The popularity of fun runs and terrain runs seemingly grows with each passing year.
The problem is I get older with each passing year, too.
And the kind of runs I like involve inflatable slides, bubbles, hot chocolate and even cake.
That’s right; there are some runs where they have sheet cake waiting for you at the end.
I do believe that particular race was my PR for a 5K.
I’ve run for causes (Diamondbacks cancer run) and heroes (Pat Tillman Run). Those are all well and good. Running for me involves breathing and a mental barrier. If I can keep both in check – especially that voice in my head that says stop – it isn’t much of a problem.
Then I did a terrain run a while back that involved 20 or so obstacles from climbing walls, ropes, wading through mud water and sliding through drainage pipes. It was all good unless something required grip strength – rope climb, monkey bars – but made it through just fine.
Next up is the Spartan Race, one of the toughest terrain runs that makes the rounds across the nation, this weekend at the Fort McDowell Rodeo Grounds.
It involves carrying buckets filled with rocks, spear throws, jumping over fire, a Hercules hoist and so many more crazy obstacles.
It would be daunting to attempt to do this type event alone; it’s why you see so many big groups in the promotional videos.
One of the biggest groups at the Phoenix event this weekend will be The Camp Transformation Center, a gym with locations in Mesa, Gilbert, Arcadia and Phoenix.
They will hit the course together and never leave each other’s side regardless of the pace. The gym, which has had several clients lose over 100 pounds, has a similar philosophy during the one-hour training sessions.
If someone is struggling it isn’t uncommon to see other participants jump back in and finish the exercise, say burpees, together so they are not left behind.
They will take the same approach at the Spartan.
“It builds the camaraderie between our clients,” said trainer Jess Dever, who is the director of the Gilbert facility. “We’re a tight-nit group and we all pull for each other to reach our goals. It’s one thing to do it here in our walls, but it deepens the relationship when we do events like this together.
“No one will get ahead of everyone else in the group. We will be there for each other the whole way so if someone is struggling with a certain obstacle and needs help there will always be someone there for them.”
That’s what I need.
Someone there to help me. So off I go.
In search of cake; no, sorry. That’s wrong.
I meant my inner Spartan.
– Jason P. Skoda is a senior writer for MyNewsMesa.com. Send Mesa-based story ideas to email@example.com.