Adventure

Zion and Bryce National Park – 2017

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After scratching the surface in Utah during my last trip, I had always thought of going back and covering depths of National Parks. Narrows and Angel’s landing were long pending hikes, so I chose to visit Zion and Bryce National Park during the Labor Day weekend. As my geeky friend Alok mentioned, it was DFS than BFS this time. We ventured into the Zion narrows walking in the Virgin river, braved heights to reach Angel’s landing, did mountain biking at 11,000 feet, experienced amazing hoodoos at Bryce and stayed at an awesome Airbnb house at Brain Head.

Unexpectedly, 9 people were ready for the trip and all the bookings were made comparatively late this time. I booked a 15 seater Van through Costco Travels which worked out to be extremely economical ($587 for 4 days with full insurance and 2 additional drivers). 6 of us flew from Bay Area and 3 from Seattle. We had an early morning flight to Las Vegas and it was 9:30 AM by the time we met everyone at a Las Vegas hotel. We spent some time shopping and having breakfast and hit the road to Zion National Park with 9 people in Ford Transit Van. I was scared at times driving the van since it wobbled at high speeds.

Day 1 – Crowded Zion National Park

We had lunch at a Mexican restaurant at SpringDale and entered Zion National park. It was very hot with temperatures rising upto 37 C. Vehicles were parked on the streets miles ahead of the visitor center and slowly we started to realize how crowded the park was. We found a paid parking spot and got onto the shuttle for Emerald pool hike. Due to the narrow canyon, popularity and high number of visitors, Zion NP mandates the usage of shuttles for getting to places in the park. I was quite impressed at the frequency and efficiency of the shuttles. We got down at our stop and started the hike to lower Emerald pools. The weather was quite pleasant in the canyon and it was a short walk to the pools. I didn’t find the place anything great but it was a decent start for the trip walking in the canyon. Somehow Zion didn’t feel quite as magical as last time – maybe due to the crowd and heat. We then went to Zion Adventure Co. to collect gears for Narrows hike. We had a short orientation, collected Neoprene socks, Canyoneering shoes and a walking stick. A guy there expected next day to be the busiest day of the year at the park. Narrows hike was my main agenda for the trip, so I had left no stone unturned to make that happen. Knowing the crowds, heat and the length of the hike, I had planned to leave very early for the hike. We packed for the morning breakfast and lunch and started with 1.5 hr drive to Airbnb place.

People were getting restless with the drive since it was far from the park. The AirBnb house was located at a ski-town named Brian Head which is at an elevation of 9800 ft. It was late night and at first we went to some other house and started entering the key at the door. My friend Karthik explains this better – “This place looked straight out of late 90’s horror movies. We walked through the creaking wooden platform towards the cob webbed building entrance. The lobby even had abandoned toys and dusty piano. The night was eerily silent. The fact that Akhil and I mentioned seeing a black shadow flying on the road on the way to this place still weighed heavily on our minds. And then we saw our room: a dark brown heavy wooden door with an omnious sign which read, “Garcia’s head out” written in Gypsy Curse font! Akhil and Nikhil took a couple of steps back while I confidentally went ahead and entered the access code! Nothing! The door did not open. Partly relived and partly worried, we headed out to the van, not knowing what to do now. And then it hit us! We were in the wrong building”. The actual Airbnb house was fantastic with 3 bed and 3 baths where 11 people could sleep. The house had all the essentials for living and most of the walls were adorned with various things. Akhil was very curious and started exploring the place. I really loved the feel of it and was glad that we chose to stay there. We retired for sleep soon since we had to get up early.

Day 2 – Zion Narrows hike

In the morning, Alok mistakenly had started eating my sub and I resorted to bread-jam. We packed the essentials – food, water, layers, gears for the hike and left the place at 5:30 AM. We reached Zion NP and we parked the van in oversized parking where only 1 spot was filled. There was already a huge line for the shuttles and it was around 8:45 AM by the time we reached the trailhead at Temple of Sinawava. Zion Narrows hike is a walk in the Virgin river which traverses in the canyon it cut through from millions of years. There are 2 approaches top-down which requires permit and bottom up which doesn’t require permit upto a certain distance. We were doing the most common bottom-up hike and I wanted to all of us to finish the Wall Street section atleast which was around 8 miles round trip. We started with the paved riverwalk first which was already quite crowded. Akhil was carrying a can of water by itself and although he was confident to carry during the hike, it fell and broke within 200 meters on the trail. Soon we reached the river and started walking in it. We instantly realized the importance of the waterproof socks and even though we were in the water with slippery stones, the socks and shoes gave enough support for the walk. Water was just knee level deep for most of the section and we enjoyed this unique experience. We encountered a waterfall, numerous bends, canyon walls on the side and many people. The weather was quite pleasant and we made good progress. I ensured we all took breaks and were appropriately nutritioned. I was enjoying the beauty all around and especially liked the combination of still huge canyon walls and flowing water. It was amazing to stand in the Virgin river with different shades of red all around.

