Saturday was the Chicago Foam Fest 5k with my little sister and her husband, which for the record is no where near Chicago. It was actually about two hours south west, and since we're north of the city, it was about a two and half hour drive for us. For that reason alone I don't think we'll do it next year.
But I digress! On to the race report!
We arrived around 7 am to pick up our packets, and it was so well organized! There were plenty of pickup tables and little to no lines there. Next we went to the 21+ ID check tent to get our bracelets for the post-race free beer. At first the line was moving very slowly, but after a few minutes a few more staff members joined the tent, and the line flew.
It was only 7:30 am by then, so we took our time getting our bibs placed, knee pads on (BEST IDEA EVER!), and use the potty a few times. Another bonus-- they had Porta-Potties everywhere! No waits! It is possible that our wait-free experience was partially due to our early 8 am wave, but I didn't see any major lines on our way out at 10 am either.
We packed everything we were not taking on the course into my neon orange backpack, and checked it at the Gear Check tent. Again, no line!
Music was blasting at the starting line, and at 8 am we were off! The run was on trails through a forest, and is was Mother Nature's Revenge! We have had so much rain EVERYTHING was mud. Not "this is a mud obstacle" but the running paths were literally covered in a foot of mud and water. Smelly, stinky, animals poop in this forest mud. They had the more typical obstacles- mud pits, rope mazes, log piles, wood walls, climbing net, etc; and then they had the FOAM inflatable obstacles, which were super fun! Moonwalk, two slip'n'slides (not very slippery though), and the 30 foot Death Drop slide. I'm afraid of heights, but the Death Drop was probably my favorite obstacle there!
The hardest obstacle was Mother Nature made... an uphill climb, that normally would just be challenging on the gluts, but when wet and muddy was turned into a dangerous slippery slope. It also turned into the Everyone Helping Everyone place: you were either grabbing a helping hand or offering a helping hand in order to get up this mud hill. When I finally got to the top, I left like I did it! I'm a warrior! And it wasn't even a planned obstacle! LOL
Crossing the finish line, we were greeted with Foam Fest 5k Finisher Medals, snacks, and water. We picked up our free Mike's Hard drinks, our Foam Fest T-shirts, complimentary bottles of ZICO Coconut Water (the chocolate is soooooo good!), and people-watched for a little while. There were some great team shirts and costumes!
I didn't see many photographers on the course, but we got quite a few pictures at the finish line. I'll post them as soon as I can!
Overall, the event was WELL organized, the planned obstacles were fun, and Mother Nature's Obstacles were even more challenging! I'd love to do it again, but the drive was a bit much, and there are so many other Fun Runs we can do closer to home, like a Glo Run (it was the same day) and Run or Dye Chicago.