After the City Challenge Race, I knew I wanted to do another, but didn’t want anything too extreme. With my hip AND back a wreck, I didn’t want to do any more damage to my already worn body. So, when I saw a Groupon for the WipeOut Run pop up on my cell phone, I got excited. Looking at the website, I discovered that WipeOut Run was just a fun run based on the crazy television show of the same which I had really wanted to go on. So this run was my chance to try out some completely new and presumably harmless obstacles. I was uber-hyped. And for only $39, I was all in!
The event took place at Aviator Sports & Events Center, which is on the site of Floyd Bennett Field, an old airport in Brooklyn. The location – full of wide open spaces with a mix of concrete from the old runways and wooded trails – has recently become the mecca of obstacle races and other sporting events in NYC. It’s incredibly easy to get to by car (Exit 11S on the Belt Parkway) and public transportation (thanks to the Q35 bus which stops right in front).
We arrived at the race site about 45 minutes prior to my start time (I had picked up my packet the day before to avoid the additional $5 charge), so we made our way to the finish line, where the run ended with a giant water-slide. Um, hello! How cool is that??? Anyway, watching the people exit the finish line, we saw how completely soaked they were. That made me so happy that I work my trail running shoes, which have a water drainage system built into them. SCORE!
At 9:15, we went to the coral and the MC started us off by dancing. Yes, dancing as a warm up. 😀 Then we did some walking lunges, jumping, toe touches, etc. Laughing and being silly at the start of a race is a definite change from a half-marathon or Spartan Race. Those are so damn serious. Not the WipeOut Run. It was about fun from beginning to end.
So the whistle went off and it was time to go. The run to the first obstacle was about 1/2 mile. It was warm and humid and I have to tell you, I did a pretty good job with my running. I kept it slow, but constant. I passed quite a few people who took off running at the start, but ran out of steam. All of the run was on pavement, so at least there was no worry about twisted ankles or watching out for tree roots.
The first obstacle was The Drop (video). It was a simply dry slide you climbed up, then flew down. Easy peasy!
Next up were The Big Balls (video). At first I tried to quickly run across. MAJOR LEAGUE WIPEOUT! LOL! Then I top leap frogging it like everyone else was, but that ended with me splat on the floor as well. Of the four lines, only 1 person made it across safely while I was there. So funny.
I made it across The Sweeper (video) without getting knocked, some were not so lucky.
Next was the Foam of Fury (video), and I have to tell you, this one was my favorite. It’s basically a giant slip and slide, which btw, I’d NEVER done as a kid. You just run as quickly as you can, then jump onto a sudsy ramp and slide all the way down. There is very little that is more fun than that in life.
At this point I was soaked. But there was more to go.
I flew over the Smash Walls (video) like I was a pro. I bounced through the Sky’s the Limit (video) obstacle with relative ease (although here think I may have hurt my back a bit). Then I sailed down the Tumble Tubes (video)screaming like a banshee.
After the Sky’s The Limit obstacle, I could not longer run from one obstacle to another. I was feeling a twinge in my back and my hip was hurting a little. So I resorted to walking, which was fine with me.
One of the last obstacles was also my second favorite, the Wrecking Balls (video). If you watch the show, you know EXACTLY what I’m talking about. This is the only obstacle in which you have to wear a life jacket, because if you failed (like 90% of the participants did), you wound up in 4 feet deep water. And not a sole cared about that though. I tried to run across, but got hit by a ball in the face and went splat. I didn’t even make it halfway.
Then we ran about 1/4 mile until we arrived at the final obstacle, Happy Endings (video). It’s the largest of all the slides at the event. If you know me, you know that I am terrified of heights, but as you can see, I don’t allow that to stop me one bit! And then it was over. Afterward, it was time for my official photos (you get 4 poses per person/group)!
All in all, there were 9 obstacles to defeat during the 5K run. Of course, you could walk around any one of them and no one would care. It wasn’t a race. There were no medals. There was no competition. It was all about moving and having fun.
I really enjoyed the WipeOut Run. Very rarely do I participate in a non-race type of running event, so it was nice not worrying about my time. It’s a great event for people who have never done an obstacle race before.
This run is very much like a giant adult playground. Where else can grown ups slide through foam, jump on giant inflatables, and walk the plank? Although I did see one woman twist her ankle and get carted off on a medical ATV, the event is pretty much the safest obstacle race you can do. I recommend it to all beginner OCRs and those who just want to go out and have fun. Just do your best to not WIPEOUT!