Sunday, June 30, 2013

Gladiator Rock'n Run San Diego 2013 Review

I didn't perform as well as I hoped, but still had a good time.  I wanted to run 48 something, and place top 3 in my age group (granted this is pretty arbitrary for an obstacle course I have never run before) but I ran 52:11 and got 8th in my age group (31st overall out of 2300).  I feel like the course beat me mentally as much as physically. I pushed myself to get up a hill, and then I would round a corner and see nothing but hill after hill.  I think if I didn't know what was coming I could have pushed further.  I walked a lot of this course.

The atmosphere was somewhere between Spartan and TM.  it had the competitiveness of Spartan, but he RAHRAH fratboyness of TM.  I would say not as well run as either, but not far off Spartan, definitely still a good time.

The Course
The course was very challenging, constant up and down.  Many of the downs were steep enough that I couldn't recover.  On the rare flat they packed as many obstacles in as they could, including a mud pit the length of a football field.  Most were not very difficult at all, the challenge on this was definitely the course, and the heat (90 degrees 60% humidity).  Running is normally my strong suit, but this course took it out of my legs quick.

Storm the Castle
essentially just dive through a "window" of some fake ruins while you are shot at by underpowered paintball guns, I didn't see a single person actually get hit.  I am not even sure they were going fast enough to break.

Terrible Tires
your standard quick step through rows of tires

Hamburger Hill
a half mile 200 ft ascent, followed by a 1/4 mile 100 ft ascent

Dante's Descent 
The backside of Hamburger Hill, steep enough that they had ropes to use, but you really didn't need them.

Tired Out
40-50 ft of walking lunges with a tire held overhead

Buddha's Burden
40-50 ft 40 lb sandbag carry

The Pit
A short mud pit

Ring My bell
Rope climb with a bell at the top

Spider's Nest
Crawl under a net up an incline.  A weak net though not like TM. Much easier.

Polar Bear Plunge
ice bath

Tube Steak
tunnel crawl

Mud Madness
300 ft mud pit, in reality several mud pits of different types. Under barbed wire, deep pit, muddy incline, etc.

Skid Marks

10 burpees with a half cinder block in each hand

Cargo Congo Climb
hop over a chainlink fence (got caught on it and ripped the crap out of my shorts and shirt)  Then up and down an angled cargo net.  Used your advice from TM and it went much easier.

A series of posts that you walk along.  I tried 3 and figured I could do the 10 burpee penalty faster.

Concrete Jungle
run through a paintball course filled with pipes and "ruins" and burnt out vehicles that you climb through and over.

The Beast
an angled 14 ft wall that you climb up with a rope

Gladiator BBQ
jumping over some "flaming" logs, more like lightly smoldering.

All in all a good course, and most of the problems came from it being a relatively new event, and not a lack of effort on their part.  In fact they seemed to make very successful adjustments on the fly that made it run smoother.  I will definitely run another if I can, but probably not if it competes with a TM or Spartan.

Pros- I really liked the way they used the natural terrain, and on site elements of the paintball course.  It added an element that was different from other courses.  They did a reasonably good job of preventing bottlenecks.  They adapted well to problems that arose.

Cons- As someone who likes to buy merchandise their merch tent was pretty sad, just shirts.  It was not well organized for spectators.  The staging area was very chaotic, and while they had a map posted, they didn't have maps for the spectators.  I had four people come watch me, and they all said the same thing "We didn't really know where to go, or what to do".  While people complain that TM charges spectators, it is clear they put that money to use to make it a better experience for spectators.

One of the best things there was Dr. Bronner's had a human car wash.

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