Girl on the Go: skating on thin ice
As we drew on our war paint (we needed to look tough so we used blue zinc this time) the butterflies in my stomach were at an all-time high. We were minutes away from hopping out of the car to head into Raw Challenge and I was seconds away from hyperventilating. Just kidding, this time I was ready. It was like raw, animal, magnetism. I was feeling very Olympic with Chris, Greg and Jase capping off our stellar GoGoRace team.
As we rocked up to the registration area, we could see a few of the race’s obstacles in the distance. Our team of four – all highly skilled and qualified professionals (legends) – turned into eight-year-olds buzzing from too much red cordial. SO. MUCH. EXCITE. We registered for our wave, made our way to the starting line and we were off. The atmosphere was electric – so many happy, smiling people all pumped for what was about to unfold.
We weaved through the swarm of competitors, dodged the divots (thank you Leuko sports tape) and accidentally ran into a group of floating heads (all dressed in camouflage). We reached the first obstacle and dominated it like the athletes we are. Boom. We waded through mud pits, we climbed and weaved, we jumped over barriers, army crawled through the rough terrain and then finally arrived at the ‘guillotine’.
Just the name sent chills down my spine. I’m petrified of heights and sharp objects in general, so even looking at this obstacle (or death-trap) had me sweating profusely. It’s basically a hanging rope next to a 15-foot wall where you have to lift yourself up and over, balancing your feet on the wall ledges as you go. Oh and there’s a sharp (cardboard) blade at the top.
As I gripped the rope and lifted myself onto the first ledge my knuckles went white. I gripped the rope higher and tighter, lifting myself up to the second and then the third. As I got to the fourth ledge my hand slipped and I looked down. NEVER EVER LOOK DOWN. I was 15 feet in the air holding onto a wet and slippery rope, my feet barely balancing on a ledge, with nothing to soften my fall. Was Girl on the Go about to become Girl splattered-all-over the Ground? My odds were Hunger-Games-slim.
I froze. Trying to muster the courage to keep climbing, I closed my eyes and attempted to channel the most inspirational quote of all time…
I see pride. I see power. I see a badass (tough) mudder who won’t take no crap off of nobody. – Cool Runnings
Boom. That was all I needed and I was off. Next up were the monkey bars and I was determined to dominate – it was life or death. The delicious brown water at the bottom only adding to my determination. Nailed it (of course). We moved on and tackled each obstacle, showing every single one of them who was boss.
And then we came face-to-face with our doom (well Greg’s impending doom, anyway).
It was just like any other metal pole hanging over a muddy water pit. You had to use your upper-body strength and climb across. Before I knew it, Greg had jumped up, gripped the bar and slipped off – hitting and scraping his shin on the jagged edge of the wooden ledge on his way down.
The colour drained from his face. I quickly turned to him and asked, ‘Greg, you dead man?’ He looked down at the gash on his shin – all bright white and bone-like – then back up at me and said ’Yeah man’. Within seconds First Aid arrived and we had to carry Greg off the field, never to return to the race again.
As the blood started to pool in Greg’s wound, so did the tears in my eyes. It was a devastating end and one that has us busting to go back and finish the race. I had THE best time and surprisingly came away unscathed. Raw Challenge was tough in parts but it wasn’t quite the Everest I thought it was going to be – I actually can’t wait to go back and do it all over again!
I would hands-down recommend it to anyone wanting to give an Adventure Race a go – whether you’re a beginner or experienced – you’ll have so much fun. It’s allllll in the video below so make sure you have a squiz. Do yourself a favour.
Girl on the Go