By: Travis E. Blythe
This year I embarked on a mission to challenge myself physically as well as mentally. So I set off to actually do what most people pledge they are going to do. One of the items was to compete in events like this. This was my third of the year, I had already completed the DFW Mudrun and the Warrior Dash. This one was called “Run the Jailbreak” a pretty simple theme to it, run like you just broke out of jail and get away. I actually thought most of the time like I was the fugitive!
Going off what the website says the obstacles are, below are all of the obstacles and what my opinions of them are.
- Jailbreak Start – Nothing special about this, I did like that they actually had us doing some boot camp warm ups to get the blood pumping before the race.
- Allied Waste’s Outer Trenches – Unfortunately I ran through this maze of short walls, rolling hills and one culvert. Mostly because there were people everywhere and I was annoyed, people jumping and falling and stopping in front of things…grrr…so I just ran through it.
- TMX’s Culverts – Not really an obstacle just something to run through, which was actually the middle of the table top jump from the motocross course.
- MGD 64’s Hydro Gauntlet – This was okay. After some running, you go chest deep into the a small lake and they shoot water cannons up in the air to get you wet. Coming out was a challenge just because the people in front of me kept falling down. Nothing like trying to get running when your sliding in mud.
- Mustang Maze – Now that we are nice and wet, we run through a paintball arena made up of house looking structures. Not really hard since you were running in and out of makeshift buildings.
- DFW Adventure Park’s Sharpshooter – This was different, we had to stop and shoot laser tag, just enough to catch my breath, but I didn’t play too long, I had a race to run!
- Monster Mountain – I am guessing this was the hay bail mountain. It was not in the place they show it to be on the map, but none the less, not too hard, I took the first shelf at a run, then scrambled up the rest. Hopped down the other side and off to run some more.
- Soleus River Slide – This was fun, a short water slide, I went feet first since I was not sure how deep it was at the bottom. Glad I did, it was shallow!
- Honda Kawasaki West’s Final Plunge – Not sure what this was, I don’t remember it
- Sgt. H20’s River Crossing- I am assuming this was what we did after the waterslide, walking in the waist deep creek, slowed you down some. I managed to actually pass some folks here and coming out of the creek too.
- 7-11’s Colditz Canyon Crawl – I am not sure what this is either. When we came out of the creek, we had to climb up a wall of tires, this was fun and took less then 30 seconds for me, I was like spiderman going up this, it was fun and easy to do.
- North Texas Bank’s Hay Baled Out – Again, I have no idea what this was, as we already went up and down the hay bales.
- Dare to Tread – I think this was the tires they had in the middle of the road, all I can say is, thank you P90X for the Plyometrics training in which I did this, I went through these like I was in training camp, high knees and all, sure I could have ran around them, but why do the course then?
- Levee Breach – I think this was just one of the many flooded out road ways. Not too hard, good way to catch your breath, definitely slows down the running.
- Mud Punishment – I am assuming that this is the barbwire crawl we had to do near the end. Not the hardest obstacle, but trying to go fast was tricky, then I torn up my knees crawling through and I got mud in my eye!
- Victory Party – Not much parting going on when you are the last group on the course, everyone seemed to split and most of the vendors were closing it up as well.
So what is my overall review? I thought this was easier than the Warrior Dash. Most of the obstacles were just water related and not really mud, don’t get me wrong, coming out of the water was the worst part where the slime actually was. Trying to get going again was a pain! I guess I was expecting something more challenging physically. The run was tough the 3.8 miles seemed to go on and on and running over a motocross track up and down the whoops were tough at the end, but I wanted more. I was also disappointed that the event was not timed properly, for the money (entrance fee) you got a t-shirt, 2-beers, 1-sandwich and a good time. No timing chips were used and thus you only had the clock to look at when you finished and compare with what people said they did. I think it would have been nice to see where you place in your age group or heat. I know, don’t beat me up, it was for a great charity “Sower of Seeds” and I did like the fact that we got to park at the Texas Motor Speedway and took buses there and back. It was really easy and I was not annoyed about it at all.
By far the DFW Mudrun was the most physical one I have done to date. My favorite part of the Jailbreak though was the tire hill climb! I also wanted to mention that the monster truck tires were awesome to take at a dead run. I wanted to thank the guy I raced towards the end, he really pushed me to run faster.
I never expect to finish first when it comes to races like this, but for a minute I thought I had a chance. Normally I watch as the fast guys take off and I just try to maintain the same pace throughout the race, if not try to increase as it goes on. For this race, I watched them take off and then was surprised as I reeled them in one at a time. The guy I thought was the race leader, I caught about 2/3 of the way through, and he was tired. Breathing hard and running with a slight limp, I was shocked he kept going at the pace he did once I ran up on him. It was at this point where I was trying to recall all of the people I saw sprint out and how many I passed. This was the guy I remembered the most because he was in blue and he disappeared from sight right in the beginning. So for the last 1/3 of the race I thought I was racing to be the winner of the heat. I let him get ahead about 3 paces knowing I had some reserves in my tank for a sprint to the finish. We took turns passing each other, then side by side, we scaled those huge monster tires in unison and never missed a stride. As we got closer to the finish, I would get ahead during the water obstacles and mud, but he would sprint to catch me every time. We entered the last crawl at the same time. I had someone in front of me and I thought I was toast, but after crawling through, I was winning and never looked back as we headed to the knee deep water and then to the finish. I later found out he gave up on the crawl and conceded to me as he was spent. He later told me the water was a killer for him. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that the water saved me as the run was killing me!
My dream was quickly shattered when I crossed the finish line and learned that there were 5 others that already finished…Oh well, I ran it in 39:01 not a bad time if I do say so myself! It will be interesting to see how the Warrior Dash organizes the same course next year for their 2011 run. Yes they are using the DFW Adventure park as well.
While writing this blog, the Caveman Extreme contacted me from a post I left on Facebook and left me this message and a coupon code: We saw your post on Jailbreak and we felt the same way about the chip timing. We wanted to extend an invitation to you to the Caveman Xtreme, which is chip timed. This is our second event this year. We had very positive feedback on our course from the Caveman Crawl. Caveman Xtreme is located in Bridgeport on October 23. Bridgeport is located 33 miles west from the Jailbreak location. There will be over 40 obstacles at this event along with an attempt to break a Guinness World Record.
All I can say is…umm yeah I want to be a part of a Guinness World Record! See you out on the course!