2013 Men’s Health Urbanathlon at Flushing Meadows

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So this past Saturday, myself and several of my friends went to do the Men’s Health Urbanathlon!  Obviously we knew right off the bat this wasn’t going to be a Spartan or CMC, but it was going to be a fun run.  AND it was, there was A LOT of running, the course was 10 miles with 10 obstacles, nothing crazy.  We started out and ran for about a mile then went over the orange traffic barriers, ok no problem, over under fencing and then the traffic barriers.

The course was beautiful, when we got there it was FREEZING, but it warmed up nicely in the end.  Irregardless I went with shorts, calf sleeves and skins, I was covered but there was still enough ventilation.  The running course was beautiful, we ran in Flushing Meadows Park where they had the 1969 World’s Fair, obviously I don’t remember any of it as I was only 0 years old!  LOL!  The park still has many of the monuments/statues from when it was there.  It was pretty cool.  I hadn’t been back there since I was 10 yrs old or something like that we would go with the YMCA on Sunday trips to a museum there I believe.  So it was a little trip down memory lane in a way for me, I remembered some of the stuff and some of it I was fascinated by–feeling like a tourist in the city I have lived in for almost all my life.

As we ran towards the second obstacle there were police barricades, look it’s the Urbanathlon–go with it!  Up and over, no problem, just like we did in The Bronx in the 80’s, lol.  More running, the scenery was pretty, we ran along a lake and it was very nice.  The field had spread out and there was a lot of room to move.  At the beginning there was a little bit of a backlog, but it soon opened up nicely and we had a lot of space.  The obstacles were still a little crowded but it seemed to move along fine.

The third obstacle–MY NEMESIS, the monkey bars…and parallel bars, what am I Kurt Thomas?  Got about 4 rungs and fell off, went back and tried again, got across 4 rungs, at this point I walked thru and tried the parallel bars.  I hadn’t been on parallel bars since elementary school when I was but a quarter the size I am now and I could move this mass which is my body!  As I flung my body across, my left arm slipped–BOOM right down on my left bicep, it still hurts today!  Maybe next year monkey bars and parallel bars, maybe next year…

As we continued to run back up the opposite side of the lake we came back to the overpass we ran thru and there was another over under thru, 5 foot walls and under the walls, back to running again.  The next obstacles were jumps over yellow poles, think of a group fitness class with the rubber bands around your feet, and you jump over something.  There were crates and these little yellow poles to get over.

The next obstacle we came to was Arthur Ashe Stadium, up the stairs, and around half of the stadium, and then back down the stairs.  It was here that I saw Mel and Karen running thru, whew I was in front of someone!  LOL, they both started after us so no big victory.  There stairs were very long it seemed like, especially after we had already run 7 miles at this point.  There were some very enthusiastic people cheering just outside the stadium.  You would have thought it was a lot of people, but there were three of them–but they were LOUD!

As we left the stadium another loop around the park and the fountain and then back towards Citifield where I could smell the finish line!  As I rounded the corner, I could see the entire festival going on, and there were people who finished who cheered up as we ran through, tried to speed up but was getting tired at this point.  The next obstacle was the tire carry over the Jersey barricades, I don’t know what the hell Jersey Barricades are, all they were were elevated tracks which we walked over with a tire over our neck.

Next back into Citifield where we would run up and down those damn stairs.  I remember this from Spartan, which seemed much more brutal, but it was fun running up and down the stairs and thru the stadium, funny this was the second time I’ve been thru the Mets locker room.  It was really uninspiring, no wonder those guys suck…(oooohhhhh).  We then got to run along the foul lines and the warning track and back out for the last couple of obstacles.

As we ran back thru the parking lot, we had the taxi cab hood slide, which was cute, just slide across the hood.  It was funny to see people trying to get across trying to slide on their bare skin–OUCH!  Then there was the cargo net climb over the school bus and of course what’s a good obstacle course without a 10′ wall.  I got to it and was tired and, I went back and took a running jump and tried pulling myself over.  There were guys there to help get you over, think ‘Everest’ at Tough Mudder, but not as difficult, the one guy grabs my arm and say pull yourself over and I look at him and say ‘I AM pulling myself over,’ but I wasn’t going anywhere!  Then like an angel I feel some grab my feet and give a little push which is what I needed!  FINISHED!

To sum it up, a fun race, good times with some very nice people.  Although at the races I go to, we start out as a group and everyone runs their own race.  In any group it will always be tough to find people who are the exact same fitness level that I am, but the win is finishing.  Although I am starting to get more competitive…The next big challenge Paris Marathon, only 158 more days to train…STAY TUNED!

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