Written by Janet Wang
With carefully designed courses in mud, terrain, water, ropes and walls, the 10- to 12-mile Tough Mudder run allows runners to test their limits.
Math teacher Daisy Renazco ran in the Tahoe Tough Mudder in Aug. 2014. At the beginning of the day, each group of people are given a start time. “When your start time gets close, they corral you near a banner,” she said. “They get people pumped up and get you excited to go; when they finish counting down, people rip through.”
Over the years, the collection of obstacles and tasks have increased in difficulty. The last obstacle that Renazco had to tackle was the electrical wire crawl. “You have to army crawl on the ground to make sure you don’t hit the wires that are alive,” she said. “I ran through it with a friend and he got shocked, blacked out and passed out.”
Before attendees can join, training is necessary to build stamina and endurance. Renazco trained by running and joining kickboxing classes. “I usually train for my overall fitness and I built endurance from training for a previous triathlon,” she said.
The Reebok Spartan Race tests the physical and mental strengths of its participants. Through the three levels of Spartan Sprint, Spartan Super and Spartan Beast, racers experience military style obstacle courses and distance runs.
When he was 14, sophomore Hao Jiang completed the Spartan Super Race in Sacramento, a 13.2 mile run with over 25 obstacles. Training is vital in order to prepare for the run. Spartan SGX trainings are usually held in the few weeks before races and encourage runners to get a taste of Spartan life. To be in the best shape, Jiang focused on upper body strength and agility. “I was running 15 to 20 miles a week and did a bunch of push-ups and pull-ups,” he said. Throughout the race, Jiang persevered through harsh obstacles as he jumped over walls, ran through fire and climbed ropes. “The whole race and obstacles were pretty brutal but fun,” he said. “I still have scars all over my body from the barbed wire.”
Hot Chocolate Run
The Hot Chocolate Run partners with the Ronald McDonald House every January in organizing a 5K or 15K, appealing to runners of all ages who want to have a good time and get good exercise. Attendees arrive at their location at about 7:30 a.m. and are split into waves.
Freshman Julia Wu ran in the San Francisco event and believes the run is doable for all runners. “When you register, you tell them your mile time and they divide you into sections based on how fast you are; it’s nice because there are a lot of people around you too,” she said. The Hot Chocolate Run is known for passing out chocolate during the race and goodies at the finish line. Wu’s favorite part is at the end. “When you finish, you come back to a central area and you take your running tag and they’ll hand you a bowl of fondue, hot chocolate and a bunch of snacks,” she said.
The Color Run is an untimed 5K run held internationally to promote a happy and healthy lifestyle. When runners check in and get their numbers, they are split into waves to divide attendees based on how fast they are. The festive course is clearly marked with banners, cones and color.
Junior Monica Boerger enjoys the run’s motivating atmosphere. “At each checkpoint, they throw colors at you so it makes it more enjoyable,” she said. Boerger also looked forward to the run’s unique “color party” at the end, where runners are doused in various color powders.