Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Abominable Snow Race 2016 Recap

I got my yeti beast mode on at the inaugural Abominable Snow Race in Crystal Lake, IL this past Saturday. I had such a good time! This obstacle course race kicked off my 2016 season. 

After hubby and I arrived and parked, we waited around for the shuttle bus to take us to the race venue, which was located at Veteran Acres Park. It was a 3-5 minute bus ride to the location depending on traffic.

On the shuttle bus to the race venue. I was missing my little girl, but put on a happy face to enjoy my first race of 2016. Can't wait until she is old enough to do these things with me! :)

As soon as we arrived we had missed the welcome sign because a group of people were blocking it. We ended up missing the building where gear check and packet pickup were being held. We ended up walking all around the festival trying to find out where to pick up our packets and leave our gear. We ended up finding the bathrooms during our quest - I really had to go! We eventually found out where we had to go and it was the building the bus dropped us off in front of. Irritating! Ha!

We got our bibs, dropped our gear off and were ready to go! We headed to the starting line and there weren't many people in our wave. With any race - when there are different wave times involved, in my opinion, I feel that the earlier waves are always the most crowded. 

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE how they had a wall at the starting line that you had to get over before you could enter the starting chute. Very clever! Starting it off right!!

At the starting line!

The course had a good flow to it. It wasn't overly crowded. Parts of the course were just beautiful! The scenery was so nice! I felt like I was in another state like Wisconsin with the types of trees that I saw on the trails in the woods. When I am out in nature, it doesn't take much to please me when it comes to scenery. The course was hilly. Lots of hills... not that I mind. They definitely worked my legs, which I loved!

Completing the Alaskan Oil Rig obstacle.

Enjoying the beautiful scenery on course.

The obstacles were really difficult and challenging, but I completed each and every one of them. A few with hesitation and I almost called it quits on certain obstacles and wanted to do the exercise move and reps that was called for to go around, until I sucked it up and pushed myself to try again to complete the ones that were giving me trouble. 

I had help from my hubby on one obstacle, not sure of the name and a nice man who gave me a lift up to get over the Abominable Wall. No matter how fast I ran to the wall and leaped or squat jumped... I could not grip the wall well enough to pull myself up and I could not get enough grip from my shoes to help me up the wall when I got even the slightest grip. I think that was the hardest obstacle for me. I also had help from the staff on the Cliff Hanger where we had to make our way across a horizontal wall. Kind of like a rock climbing wall.

While this is not my first obstacle course race that I have completed, it is the first one with very challenging obstacles that took a couple of tries and some help to get through. I could tell that I have made HUGE progress with my strength and definitely my weight. I felt so much lighter on the course compared to the last obstacle races I did in June and July of last year. I was less nervous on the obstacles and felt much more comfortable lifting myself over the walls and climbing the nets. Mind you, these were walls where there were no footing boards placed on the walls for assistance and I lifted myself over those suckers!! I am extremely proud with my performance for this race. I had a good race and it was a great start to the season. 

I was carrying this sucker up a steep hill covered in snow and ice! Fell a couple times getting to other side to go back down the hill.

It was a really fun race. For being a first time local race, they did a kick ass job. There are improvements that they need to make as with almost any race, but they did an amazing job. Good race organization and race swag (love the shirts and medals - swag should be presented to the public before the event and it was not). Friendly and helpful staff and racers. The course was marked very well in MOST spots and lacking in two areas on the course. We had to ask the staff twice where to go.

I knew there was a reason why I kept being pulled in the direction of obstacle courses this year. As I was planning my race schedule for 2016, I kept catching myself looking into more obstacle races this year and before I knew it, half of my schedule consisted of them. 

My body is so bruised and sore and I freaking love it!! The medal, the challenge, using my strength and the accomplishment was so worth it! As I continue to recover from the race and look back on it and the progress I have made - mentally and physically... I am constantly being reassured that I have made a good decision by focusing more on longer distances and obstacles this year.   

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