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Terrain Race - Monday, June 10, 2019
This past Saturday I did Terrain Race with Tracy at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds in San Jose. This was where Priscilla and I did the Bubble Run last month. I was originally supposed to do Terrain Race with a coworker, but he later had plans to be out of town, so he let me have his registration. I normally wouldn't sign up for an easy event like this, but it cost only $17.09. It was touted as "free", but tacked on were mandatory insurance, a nominal donation to charity, and tax. Still quite a bargain compared to Tough Mudder or Spartan Race.

The pre-race bib pickup was last Friday at Sports Basement in Sunnyvale. It was supposed to be from 10am - 8pm, but I got there around 9:50am to try to beat the crowds. When I picked up our packets for the Bubble Run, there were maybe 200 people in line ahead of me and I waited for over an hour. I was determined to not make the same mistake with Terrain Race. Despite getting there early, there were still 50 or so people ahead of me, and it looked like the line was already moving before the announced start time. A note for the future.

On race day, we were in the first wave which started at 7:30am. This was the only free wave remaining when I signed up; otherwise I would've chosen a later one. So I woke up at 5:30, had a quick breakfast, Tracy came over to my place, and we started driving over at 6:30. We parked on the street nearby in order to avoid the $10 parking fee. We were one of the first cars to park on that street, and I soon found out that there was no additional checkin since we already had our bibs. So we had half an hour to kill before our wave started. The event email said to bring a signed waiver, but nobody was collecting those. And security was so lax that start times were not enforced. Pretty much anybody could just get in the start area and run with any wave!

The course was supposed to be 5k, but it felt a little short and my GPS measured 4.5k. We ended up walking most of the course because Tracy is not a runner. To be fair, I did spring Terrain Race on her at the last minute. She wants to do Spartan Race with some church people in November, so hopefully she'll train for that.

The obstacles on the course included 4ft walls, 6ft walls, giant tire flipping, tire on rope pulling, concrete block on chain dragging, sandbag carry, balance beams, hay bales, pipe crawl, and a cargo net crawl through a pool of mud. The cargo net crawl was the second-to-last obstacle and got everybody really muddy. A video from a couple years ago showed monkey bars and other obstacles that required upper-body strength, so I was saddened to not see any of those on the course.

The event was more enjoyable than not, but I would've liked more challenging obstacles. I don't think I'd do Terrain Race again. Even though it was dirt cheap, it's not worth the overhead of getting dirty. I think I'll stick to Tough Mudder and Spartan Race, though I'm still not planning on doing another Tough Mudder unless somebody else wants me to go with them. Running it solo isn't much fun. I'm glad I at least had a partner in crime to do Terrain Race with.
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