Friday, March 7, 2014
Some people see a well-functioning water drainage system. Others see a good reason to get dirty and defy their mother's long-standing rule about never playing in 22-inch culverts.
That rush of muddy water and small, darkened tunnel you see above isn't just landscape. It was obstacle No. 11 of yesterday's sold out Dynamic Dirt Challenge at Pineland Farms.
The 4-mile race included 17 obstacles, from culvert crawling to rope climbs.
And not only did the rain not deter yesterday's competitors (who arrived in team jerseys, Smurf suits, ballerina tutus and warrior gear), it made splendid mud out of everything. And everyone loves mud.
Tackling such a challenge (the rain, the wind, the walls of hay) is its own reward. But the finish-line beer and pizza didn't hurt either.
For those who competed, congratulations. For those who missed it (and who are now raging with jealousy because they, too, want to crawl in culverts and wade chest-deep in pools of mud) here are some upcoming obstacle races in Maine to fulfill your desire to sprint up hills and slide down massive tarps flooded with water:
Urban Raid June 30 in Portland
3.8 miles along Portland's East End. Obstacles include hurdles and tires, chain link crawl, sandbag carry and monkey bars. "Urban RAID takes it to the next level by capturing the best of city landscapes and urban elements and incorporating them into an innovative and challenging course."
Tough Mountain Challenge July 21 at Sunday River
3 miles on the mountain. Obstacles include a mud crawl; 50-foot-long culvert; trench of terror; slip, slide and die; Barker Pond net clamor and ring of fire. "You won't die. You may not even bleed. But trust us - it's no walk in the park. After running 5k in the mountains, under an arsenal of snowguns, crossing ravines and climbing through natural obstacles - you'll feel it by the finish line."
Beach Raid September 22 in Kennebunk
3.1 miles in Kennebunk, starting at Gooch's Beach. Obstacles include deep sand cargo net crawl, lunges, cobblestone hill climbs, lobster trap hurdles and balance beam. "Set against the scenic charm of Kennebunk, Beach RAID utilizes deep sand, beach themed obstacles and a cycle of punishing boot camp stations."
Mountain Raid October 7 at Sunday River
4 or 12-mile trail run starting at Sunday River's South Ridge Lodge. Specific obstacles aren't listed online yet. "Combine steep inclines and tricky terrain and add to that a series of alpine inspired obstacles and you get Mountain RAID."
Shannon Bryan, content producer for MaineToday Media, likes exploring Maine - from mattress races to cardboard boats, she's into the weird stuff.
Karen Beaudoin, online editor for MaineToday Media, likes knowing the important things - like who's just opened their deck for a sunny afternoon beer and what Portland's eclectic set of street performers are up to.