! I’m not the definition of health and perfection by any means, but I was definitely not expecting this race to be as difficult as it was.
Did I actually sign up for the Spartan Race unknowingly?
With that being said, the actual obstacles were not difficult at all. They were fun, actually. If I had organized this race, I would have placed the second obstacle closer to the first one, that’s for sure. I would have also chosen a location with a much flatter running course, as I would assume that most participants would be first-timers and would not be expecting such “gently rolling hills”.
I’m not sure if the 8973489573845893745873457% humidity played a huge factor, or the blazing sun, or the time that we chose to start the race or quite possibly all of the cow dung I trampled through and may or may not have gotten in my mouth at one point had anything to do with my negative take on this race, but I really didn’t enjoy this race like I thought I would.
A part of me felt like I was on an episode of Wipe Out (especially when I attempted to do some sweet tricks for the photographer and epic failed), but I would warn anyone thinking of registering that you will likely walk a majority of this race if you are not in pretty good physical shape to begin with. Oh, and you’ll be sore the next day, too.
Will I do this race again? It’s very unlikely.
For more information on the Insane Inflatable 5K, visit their website here.
Think my review is crap? Did you run the race and have a better experience? I want to hear about it! Comment below with all the super awesome details.