The Urbanathlon

Three years ago I started running and eating smarter. I dropped a lot of weight and fell in love with running. Now I never run less that a 5k, and favor 5-6 mile distances. So while I regularly run “race distances,” I have never participated in an actual race. Until now. On October 16th I, along with a few others from Redeemer, are running in the Chicago Urbanathlon. This is a 9.75 mile run that includes several obstacles that must be traversed. I can definitely run the distance, and while some of the obstacles will be fun, some... I am not too sure about.

The first leg of the race is a 3.25 mile run and includes the following obstacles.

OBSTACLE COURSE 1: NAVY PIER

Violation of the rules of this obstacle course will result in a do-over.

SECTION 1 Get up on and move across the "JERSEY CONCRETE BARRIERS" as you would a balance beam. You must get from one end to the other without falling off.

I can do this. No problem.

SECTION 2 Get up and over the "MONSTER TRUCK TIRE" obstacle. You are not permitted to go around the obstacle.

I got this.

SECTION 3 Move through the "TIRE" portion of the obstacle stutter-step style, touching the ground inside of each consecutive tire. Do not skip a tire or run on top of the tires.

Okay. I’ve never done this before, and that looks like a lot of tires. I pretty sure I’ll trip and fall.

OBSTACLE COURSE 2: DuSABLE HARBOR Violation of the rules of this obstacle course will result in a do-over.

SECTION 1 You must go under the "BLUE POLICE BARRICADES"

SECTION 2 You must go over the "YELLOW TRAFFIC BARRICADES"

Easy peasey.

REPEAT SECTION 1 + 2

The second leg of the race is a 3 mile run and includes the following obstacles.

OBSTACLE COURSE 3: SOLDIER FIELD Violation of the rules of this obstacle course will result in a do-over.

SECTION 1 Get up, over or through the "TRAFFIC" obstacle. You are not permitted to go around the obstacle.

FUN!

SECTION 2 Get up and over each of the three "MARINE HURDLE" rungs The outside support structures are off-limits at all times Both feet must touch the ground between each rung.

I know, I’m short. But, I think I can do this. I’m like a ninja hobbit.

REPEAT SECTION 2

OBSTACLE COURSE 4: McCORMICK PLACE Violation of the rules of this obstacle course will result in a do-over or a penalty.

SECTION 1 Proceed through the "CARGO CRAWL" by crawling under the netting.

Pft. I can probably jog under the net. No prob.

SECTION 2 Traverse the "MONKEY BARS" and get to the other side without touching the ground. You are not permitted to skip rungs. If you are unsuccessful in your first attempt, you are required to make another attempt. If your second attempt proves unsuccessful, Race Staff will direct you to the penalty area, where you will be required to complete 12 push-ups before being permitted to continue on with the event.

I can do the monkey bars, but may do the push-ups as well just to prove a point.

REPEAT SECTION 1

The third leg of the race is a 2.75 mile run and includes the following obstacles.

OBSTACLE COURSE 5: SOLDIER FIELD STAIR CLIMB Racers are required to follow the course as marked.

SECTION 1 ROUTE: Racers begin at Gate O on the south end of the stadium. Racers travel north on the east side of the stadium, arriving at the Miller Deck. ASCENT: 226 stairs DESCENT: 88 stairs

SECTION 2 ROUTE: Racers descend from the Miller Deck and head to the south end of the stadium via the 100 and 200 levels on the west side of the stadium, arriving at the ground floor courtyard. ASCENT: 81 stairs DESCENT: 167 stairs

SECTION 3 ROUTE: From the ground floor courtyard, racers will climb to the 400 level via a ramp. Once there, racers will be directed to one of two stair-climb routes within the stadium bowl. Both routes are identical in length and number of stairs. After completing the 400-section route, racers will travel north and exit the stadium toward McFetridge Drive. ASCENT: 162 stairs DESCENT: 142 stairs

Yeah, so this part is going to stink; Big time. But I can do it. I think.

OBSTACLE COURSE 6: UPPER HUTCHINSON FIELD Violation of the rules of this obstacle course will result in a do-over or disqualification, depending upon the offense. SECTION 1 Get up and over the "CABS." You are not permitted to go around the obstacle.

Yeah, baby! Fun!

SECTION 2 Get up and over the "BUS." You are not permitted to go around the obstacle. Absolutely no jumping is permitted from the top of the "BUS" obstacle. Doing so will result in immediate disqualification from the event. Please use the infrastructure provided to climb down safely.

DOUBLE FUN!

REPEAT SECTION 1

SECTION 3 Get up and over the "WALL" You are not permitted to go around the obstacle. You are not permitted to use the support structures that stick out from the "WALL" to assist you. Absolutely no jumping is permitted from the top of the "WALL" obstacle. Doing so will result in immediate disqualification from the event. Please use the infrastructure provided to climb down safely.

Okay, I think we all know that climbing this wall is probably impossible for me. I’m hoping I can grab a yoda ride on the back of one of our Redeemer athletes.

Anyone else doing the Urbanathlon? A crew from Sojourn came up a couple years ago to run it, and I've been eager to try it ever since. I'll let you know how badly I humiliate myself it goes.