Slowly the river got narrow and we were in the famous Wall Street section where the river was just 30 feet wide at some places. From there on I decided to split the group and I joined the fast walkers to make it to as far as possible. We reached a spot where the water was over 5 feet high and we carried our bags on shoulder to cross. Deepak didn’t know swimming and went into deeper section where he started to drown. He threw the bag in action which had camera but fortunately in a waterproof cover. Even my bag went into the water while saving him. We decided to leave our bags there and continued. We asked oncoming people about the route ahead and they told that it was quite an easy walk and no place had chest deep water. So I decided to turn back since there were no major adventures ahead. We came back to the deep section and I started swimming there. I was just happy with the fact that I was swimming the narrow Virgin river. Some of us explored the Orderville canyon for little distance. Return walk was much quicker than expected. The crowd started getting thicker and at places we could see only people and no natural beauty. It also was quite hot in the afternoon Sun. I quickly marched the rest of the walk falling at few places and decided to take a nap on the riverwalk until everyone had done. I got up and I thought I overslept but few had yet to complete. I then went to Natural Museum for a talk before heading to the van. We had taken 9 hours for 8 mile roundtrip walk in the virgin river. But we spent ample time for photos, breaks and fun. It started raining when we were in parking lot which brought down the temperatures. Everyone were quite tired and we drove to Brain Head for dinner. We watched a movie after the dinner and retired to sleep. People were happy that they didn’t have to get up early in the morning.

Day 3 – Mountain Biking, ATV and Bryce National Park

We slept to our content, spent quality morning time sipping coffee and left to explore outdoor activities. After roaming around multiple offices, we decided to split between ATV and Mountain Biking. MB was long pending and I was interested in it especially due to the availability of ski lift. Deepak and I chose mountain biking and I was ready with gloves, jeans and a jacket. I was quite sure that I would fall and wanted to minimize the bruises. We took the bikes, went on the ski lift which took us to 11k feet and started with the most easiest trail named Color Country. After an easy first few meters, there came a steep section and climb. I was quite fast and I was so imbalanced that I was deciding how to fall easily. But fortunately somehow I was still safe on the bike. The rest of the trail had little difficulties and I thoroughly enjoyed the adrenaline, speed, balance and jerks. The trail was quite rocky which made it little difficult. The last section was in the forest with steep turns which was fun too. Overall, I really enjoyed the biking and I was glad to be safe. But being me, I chose to try the difficult trail next. The ski lift was closed for few minutes due to lighting hazard. A fellow biker told us about the next difficult trail and we chose to do that. The trail was ok for some time and then it kept getting steeper and rockier. Deepak fell and injured himself quite a bit after which we were quite cautious. We walked the bike at very steep sections and avoided jumps. Not sure how, I fell sideways on a flat surface and lightly injured myself too. There was one last jump which I was hesitant given all the injuries but nonetheless made it. It was quite an adventure at the end of it.

Activity Overview

My other friends said they loved their ATV experience. After Pizza lunch, we left for Bryce NP. We chose to do navajo loop trail which starts and ends at Sunset point. This short 1.3 miles hike was extremely beautiful which took us close to Orange hoodoos. Almost entire trail was surrounded with various formations and I enjoyed the entire journey. There was especially on spot close to Sunset point where the closer hoodoos and father hoodoos looked like they belonged two different screens in-front of me. The panoramic views kept getting better as we rose higher and the evening colors were in play. The Sun was behind the clouds, so it was not so bright. We left for Brain Head after dinner and retired for the day.

Day 4 – Angel’s Landing 

My friends had understood the importance of starting early for the hike so this time they themselves were ready before me pushing for it. We checked out the place at around 5:15 AM and left for Zion NP. There weren’t much crowds this day since the long weekend was over. We took the shuttle and reached the trailhead for Angel’s Landing. Angel’s landing is rated as strenuous hike due to the elevation gain and exposed cliffs in the final section. We started with our hike and soon the group got dispersed. First 2 miles was paved but steep hike with decent views around. Actual fun started from the Scout’s lookout. There were chains from there on to help hikers traverse the narrow trail with 1000 ft drop on either sides. I should say that chains really helped and made the hike less terrifying.

