Last fall when I ran the Tufts 10K I was in awe at the the amount of women that came together to celebrate their bodies and put health first in their lives. That’s exactly how I felt Saturday at the Marshfield Fair Grounds where I participated in my first Obstacle Adventure Run. I know it’s a bit different from the Tufts 10K but it had a similar feeling in the air of camaraderie, support and womanhood. I’ll admit it :: I like women only events. I like being surrounded by other women that way to do something fun and healthy at the same time and I don’t feel bad saying that there is a different feeling in the air when men aren’t involved. It’s almost like a bonding experience… at least for me it is.
Anyways, Diva Dash was about 30 minutes south of my house and we carpooled with my good friend Alexis, her boyfriend Jay and their adorable dog Brady (pics below). We all piled into Alexis’ car around 10:30 and head out even though our start time was 1:30 PM. But who knows what traffic could be like on a Saturday afternoon heading South (can we say Cape Cod traffic?) so we wanted to make sure we’d get there in time. And we did. Actually we were practically 2 hours early.
So after getting our timing chip, looking around at the all vendors and warming up we decided to run in an earlier group. So at 12 PM we jumped in line for the 12:15 start and tried to ignore our nerves. Even though I was doing this just for fun you can’t help but get nervous at the beginning of a race!
When the sound went off to announce the start we took off at a steady pace keeping up with all of the other running Divas at the back of the pack. After the first few minutes running we noticed that we were dead last but after the first 3 obstacles we ended up passing a lot of Divas. We didn’t care but at the same time it was a good feeling moving our bodies and pushing them faster. At one point when I thought we were going to walk Alexis picked up the pace and we took off towards the fourth obstacle.
Then we hit the woods and hills and more woods and more hills. Let’s just say this was definitely the longest part of the race and we were feeling like it was never going to end. Finally though we could see out of the trees and we could hear volunteers cheering us on! From there on out we ran through the last 7 or so obstacles and kept up a pretty good pace. We even sprinted for the final stretch right before the finish line.
Overall, we had a great time and really enjoyed doing something so fun and crazy together. It made me feel like a kid again and I honestly loved it.
Obstacles In Order (as best as I can remember!) :::
1. Running over small dirt mounds
2. Jumping over hurdles (my favorite – even though I am only 5″2 I made it over them quickly!)
3. Balancing on 3 long 2×4 planks that were wobbly
4. Crawling under wire netting
5. Walking over logs over water – this was the scariest for me because I didn’t want to fall in! The water looked like it would be up to my hips!
6. Carrying a heavy log
7. Running up and over hay barrels – this was the hardest because the hay barrels were falling apart and therefore hard to get a grip
8. Running through stacked tires
9. Running through tires with large inflated balls in your way
10. Crawling through a small maze of bungee cords
11. Climbing over a rope wall – kinda scary at the top but otherwise fine!
Please note :: These could (and probably are) in the wrong order! But I hope it helps you visualize the obstacle course.
Things I wish were different at the next Diva Dash :::
1. Signs for each obstacle with their number and name – I felt like I had no idea what number we were on and that was a bit disorienting
2. More space in between obstacles - The first 4 obstacles were within the first mile (pretty much all packed into 0.75 – 1.0), then we just ran through the woods for practically 2.5 miles with NO obstacles, then the last 7 obstacles were all crammed into the last portion of the run. I wish that they were more spread out so that you could enjoy them and have more of a break in between.
3. Better water stations – Now, this could be due to the fact that it was really really windy but they didn’t have water ready for us; instead they gave us a cup and then we all milled around a large container and poured our own water. It broke up my pace though and I wished that I could have just grabbed water and kept going. Instead I had to wait in line, fill it up and then make my way back to the course.
4. Better set up in the “party” area - For some reason the booth area seemed a bit chaotic and disconnected for me. It’s hard to explain this one and maybe it was just the hundreds of people enjoying the after party but I felt like it could have been better organized.
5. Better giveaways from the vendors/brands - They may not be able to enforce this but it would be nice to actually get little trial sizes of the food/drinks that were there rather than having to try it right away. The “goodies” weren’t as good as they have been at other events I’ve been at in the past (or those I’ve seen from other bloggers).
6. Music! I don’t even remember any music playing and wished that it was more of a party like atmosphere
Even thought I have a few requests for the next Diva Dash I still think that the entire event was amazing. A big thank you goes out to all of the hard workers, volunteers and fans that made this event such a huge success!