Thursday, March 14, 2013

Biggest Loser Run/Walk Challenge Recap

A couple of months back, I was contacted by Christina from The Biggest Loser Run/Walk Challenge to see if I would be interested in participating at their Georgia event.  I jumped at the opportunity and am so glad that I did.

The Biggest Loser Run/Walk Challenge is designed to be a non-intimidating race series to get America off the couch and moving.  They have a variety of different races - 5ks, 10k, half marathons, and the off-road challenge, which is what I participated in.

After doing some research I realized that the course was the Spartan Race!  I got a little intimidated but went into it to have a good time.  Participating in the Biggest Loser Run/Walk Challenge allows participants to maneuver through the Spartan course, try the obstacles without paying the Spartan penalty of 30 burpees for not completing one! (We could if we wanted to though)

We got to the Georgia International Horse Park (where the race was being held), checked in and got my bib and t-shirt, and walked over to the Biggest Loser Run/Walk Challenge tent.  They had a private gear check for just us as well as snacks, heaters, and private changing tents.  It was nice not to have to share with the Spartans!
Everyone was hanging out, chatting, talking about their transformations and success stories - it was a great atmosphere to be in!

About 15 minutes before our heat, Dan and Jackie Evans (Season 5) and Lauren Lee (Season 13) gave us all a pep talk about what to expect from the course.  They also recognized everyone that had lost weight.
See the guy in the foreground?  He started his journey at over 600 pounds and is now down into the 200s!!  It can be done with diet and exercise people!
Group picture before the race!
Soon after, we all headed to the start line to begin our heat.  I was running alone, but Jessica came to be my own personal photographer and cheerleader!
Our wave started, and we were off!  I didn't take my phone on the course and I'm so glad that I didn't...there was quite a bit of water and I had to use my hands for a lot of obstacles, so I'm going off memory of what we did since Spartan does not post their obstacles on their website!

The first one was an easy up and over those plastic roadside baracades into ankle deep puddles of water.  The next one was an under-over-under-over-under (get all that?).  Then we ran down a trail and trekked through a small stream.  At this point in the course we saw a paralyzed man that was making his way through.  What an inspiration!  He was a rockstar!

It was about this time that I made friends with some other Bigger Loser Run/Walk participants - Amanda and Brian.  We stuck together for the rest of the race.

After this obstacle, I have a hard time remembering what came next.  I know we did an up-over-through obstacle, and the log hops (logs sticking up from the ground that we had to make our way across).  At this point of the course we got back to the spectator area and made our way up the cargo net (one of my favorite parts!)

video
After the cargo net was the "crab crawl on a wall" (well...that's what I call it).  There were small pieces of wood that you had to balance on and make it all the way across...super hard!  After this obstacle we had our first water stop, then the tire flip.

After the tire flip we came up on some mounds of Georgia Red Clay!  We climbed up to the stop and slid down into some pretty chilly water....and did it two more times!  After this, we had to pull up a large cement block and let it down slowly, and then (I believe) were the monkey bars followed by a steep climb up a hill!

Some of the other obstacles included carrying a sandbag up and down a hill, getting over two 7' walls and one 8' wall, dragging a cement block down a hill and then back up, and a spear throw (I don't remember the order of these so please forgive me!)

Then, we came onto the home stretch.  The first obstacle we stumbled upon was a rope climb...that started in knee deep muddy water!  I don't have much upper body strength as it is, so you add the water element and it was next to impossible for me to even attempt this!
After the rope climb we rolled through some mud and under a barbed wire fence.  Then, made our way up an inclined piece of wood using a rope.  It was pretty slick with all the muddy and wet Spartans that had gone before us!

Once we got past this obstacle, it was a LONG roll in the mud under more barbed wire to the finish!
Then under a bridge where spectators were standing.  Hi Jessica!
A little more rolling, and then onto the Gladiators! (He had nothing on me)
And then I crossed the finish line!  We were given our Biggest Loser Run/Walk Challenge medal, and I got a picture with my new friends!
Then, of course, I had to get Jessica to take one of me alone :)
We headed over to the "showers" (aka freezing cold water out of water hoses) so I could rinse off the best that I could, then back to our tent where I could change and grab a snack and water...I was starving!

I got a few minutes to chat with Jackie, and she is so incredibly nice and inspiring.  She lost over 80 pounds while on the show and has kept it off.  She looks amazing!  I didn't get much time to talk to Dan and Lauren but I did get a picture with the three of them.
A few things that I learned during my first mud run -
1.  Don't bring jeans to change into after the run - you will feel gritty and gross in them.  Shorts are better.
2.  Be prepared to throw away your socks.  I saw no need to keep them!
3.  Bring a towel and baby wipes - much easier to "bathe" yourself after the race
4. Wear tighter fitting clothing - cotton gets really heavy when it gets wet
5.  Don't expect not to get muddy - it's awesome!

I had an absolutely amazing time at this race!  Knowing that it was untimed and getting to check out the Spartan race course made it way less intimidating, especially since this was my first mud run.  It did make me want to come back next year and get that Spartan medal, too!  I definitely recommend checking out the Biggest Loser Run/Walk Challenge to see if there's an event near you!  Jessica has already said she wants to do it next year!

Have you done a mud run?  What piece of advice would you give a first timer?

Don't forget that the Season Finale of "The Biggest Loser" is Monday, March 18th!  Don't miss it!

Until next time,

Jen

Disclaimer: I was given free race entry through Girls Gone Sporty and the Biggest Loser Run/Walk Challenge.  I was not compensated for this post.  All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

5 comments:

  1. Congratulations on a great race! Love the Biggest Loser concept! I think it's great! OMG 30 burpees? I'd die!!'

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    1. It was so much fun! I want to actually do the Spartan race next year.

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  2. They are having one in TX the weekend before my birthday and now I am seriously considering it. When I was looking at the info I didn't realize you were running it along side Spartan racers. How was that? It seems like it would be a little scary being on the course with the spartan runners there too. You can email me to discuss it if you want.

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  3. Congratulations on a fun race! It looks tough but it sounds like you really enjoyed yourself. I am hoping to do one of the BL Half Marathons this year.

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    1. I definitely recommend their races. It was such a fun experience.

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Your comments make me smile :)