Normal 5Ks, I’m Leaving You for Terrain Racing

I’ve never reviewed a 5K before, but that’s not going to stop me.

Speaking of things that don’t stop me: the amazing, grueling terrain/obstacle course assembled by the team at Terrain Race this weekend at Lake Lanier in North Georgia.

In almost every respect, this race blew away normal 5Ks in both difficulty and entertainment value.

Things started out normally, but as soon as we hit tree root-knobbed hills and calf-depth water, I knew I wasn’t in Kansas anymore. Three things made this race unique.

There were all sorts of obstacles ranging from water courses to climbing walls to monkey bars (over water) to rope/handhold swings that tested upper body strength. Volunteers stood along the path helping things along with most obstacles –  and, in the case of one hill – making things more difficult by turning red Georgia clay into a red Georgia mudslide.

With the obstacles and the natural setting, this run felt a lot more like the kind of grueling challenge (albeit softened) that a military recruit might get. This kind of race is great for anyone of any age with something to prove.

We may have looked ugly after our respective mud splashes, but the countryside was beautiful. We ran over rolling green grassy hills past the beautiful morning lake waters past paddocks of grazing horses. We were in nature – not on some paved city street. This change may have been my favorite over and against my past two 5Ks.

Finally, the whole event had even more camaraderie than a regular 5K. I laughed together with other racers over the absurd, frustrating challenges the race organizers placed in our path. We panted together, sang together, and joked together into the final water stretch and ropes course.

All in all, this event’s uniqueness, surprises, and challenges gave me a sense of energy and fun I wouldn’t get from a boring old street race. I’m addicted, and I’ll be chasing the terrain racing high again soon.

James Walpole

James Walpole is a writer, startup marketer, and perpetual apprentice. You're reading his blog right now, and he really appreciates it. Don't let it go to his head, though.

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