There were many people and there were bottlenecks at places which delayed the ascent. I dropped my phone which cracked the screen. Instead of feeling bad, I concentrated on the unique exciting hike and the beauty all around. Slowly and steadily we made it to the summit and spent ample of time clicking photos. There was sheer drop at many of the places and the canyons, red mountains looked fantastic from the summit. We returned after spending around an hour. It had gotten very hot while we were returning. Alok and I washed ourselves in the river and relaxed our feet. After spending enough time at the park and finishing 2 of the most beautiful hikes, my love for Zion had returned. Somehow my watch acted weirdly on all the hikes and gave me wrong stats for the hike. So I wont be posting the activity overview for the hikes.

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We left for Las Vegas and boarded our respective flights. I was supposed to reach Seattle by 12:30 AM but I experienced a delay again due to a stupid reason. Apparently, the airlines had over-fueled the flight and were waiting for someone to come and defuel. Even after 2 hours, no one came, so they switched the flights. I was ok this time since I was extremely sleepy and I just slept through the delay. Before landing, I had a dream where in the flight attendants were bracing us for impact by shouting “head, head”. I was surprised that I wasn’t following the orders but realized that it was a dream. Anyways, we landed safely and it was 4 AM by the time I reached home. I have had issues with 4 of my last 6 flights.

Tips:

  • Narrows hike is an endurance hike and very doable. Make sure that you have waterproof socks and right shoes.
  • Start early for any hike in Zion during summer. The heat makes the hike double difficult.

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Swim at Big Eddy Park and Rope Swing at Eagle Falls

Sai and I decided to go to a swimming hole near Seattle to some get respite from heat. We had 3 options: Hall Creek which was not really a swim hole, Big Eddy Park and Eagle Falls. We finalized on Big Eddy Park which is near Gold Bar on the banks of Skykomish river and started at 4 PM. The parking spot was huge and I was surprised to see so many card and crowd. It didn’t matter much since most of them just hung out at the shore. It was a nice setting with a railway bridge and mountains in the backdrop. Water was quite clear and not too cold. I started swimming around and throughly enjoyed it. I haven’t swam in open waters much and this was one of the best places I have swam in. I crossed the river to reach the other bank which was fun too. We spent some time and then decided to drive to Eagle Falls. I had read that it was a good spot for cliff jumping and wanted to check out.

Eagle falls had a different setting altogether. The river after the falls narrowed between short cliffs on either side. People jumped from the cliffs and there was a Rope on the other side tied to a tree. The colors near the falls was vibrant. When we were returning 2 kids reached the other side and swung from the rope to jump into the water. It was too tempting to resist and I decided to do as well. It was bit hard for me to swim against the flow. I climbed to the spot were the kids swung from. There was a big stick to pull the rope and I took some to hold on to the rope. Then I took off and it felt long during the swing. I let go and jumped into the water and went quite deep. It was an awesome experience. Somehow I felt the water was not so clean at this place. We then had Pizza at Gold Bar and drove to Seattle.

Photos and Videos here

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Wing walking on Boeing-Stearman

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How does the idea of wing walking an airplane which is flying at 80 mph at an altitude of 3500 ft while performing aerobatics with only a cable attached to your harness sound? Crazy right? I surely did find it extra-crazy and being an adrenaline junkie, it was hard to resist giving a try. I push my limits once in a while and this wing walking experience definitely took me far. When I first stumbled upon this few months back, I was dumbfounded at the idea of it and eagerly waited for summer to try this. I showed the video to my colleague, Nikos and he was interested too. On 07/15/2017, even though the forecast was only perfect for half of the day, we chose to visit Sequim. The location was only 2.5 hours drive from Seattle, so the close proximity really helped us to be flexible and we booked for the spots only the day before. Also, I think there are only 2 places in entire world where they actually train for wing walking for public.

We started at 7.15 AM and we drove in Nikos’s car to reach Sequim on the Olympic Peninsula. The drive was scenic with canals, bridges, mountains and weather was with us too. When we neared the location, we could see houses with huge yards surrounding them and the fun part was the houses had planes in their backyards. Our stop was at Mason Wing Walking Academy where we spent the rest of the day. We had reached early and the owners were still not quite ready so their friend Al showed us around. I loved the feel of the place – I could see Olympics mountains at one end and the waters in strait of Juan de Fuca in the other with a private airstrip in the midst of the open land. We went into the hangar which housed 2 Stearmans – Red and Black and 1 other small plane. We met the owners, Mike and Marilyn Mason – and one other lady who I will refer as Wonder Woman. This 50 year old lady had come with the Wonder Woman costume for the wing walking and it looked awesome.

