Race Recap: 2016 Terrain Race

I've done a variety of obstacle course races, but have managed to avoid running one in the rain so far. I was really bummed to wake up to the sound of rain on Terrain Race morning. All I could think about was how impossible monkey bars would be when wet. The rain did subside close to race time, however, it was much cooler than I would have liked. While waiting in line for packet pick-up I was doing my best to stay warm. Terrain Race packet pick-up was pretty high tech. They scanned the bar code on my confirmation email, then scanned my timing chip to match me up with my assigned chip. The shirt, race bib, safety pins, and zip tie were already bagged together and ready, making what looked like a long line move along pretty quickly. While waiting for our start time, we were able to watch participants on some of the obstacles. The one nearest the starting area looked to be quite challenging. Participants used climbing holds to swing across a swimming pool, then transitioned to a variety of hanging cones, balls, and skulls to complete the obstacle. The number of people falling into the pool seemed to be much higher than those achieving obstacle completion.

Terrain Race 2016 obstacle

When our start time arrived, we lined up in the starting chute and soon headed out on to the course. The obstacles started out pretty low-key with a couple of shorter walls to get over. But, it wasn’t long until we were getting wet, muddy, and encountering more challenging obstacles. I had participated in Terrain Race when they were in Portland in 2012, and I have to say, in the last 4 years, they have definitely upped their game. There were cargo nets to get over, mud pits to traverse, tire flipping and dragging, rope climbing and swinging, slippery trails to run, lots of walls of varying heights to climb, and much more. The obstacles involved varying degrees of difficulty and I was surprised and impressed to see some young kids conquering the challenges along with their parents. The atmosphere was great – as all OCRs are. Everyone is always willing to help out when needed and offer encouragement. I love how total strangers suddenly rely on each other and conquer challenges together.

The course at Sherwood Forest Equestrian Center took us winding through a variety of terrain. Since the location wasn’t huge, the 10K course – which my team and I had decided to do – ended up being 2 loops of the 5K course. We discovered this the day before the race when we received our email with all the necessary race day information in it. I have to admit, this was a major negative for me. I was hoping to do more obstacles by choosing the 10K not repeating the obstacles I had already done. By the time we got to the obstacles the second time, they were wetter and muddier and made things a bit less enjoyable – especially since we were wetter and colder and getting tired.

One suggestion I have for future events is not to have the tallest, most challenging wall immediately after a mud pit. In my opinion, it made the high wall more treacherous than it needed to be for that height. In fact, as we were leaving, I noticed that the wall had been cleared and medics were attending to someone who appeared to have fallen from the wall. While I appreciate being challenged, I feel that mud and water can turn a challenge into a danger at times.

Overall, I enjoyed the event and the challenges it involved. I think that Terrain has definitely improved their event and were well-organized from start to finish. I am writing this the day after participating in the event and my body is tired, sore, and bruised. Yet, I smile thinking about the fun I had. My sore body tells me I worked hard. I pushed past my fears and challenged myself in a variety of ways. I’m ready to do it all again – after a little recovery, of course!

Muddy, wet, and tired, but still smiling after completing Terrain Race 2016.


About Annette Vaughan (493 Articles)
Annette Vaughan is a runner and personal trainer in Canby, Oregon. She began running at the age of 30 and became hooked after her first race (even though she is a self-proclaimed slow runner.) She enjoys small local races from 5Ks to half-marathons, with a 30K on the books as her longest run ever. She has also become a huge fan of obstacle course races and just can't get enough of them. Annette is a certified personal trainer, who believes in promoting movement since our bodies were designed to move. The more we move, the better we move and function in everyday life.

2 Comments on Race Recap: 2016 Terrain Race

  1. Wow, looks tough! Glad you enjoyed it! Great pics.

  2. Thanks so much, jennarunslikeagirl! 🙂

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