Monday, November 7, 2011

2011 #Ruckus #KansasCity Obstacle Course Recap - 11/5/11

If you've been keeping track of my corner of the webosphere, you know I ran the Ruckus Kansas City race this past weekend.

With the onset of fall/winter in Kansas City, triathlon and duathlon season has dried up as of the last weekend in August.  It's hard to get the motivation to keep up the intensity, fitness and racing weight with no races in the near future.

Luckily I found a few events like the Wakarusa Offroad Challenge, Kansas City Marathon and now Ruckus Kansas City.

The folks at Ruckus were awesome enough to extend me an invite to the race to experience their inaugural season and write a little about it on  From top to bottom, the group at Ruckus Sports was grade A!  They were nice, informative, knowledgeable and enthusiastic!  They care about the race and they truly care about people having a good time.  It's not just jumping on the obstacle course race band wagon and money grab.

On to my review and my 2 cents on the race.

  • Without seeing or racing an obstacle course before in my life, I didn't want to suffer the embarrassment of not finishing.  Nothing worse than feeling like you are an "athlete" and failing.  But, I'm here today and they sent me my results time, so I officially crossed the line!
  • No matter how you slice it, you can take the triathlete out of the triathlon, but you can't get rid of the competitive nature that sometimes takes over.  Deb with Ruckus Sports mentioned something around 1700 participants, and I managed 139th overall with a time of 39:35 over 4 miles and 20 obstacles.  not bad considering it was a new adventure and I had two weeks to prepare.

Running in to start the loops around the finish area.

Mud pit - needed to be deeper and bigger!

  • From gorilla bars to rope swings to huge mud pits, what adult doesn't sign up for an obstacle course race without wanting to get a little dirty and testing themselves.  I wasn't trying to win first place, but I wanted to have a strong showing.  I did not make the champions heat, but I was sucking enough wind and bloody enough that I felt I left what I had on the course and was able to cross the line with a smile.
  • November in Kansas could be 70 and sunny, 25 and snowing or like we had, 60's and partly sunny.  My aim was to have gloves for grip and not tear up my hands, shoes with grip and not destroy a good pair of shoes, and enough clothing to keep warm but not overheat.  As for the gloves, I'm glad I wore something.  My hands were a little tore up even with gloves.  Glad I had them as they also kept my hands warm!  But, they were covered in mud after the first stream crossing at a quarter mile and useless for grip.  I wore some trail shoes and after the first 0.25 miles across a mud road, they were so caked with mud, traction wasn't an issue since I didn't have any.  I actually heard from Liam (Ruckus Sports co-founder) that the vibrams five finger wearers did extremely well.  Something to think about for next race!  As for clothes, I used under armor long sleeves, MvT t-shirt and running shirts with under armor compression shorts.  It was the perfect amount of clothing for staying warm, but not getting held down from mud and water.  Some guys wore cargo pants and looked like they were smuggling some track mud off in their pockets.  One thing I would have changed was to wear high socks for the army rope cross and army bars to avoid the rope burn.  But, no blood, no glory, right?
Before and after.

  • Having waves go off every half hour from 9am to 1pm was pure genius!  It allowed for spacing out of contestants and you could get a lot more people through than just having one big mass start.  Walking up seeing participants trudging through was a good preview into what you could expect to feel like when it was your turn.  Some obstacles had line issues, but if you managed to get out in front, you had an easier time with this.  Luckily from off road duathlons I've learned to burn some matched up front so you're not waiting on others later.  It paid off.
Overall I had a great time.  R2 ran the kids course 3 times and loved playing with the dirt, watching people covered in mud and watching daddy run around in circles around the spectator area.

R2 and Daddy before the races.

R2 and Em waiting to watch daddy get muddy.
They say it's family friendly, but until you get there and see the layout, you just cannot put it into proper perspective.  They had something like 3 loops and 12 obstacles looping around the spectator area.  It was great to have my wife and kid be in one place and entertained by yours truly being an adult kid running around in mud.  Even while you're away from the finish area, they had the mini kids course with race bibs, t-shirts and medals to keep them occupied.  Better than a 70.3 race when you might get to see them at the start, T1, T2 and maybe some on the run if it's a loop course.

It was the perfect fall event in my opinion.  Who doesn't love a little cold, a little mud and a few challenges to get the heart rate up while waiting for triathlon season to come back?

Shout out also goes to rEvoltion Gym for helping me with some strength work and Rellec Apparel for the shirts!

Ruckus hair do.

Muddy legs, by Ruckus.

Mud and blood!  Rope burns - pain is temporary and chicks dig scars, right Em?

Shoes... my clothes got a shower before me so we didn't clog clothes washer.  All good!

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