Training: 

Marilyn took charge of the instructions and one of the first things she asked was if we knew what we had signed up for. She started explaining everything she could about the flight, walk, safety, gear, etc. She also got snacks and water for us which was quite handy. We would fly on the Black Stearman that day and all the training happened in the hangar. The Stearman biplane is a 2 seater, 2 winged plane with room to get on both of the wings. The propeller in front is powered by 9 cylinders. The Red Stearman – the one shown on the website was under maintenance. The basic idea of training was to understand structure of the plane and repeatedly perform the movements so that the muscles themselves can memorize the moves. The training drill was in the following sequence. We didn’t have Mike while training, so we just imagined him to be there –

  • Attach the cable to the harness, get into the plane and secure the seat belt
  • Mike, the pilot wing wags the plane to signal to look at him
  • He directs to trek to the upper wing rack
  • We reach the upper wing rack, place our legs in foothold and get ourselves strapped to the belt
  • We signal him for aerobatics by showing thumps up
  • Mike performs the aerobatics – Hammer head, drum rolls and loops
  • Mike wing wags and then signals to come back to the seat
  • Mike wing wags again and then signals you to walk on the wing to Javelin
  • We walk on the side wing and lie on the javelin
  • Mike performs the aerobatics again
  • Mike wing wags to signal to come back to the seat

*Mike would reduce the speed to about 50 mph and level the plane whenever we are moving around.

Wing walking is different from wing riding where in the latter you are strapped in a specific location from the start to end. Marilyn also showed us signs that we could use to let Mike know what we were comfortable with and how much aerobatics we would want. We tried segments of above drill multiple times so that the body could get used to it. It was quite scary imagining the experience from the wing rack and the fear started to rise in me. Marilyn was very sweet and explained all the questions we had. Also, this academy is family owned, so the hangar was right beside their house. Mike and Marilyn have 7 kids. 4 year old girl Sophie and a 7 year old boy Sammy were with us for most of the day which lightened the mood. They were extremely cute kids and I totally loved their presence. We cracked many jokes too and it was a nice jovial experience. Marilyn reminded us to look at the cameras and showed us various poses which we could take. I slowly got the hang of the drill, made myself aware of all the handholds/footholds and stuck to my version of specific moves. I thought the trek up-to the upper wing rack was the most difficult part, especially due to the narrow holds to reach there. I started getting slight back pain and worried if it would affect me. I had numerous other doubts too. We went to have lunch in the town and en-route Nikos sped the car to 50 mph and put his hands out to just feel what the force felt like. I don’t like empty stomach, so I ate up-to my comfort and actually felt better after the lunch. After returning, we performed the entire drill 3 times and were ready for the action. The clouds as mentioned in the forecast started appearing but a good video and photo was least concerning thing I had in mind.

Wing Walking:

Wonder Woman volunteered to go first and Nikos and I decided that we would sort out our order by playing Rock, Scissors and Paper after her flight. Mike got the airplane from the hangar onto the field and started prepping up for the flight. He mounted the gopros to the wings and tail. Wonder Woman got ready and started her adventure. Nikos and I kept our eyes fixed on the plane and watched the maneuvers from the ground. It took around 25 mins for her to return and then we played Rock, Scissors and Paper. I had made up my moves before hand. At first I would do Paper – denoting that I float like a paper during the flight, if tied then the next would be Rock – denoting that I would stand as rock solid and not fall from the flight. The first one tied and I won the second. I had decided to wear my favorite Cornell Sweatshirt and got ready with goggles, ear plugs, gloves, harness and duct tapes for harness. I was very scared but was determined to do it. I got into the plane and we got started. I kept looking down and I think that helped since I was was getting used to the altitude. I kept checking the meters on the plane and my GPS watch for speed and altitude numbers. I put my hands out to gauge the force. The cliffs, waters and surroundings looked amazing and we reached an altitude of around 4000 ft almost into the clouds. Mike wing wagged and I started my trek to upper wing walk. I was focused and got on to the top and secured myself without much fuss. I checked the belt multiple times before signaling to Mike. Then Mike started with the aerobatics – loop, hammer head and barrel rolls. The loop added lot of force and I think I experienced 2-3Gs there. My cheeks were reduced to papers and almost flew off from me. I didn’t feel much cold.  But it felt super awesome hanging on the top of the plane above the waters and going upside down. I knew when I would experience 0G during Hammer Head, so I kinda expected it. From the Terror Dactyl ride, I had found that laughing keeps me sane, so I just laughed loudly and throughly enjoyed the experience. According to my watch, we were moving at 100 mph during the aerobatics. I loved the loops and barrel rolls a lot. Mike then signaled to pose for camera and I did the best I could. Then it was time to get down and going down was straightforward too. I just followed the steps from the training and realized how important was it to do it multiple times. Also, I cannot stress how important were goggles and ear plugs. I had a bad experience while sky diving but here it was just perfect. I hardly got a drop in my eye and ears didn’t pain at all.

