Saturday, August 23, 2014

August 23, 2014 - Panther Run

Several months ago a couple of friends posted on Facebook their interest in doing one of the many "mudder races" that have become very popular in the last few years. One such friend has done both the Warrior Dash and the Spartan Race. For some reason I thought this would be an excellent time to whip out some mid-life-crisis panic and offer to join them. We tossed around a few different options and ultimately went with the Panther Run, an event held in Springville, Al. This being our first time for most of us this run looked like the most "doable" of our options and it was scheduled to be in May, not the hottest part of the year.

(Evil laugh.)

Insert one tornado storm later and the date of the race is changed to August. Due schedule conflicts and a surgical procedure the team was reduced from six down to two- our youngest, Ben and me. We were somewhat disheartened by the reduction of our ranks but decided to push on and run the damn thing ourselves in the hottest month of Alabama weather.

And run it we did. Okay, we did some running. There were definite multiple minutes of actual running. There was some swift walking and brief fit of gasping while moseying as well. We jumped over hey bales beyond counting and slopped through more than a handful of mud pits. There was a zip-line, a climbing wall... I think Ben had to eat a tree at one point. I think... I think I may have killed another racer with a bamboo javelin. It's kind of hazy.

3.1 miles that we finished in a little over an hour. I don't know the exact time, but we took the very last few obstacles in such a way to give Esther a chance to get ahead of us and take pictures and even stopped to pose here and there. After we were hosed off and back at the van it had been an hour and a half. Not too bad.

Here are a few pics that Esther got from here and there, some of us, some of total strangers.

Numbered up and ready for auction

Panther Face

More Panther face, or something

Kilts are all the rage

This eruption of mud is me landing face-first

A van full of muddy shoes and shorts is a happy van

The shirt, medal and PANTHER CLAW 
My panther claw grants me the power to transform into a PANTHER during the full moon. For really realz.

Things I learned:

  • People will follow the person in front of them through the deepest part of a mud pit unless you specifically suggest to them that it's more shallow around the edges.
  • Some folks think that duct-taping your shoes on is a necessity. I beg to differ. I didn't see anybody lose a shoe in the mud. Maybe if you're running for time this is a problem?
  • Gloves. Next run- GLOVES. I couldn't complete two obstacles because I could not hold onto the ropes that were covered with wet mud and they just slipped out of my hands.
  • Cover my knees next time. Nothing serious, but my knees got fairly scraped up.
  • Some people are crazy serious about their times and the optional competitive aspect of the race. Those people did not look like people having fun. Maybe fun looks different on different faces?
  • Ben's hair looks awesome in braids.

Here are all the pictures that Esther took and re-sized that I've uploaded on my account for ease of use.

Oh and Google does this thing when you upload pics sometimes and chains them together in a sort of animation. I kind of dig this one.