Terrain Racing 5K Obstacle Course Review (Slinger, Wisconsin)

I do not do obstacle courses.  At the age of 48, simply running is challenging enough for me!  My 9 year old daughter has been doing mud/obstacle course runs since she was 4.  My husband is a veteran of Tough Mudder and Warrior Dash and usually does those races with her.  They signed up for the Terrain Racing 5K early.  Then my husband blew out his knee.  So guess who had to step up and do this race?  🙂  Bib transfers were easy to do online with a small fee.  We signed up for the race for only $20 each but there is also a $9.95 fee added as an “insurance charge”.   There was also a $10 fee on race day for parking.

The minimum age for the adult course is 7 (with an adult).  My daughter had done 3 mile obstacle courses before, but nothing like this.  She is at the age where she is too young for most of the obstacle course/mud runs and the small kid’s version is too easy for her.  The race she grew up on, the Dirty Dog Mud Run, was retired last year.  So we were happy to find a race that she could do.

There are several waves throughout the day and only the first waves are timed and considered competitive.  Otherwise there is a party atmosphere with loud music and food/drinks available for purchase.  There is also a shorter course with smaller obstacles for younger kids.  We quickly picked up our bibs and signed waivers.  A cotton t-shirt, one beer, and a finisher medal were included as race swag.  Gear check was available, you put your bag into a tent yourself and retrieve it yourself, the gear check ticket was checked against your bib when leaving the tent.  This seemed to work well.  It is necessary in a race like this to bring a change of clothes, shoes such as flip flops, and a towel.  You will get wet and you will get dirty!

You start the race by climbing into a big container of water about chest high.  The first task it to climb out of the container.  The run to the first obstacle was the longest.  There were a couple initial obstacles where the line was quite long.  Only one or 2 people could do the obstacles at the same time.  Some people opted to skip those obstacles.  Lines got much shorter and were close to non-existent as the race progressed.

There was a nice mix of obstacles to test strength and balance.  There were several really high obstacles, which you climb over on ropes or cargo nets.  They even made me nervous!   There were a lot of nice people on the course that helped my daughter get over the taller obstacles.  The strength obstacles included flipping a big tire over 4 times and carrying sandbags or tires attached to a pipe with chains while making a small loop on the course.  There was nothing involving barbed wire or electricity.  😉  The 10K course included some different obstacles, so it was not just running the 5K course twice.

Not all the obstacles were manned by volunteers.  There were photographers at 2 of the obstacles as well as the finish line.  There was also a prop at the end of the race where photos could be taken.

The race is on the ski hill and we had to go up and down the hill about six times.  There were some very steep areas, my daughter was using her arms to get up the hill.  I thought the course was well-marked for the most part.  It would have been nice to have distance markers as it was difficult to determine how far we had gone.   There were several water stops on the course, nice since it was a warm and muggy day.  It seemed that a lot of people may have underestimated the difficulty of the course and the obstacles.  It was definitely a challenge!  At the finish there were hoses to clean off and two large changing tents.

When we finished my daughter said she would not do this event again.  She did have fun on some of the obstacles, particularly the ones where water was involved.  It is a difficult course for younger kids, though there is the option to skip obstacles and there is no time limit, you just need to finish before the course closes.  It took me out of my comfort zone, which is not a bad thing.  Overall, I thought the race was well-organized and it is a good option for those that are looking for a challenging obstacle course race.

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