Then it was time for side wing walking. People had warned about the wind pushing you back and I experienced it after stepping on the wing. Here is where I was most scared. I had to leave a hand and then go to front of the wing and I found quite challenging to make that move with only 1 hand to support me. I took a leap of faith and reached out to the rod on the other side and then started walking on the narrow hard surface on the wing. Wind was pushing hard, but I just focused and reached the Javelin and criss-crossed myself on it. Mike started the aerobatics again and it was fun. I did some superman and other poses and enjoyed the view from there. I could see mountains in the distance and ship. Mike signaled and then it was time to go back. Once I was in the plane I was so glad that I had made it alive. That was the coolest thing I have done in my life yet. Just wow!!!! We landed and I gave some tips for Nikos for this flight. Not once I thought about my neck/back pain and I was completely focused on having a safe and fun adventure. I realized that the scariest part of the day was before getting into the flight. Once in the flight, with the favorable conditions the body somehow manages to take care of yourself. I hardly moved when I was in both positions, while standing I understand the frontal force stuck me the pole but I did not understand how was I so secure on the Javelin. Also, the Dungeness Spit makes an awesome background. Since wing walking happens late afternoon, you would be between Sun and the Spit (Mike makes sure of that) so that you are lit for awesome video and photos. When I told my dad that I did this, he was like “Why had you left undone for so many days?” I was surprised and happy at the same time with his response.

*Best viewed in 480p and above

Mason Family: 

Though it was an action packed evening, I was delighted with the overall experience with the family. It was so nice to see the husband-wife duo managing the whole thing. Also the presence of the kids and the beautiful surroundings changed the atmosphere. Usually, it feels very commercial during most of the adventures but here it was just like home. We collected our videos and pictures. It was a special moment later to receive the Mason Wing Walking coins from the 4 year old, Sophie. I highly recommend these guys if you want to try wing walking.

Stats: 

  • Maximum G Force experienced: 2-3 Gs
  • Maximum speed reached: 120 mph
  • Maximum altitude: 3900 feet
  • Cost for the adventure (videos included): 850$ (Discounts for the group. We paid 750$ each)
  • Website: http://masonwingwalking.com/

Activity Overview

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Hike to Goat Lake and Big Four Ice Caves

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A last minute decision to visit Goat lake turned out to be a fantastic one. Along with visiting a beautiful lake, we also got to explore ice caves. Sai and I planned to visit San Juan islands initially but on the morning of the trip, Sai told me that he hadn’t booked the ferry and we were left with ferry availability on odd schedules. So Sai decided on Goat Lake instead and I agreed since I hadn’t visited it. Sai, Meg and I drove to Goat Lake trailhead via Mountain Loop Highway. It was a clear day and we enjoyed the views en-route. We parked at the crowded trailhead and started our hike at 10 AM.

The 5 mile trail to the lake goes beside gushing Elliot Creek, through lush green forest and some amazing waterfalls. The trail has most of the steep sections only in the end but other than that it was gentle and easy with most of it in shade. I wasn’t exactly in my hiking attire which caused a little discomfort. Snohomish County Hiking Meetup group organizer, Mathew was leading a group and I was surprised that he remembered seeing me somewhere. I had been on his Mt Pilchuk hike last year. We reached lake to witness some spectacular beauty and spent some time snacking and exploring. Many had camped the previous night yet it didn’t feel crowded. It was a very pleasant atmosphere under the shade overlooking snow covered mountain. Some jumped in the cold waters too but I didn’t even wet my feet. We took some pictures and left the lake. We covered the return journey with a much faster pace and lesser breaks.

