Guest Recap: 2015 Race the Reaper

This recap was submitted by Run Oregon reader Suzanne Little. Feel free to Submit a Guest Post in the “Contact Us” tab if you are wanting to write a preview or recap your running experiences as well!

Race the Reaper Obstacle Course offers a 3 mile run with 20 obstacles or a 6 mile run with 25 obstacles. Suzanne ran the 3 mile course with a group of friends and they loved it. 

Brian, Suzanne, Jenna and Brenda getting ready for Race the Reaper 2015

After volunteering at last year’s Race The Reaper, my good friend, Brian, decided he wanted to be a participant. He then proceeded to talk me into doing it too.  I’d never done a challenging Mud/obstacle course before – just a couple of easy mud runs – and I was a little nervous. After Brian convinced two other friends into it, we had our team and we registered for the 3-mile/ 20 obstacle course.

As the big day approached, the weather forecast was looking pretty gloomy. With the threat of rain and cold temperatures looming, I couldn’t help but wonder what I’d gotten myself into. However, at the last minute, it seemed, the forecast suddenly changed to sunshine and warmer temps and I was a happy camper.

We arrived at Flying M Ranch about an hour before our 10:30 wave time. There wasn’t a cloud in sight and the views were absolutely beautiful (if you’ve never been to Flying M Ranch in Yamhill County, you need to find a reason to go there….STAT). We had plenty of time to check in and get our race bibs, use the restroom, put on our gloves, etc. Our team (Brian, Jenna and I) decided we’d stick together throughout the race to help each other out and finish as a team. From the start, we ran up a big hill (the first of many), ran back down and hit our first obstacle where we had to army crawl through the mud, under a cargo net.

A few more brutal hills and we came to the hurdles. I don’t know exactly how high they were, but being 5’4”, I had to hoist my body over in a most ungraceful fashion.    After more uphill excitement, we arrived at the truck tire pull where we had to pull the tire up with a large rope. I grabbed the rope and pulled my entire body off the ground in an effort to get the tire to budge but it just wasn’t happening. I finally gave up on that one and after several  (yes, you guessed it) MORE HILLS, we conquered more obstacles that included a giant stair-step wall, reverse wall, teeter totters that you walk over, truck tire jump-ups and many more. We helped each other on the more challenging obstacles and there were plenty of really encouraging and helpful participants and volunteers on the course who were more than happy to lend a hand.

Jenna, Suzanne and Brian on the course of Race the Reaper

At one point, we arrived at the A-Frame. It had monkey bars, ropes and baseballs that you’d use to get across a fairly large pool of water. I was puzzling over how much arm strength I’d need to tackle this challenge without falling into the water when the volunteer informed us it was closed. Somebody had sprained their ankle from landing in the too-shallow pool of water. Apparently it was leaking and not deep enough. Later on, someone told us that 3 people had broken their leg on that obstacle so I was more than relieved that they closed it by the time we got there. After more hills and rocky terrain, we made it to the final 3 obstacles. One was a chainlink “net” that you climb up to a platform and then slide down a rope. It took at least 2 minutes for Jenna and I to summon up the courage to step off the platform and slide down. Next was a waterslide that landed us in a pool of muddy water, followed by the final obstacle, a cargo net above water that you climb up and over and make your way down the other side. After that, it was a mad dash to the finish line, covered in mud but feeling excited that we did it. We were still upright and in one piece. Mission accomplished.

Jenna, Suzanne and Brian

Overall, RTR was a challenging and fun obstacle course in a beautiful setting. The volunteers were extremely helpful and encouraging and did a fantastic job.  I want to give a shout-out to Brian’s wife Lisa, and friend Brenda, for coming to cheer us on and for taking lots of video and pictures. We’re all going to do it again next year!!

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