Gladiator Assault Challenge

picGladiator Assault Challenge

All my life I’ve been pretty mediocre at sports. That’s probably not the best way to start a fitness blog, but it’s the truth. Everything I tried seemed to not be a fit for me, so I started running. Running is the ultimate body workout where I never have to worrying about getting hit in the head with a ball. Lately, I’ve seen a lot of friends and families get into not just running by themselves, but doing races. The color run, Tough Mudder, Glow Run, these are all races I’d like to do… but getting the courage to actually sign up took a lot longer then I expected.

Two weekends ago I finally completed my first 5k. No, it wasn’t a marathon, but you’ve got to start somewhere, right? I chose to do the Gladiator Assault Challenge, which is by far not your average 5k.  With 30 military style obstacles interlaced into the run, there is something surprising around every corner.

The race took started on top of a ski hill. Yes, on top of a ski hill. At the top, there was a DJ and loud music playing to pump you up and get you going. When the horns went off, myself and 50 other people in my heat headed down the hill and into the woods. Right off the bat we were met with a pile of mud that we had to crawl through while a military official sprayed us down with a hose. It was at this point I realized that this run was going to be a dirty dirty 5k. We climbed up wooden structures, over rope walls, through mud up to our ears, and under barbed wire. We jumped through fire, ran off a 15-foot structure into a lake, and crawled through black tubes. This race was intense.

Although the race was nothing I’d ever experienced before, the whole time I was more excited to complete an obstacle than worry about getting dirty. With each challenge, I felt stronger and more confident than the last one. I kept thinking, if I can complete this I can complete anything. After running up and down the ski hill countless of times, the race finally came to a finish. There to greet our muddy and soaking wet bodies were loud music and volunteer workers handing out beer and fruit. They also had a gear tent where you could buy different t-shirts and athletic gear at the finish line. The weather that day was in the high 50s, so after running a race in mud and water, our main mission was to dry off and change clothes. Once dry, we ate a banana, finished our beer and headed out. Although the weather didn’t allow us to stick around for very long after the race, with our participant medal in hand we marched proudly to the car.

Over all I think that the experience of doing a mud run is something you cannot describe. It is dirty and challenging, but once in the moment all that is going through your mind is “I can do this.” I felt more accomplished after running those 3 miles than I did running any of my runs over the last year. If you are someone who wants to start challenging yourself to a race more intense than just running, I strongly recommend a mud run. There are plenty of different options to try out!pic 2

Another recommendation is running the race with a buddy. Not only does it keep the race fun, but also having someone there to help push you along the way makes the whole race seem easier. Plus you can laugh at each other as you’re trudging through mud.

If you have any more questions or comments about the Gladiator Assualt Challenge check out their website!

Stay Healthy. Stay Strong.

Mary Marren

IRONMAN

IRONMAN PhotoBy: Mary Marren

“People who think that an IRONMAN is unattainable – I tell them that it is possible. I can take anyone – a person that does not have an athletic bone in their body and make them into a triathlete if they’re willing to put in the time. I’m the perfect example. I am not a great athlete, just a hard worker.” – John Duke, IRONMAN Legend

Starting off in a small city of Hawaii in 1978, the IRONMAN has grown to become one of the most challenging and well-recognized triathlons there is. Founded by John Collin and his wife, the IRONMAN originally started as a challenge to decipher which athletes were the toughest; the swimmers, the bikers, or the runners.  Today, it has grown into an international event that is open to anyone willing to take part.

The IRONMAN consists of three parts. There is the 2.4 mile swim, the 112 mile bike ride, then the 26.2 mile run.  Seeing that written down on paper can be extremely intimidating, but the IRONMAN website not only has training tips to get you ready, as well as nutritional guidelines to keep you on track.  According the IRONMAN official website, 40% of the people who register for the IRONMAN are first time competitors. So if you’re someone who is hesitant to register because of fear of striking out, don’t be! You’re not alone out there.

Another excellent way to get prepared for the IRONMAN is to try an easier version of it. There is an IRONMAN called IRONMAN 70.3 that is the same events as the original IRONMAN but shorter. The swim is 1.2 miles, the bike ride is 56 miles, and the run is 13.1 miles.  This is still a challenging trek, but it may be the starter triathlon that you are looking for.

If both of those options still seem a bit overwhelming, you could also check out the indoor IRONMAN. Currently, there is an indoor IRONMAN being hosted right here at Whitewater in the William’s Center. All you have to do to register is fill out a short survey monkey.

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For the Warhawk Fitness Indoor IRONMAN, each person has from March 31st- April 30th to complete the 2 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and the 26 mile run. The only catch is that the whole event must be completed indoors in the William Center or University Fitness Center, thus being the Indoor IRONMAN. Even though the challenge is limited to inside, the intrinsic and external rewards are reason enough to sign up!

Each individual who completes the Indoor Ironman will receive a FREE long sleeve shirt that has the IRONMAN logo printed on it. If you want to work on a team, you have that option, too! You can sign up for the Indoor IRONMAN as a team of 3 people, and will each receive a Warhawk Fitness water bottle. It’s not too late to sign up! In fact, a lot of our participants finish in well under 30 days.

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Besides the awesome prizes, you get to have the satisfaction of completing an IRONMAN. If at any point while reading this you have thought that maybe it would be fun to give the IRONMAN a try, do it! There’s no harm in trying, but never trying may be selling you short. You can find more info about the official IRONMAN event here or the Warhawk Fitness Indoor Ironman here.

Stay healthy, Stay Strong,
-Mary Marren