Goat Lake Route Overview

Morning, I had seen Big Four Mountain en-route and I wanted to have a clearer view of it. So I stopped at a picnic spot near the mountain. Apparently, it was trailhead for Big Four Ice caves which was only a mile away. I had forgotten about these caves after researching about it months back. We asked people who were coming back and they shared the exact location of big caves which encouraged us to go visit even though we had just returned from a 10.4 mile hike. The trail had gentle slope and the views got better as we approached the base of the mountain. The melting snow on the huge mountain created multiple cascades of waterfalls – I counted 10 – which looked breathtaking.

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There were many signs on the trail depicting of avalanche and falling ice risks. Some people have died in the caves too. The trail ended and we could see some caves around. We continued further looking for bigger ones. The 2 big caves was formed below waterfalls and there were less people. We started with the first one which was around 5 feet tall and 10 feet wide. I went inside the cold dripping cave and was very excited to have been there. I went only a bit further since I was scared of falling ice. The suns rays pierced through ice and some part of the inside was bluish green. It was an awesome experience, outside it was quite hot, but inside, the cold air and dripping water created a refrigerator like atmosphere. Also a fun incident happened. Meg and I had come early and we were in the cave. Sai was searching for us but we could see him clearly from inside the cave. The confused look on his face when I shouted for him was funny to see.

Best viewed in 480p and above

We went to the next cave and it was much taller and wider. I hesitated to go inside as it was formed under a thick sheet of ice. We returned to the trailhead recalling the experience. Washington has so much stuff to keep me hooked to nature and I only crave for more. We drove back to Seattle and had dinner at an Indian restaurant before making it to home. It was a fun day with Sai and Meg.

Big Four Ice Caves Route Overview

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Rugged Maniac 2017 – My first OCR

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This was my first sweet and short obstacle course race. I had witnessed such action only in the tv and since I love adventures and rugged paths, I dreamt of taking part in it someday. I had somehow missed these races last 2 years in Seattle. I came to know about Rugged Maniac event and since I thought going alone wouldn’t be great, I chose to volunteer and then decide if I wanted to race. I kept checking for open volunteer spots and finally signed up the day before the event.

The race was staged at Remlinger Farms, 1 hour drive from Seattle and I reached there by 8 AM. I checked in at the volunteer section and two others and I were assigned to man the Water Station 1 at Mile 1. We reached the water station and waited for more than an hour before the first wave of people came in. Meanwhile we were getting to know each other and exploring the surrounding obstacles. I tried to power the generator for speaker and ended up pulling the generator on my leg hurting myself. Funny thing was that was one of the biggest injury of my day. It got interesting once the runners started passing by our tent. We were very efficient in filling the cups and handing them. There was a girl in our team and she was very proactive in handing the cups – she danced and made expressions – which I think pulled in more people towards water. I was standing behind her and very few people came to me. The loud music was energetic and I too added some dance moves. It was fun watching the racers and comments regarding them wanting beer instead. We spent 3 hours volunteering and then headed to volunteer section. By then I had decided that I would take part in the race later in the day. All volunteers got free passes to run and we chose to run on 1:30 PM slot.

I changed and got ready with my old shoes for the run. Very excited, I stood behind the Start position and waited for the signal. It was finally time and we started with the 5km obstacle race. I initially chose to run with my volunteer-mates, but later decided to take off. The first mile and half was pretty basic with water crossing, ladders and sling shot. Then some really rugged stuff started. For the barbed wire, I copied a guy’s technique and rolled under it which looked like ಉರುಳು ಸೇವೆ. I was actually following two people ahead of me and kinda kept them as my reference. Then there was one of my favorite obstacle called Tipping Point which basically was a see saw plank and we had to walk from one side to other. Few of the obstacles including Ringer was closed. The next set of obstacles included crossing pool of water on floating boards, jumping on fire and then crossing the messy puddle under the barbed wire. By then I was almost completely drenched in slushy mud.

The obstacles are summarized in the video:

The last part was getting on top of warped wall and then coming down on a water slide. There were people helping to get on the warped wall and I started with my run up to get on the wall. I was careful not to slide on the wall and just caught a person’s hand. Then he helped climbed the wall and I returned the favor by pulling the next racer. This was very beautiful – though we were in the race, we helped each other finish it. Water slide was adrenaline filled fantastic experience which reminded me of the slides I enjoyed during childhood. I crossed the finish line after that and checked the timings. I had taken 46 minutes to complete the 5km course with around 20 obstacles. I was pretty happy with my timing. Here is the official winners timings. It was a fantastic first run which gave me a taste of OCRs. I will definitely look for future events and take part in them actively. Elated with the finishers medal, I spent some more at the area before driving back home.

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