Saturday, April 26, 2014

Goliathon race report

Goliathon Obstacle Challenge today in Mullica Hill, NJ.

A few months ago one of the assistant principals at my school brought up the idea of creating a faculty team for this race.  About 10 of us heeded the call and signed up, and thus the course today was graced with a motley crew of teachers and administrators attempting to cover 4 miles and a series of pesky obstacles.


Goliathon distinguishes itself from other obstacle races in that it has tiered obstacles - G1 (easy), G2 (difficult) and G3 (extreme).  There were over 20 obstacles, with 9 official Goliathon obstacles at which runners could receive wrist bands for completion.  The object was to collect as many wrist bands as possible, and if a runner completed all G3 obstacles, he or she would receive free entry to a future event.

Also, it's worth mentioning that 100% of the proceeds raised today benefit a charity that brings clean water to developing countries in Africa.

God bless Goliathon, because someone finally succeeded in creating a truly challenging obstacle race.  I've done my share of obstacle races and have learned to roll my eyes when races claim I will conquer my fears or push myself to my limits or whatever other hyperbole is splashed across a website or T-shirt.  So when I saw that G3 had been labeled "extreme," I was dubious.  Not anymore.  Yes, I was able to complete the 20 foot rope climb while wearing a 40lbs chain, which I then had to use to ring the bell at the top.  But I was not so lucky at several of the demented jungle gyms of torture:

From Goliathon's Facebook page

My body came away a little bruised, not to mention my pride.

While the majority of the obstacles were badass and extremely challenging, some just weren't built for someone of my height.  Too often I just couldn't jump high enough, or stretch my arms far enough.  My strength, speed, agility, coordination and stamina were rendered useless. These particular obstacles were not testing any of these athletic abilities, but rather one's genetic luck of being the right height.  I could try all day, but I was never going to get over the G3 wall.


Also, I'm pretty sure the word "mud" does not appear anywhere on the Goliathon website.  Nor did any of the videos and pictures of the obstacles contain any mud.  Our group assumed this was just a straight obstacle course with no mud, and some in our group didn't even bring a change of clothes.  So we were a bit surprised to find ourselves looking like this at the end:


Thanks for the heads up, guys.
Overall this was a fantastic race.  It was a great day of bonding with administrators and my fellow teachers.  Laughs were had, a solid workout was completed, and celebratory beers were drunk.  Today was, in a word, extreme.

Some well-earned beers.

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