I have mixed feelings about the Hero Rush, though reflecting later it was an overall good course. One major positive is that it was definitely different than most of the other obstacle races. There was zero mud, and most all of the obstacles were firefighter themed. Quite a few of the obstacles were particularly more difficult and physically demanding like dragging a stretcher with a sandbag on it over a wall, under barbed wire, and then over another wall - among others which you can see in the video posted soon. While these obstacles were certainly entertaining because they were new and different, some obstacles seemed shaky, but could partially be due to the terrain, not necessarily poor construction (at no point did I feel unsafe). I ran in the first wave of the day and though while running I was not certain that the integrity of some of these obstacles would last through the day, I'm told there were no issues.
Simply to get in the earliest wave possible, I ended up running in the competitive, or elite, wave - though I had no real intention of attempting to be truly competitive to win any prizes, knowing that I still had another 7 mile race in the afternoon and another race Sunday. However, my competitive nature often overtook me, and I needed to actively silence the voice inside my head that said, "Go faster. Leave it all out here. You can catch some of the guys in front of you." Thankfully, the part of my brain that knows there is a larger goal and task at hand took over and I scaled back my pace. Sounds like a topic for another blog post later as I know this will be a constant internal battle.
Overall, it was a pretty great experience for Race #3. It's always exciting to run a slightly different race than you've come accustomed to. Check out the video to be posted later this week after I get it edited and see for yourself what I experienced. It was also great to have some additional friends there at the race...my boss from the gym I instruct at part-time - Brandan Thomas (who jumped in last minute to the competitive wave and took 2nd - way to go Brandan!), Becky Bolles, and Darci Brasier (members from the gym who ended up posting the top 2 times for females during the day) who also came out and ran - all of whom sported Run to Remember shirts too and got some additional publicity for the cause. While I was running, the emcee actually caught a glimpse of the back of their shirts and asked them to speak a little about Run to Remember and drawing greater attention and awareness to the ultimate purpose of the mission - an end to Alzheimer's.
Special shout outs also to my buddy Andrew Cuevas, who I ran the Mid-west Super Spartan with last year as a part of Team Dial for Men, and have now seen at the Savage Race last weekend, the Hero Rush, and will run Sunday's Tough Mudder with next weekend. Another shout out to Ryan Makowski, a buddy from college who was out there running as well.