Any reason to go back to Hawaii is good enough for me. When I left in August my friend Mike suggested that I come back in December for the Makahiki Challenge, Hawaii’s own 5km mud run.
After a brief contemplation period, I booked a flight and before long I was on my way back to Oahu for my last race of 2016.
We arrived at Kualoa Ranch and 10 minutes after getting my race bib I was ready to run (or walk). I was in the start corral when Mike pointed out two people that he knew from Crossfit. I introduced myself to Dakota and his fiancé (I can’t remember her name) and the three of us prepared for some fun.
The starting gun sounded and the three of us started running down the short hill. We rounded the corner and were soon at the first obstacles – a bear crawl followed by dirt mounds. I took a minor detour to see the Jurassic Park sign (again) before joining the others in crawling and climbing in the dirt.
Another short run later and we were at the 9’ walls – some had foot holds and others just had ropes so people could choose which level wall they wanted to attempt. We clambered over the walls before trudging up a short hill towards an old shed and continuous tyre flips.
Around the corner was a hill sprint followed by a much-needed water station. I was sweating from the humidity but grateful for the great weather we were having. After a super short sandbag carry we came across a part of the movie set from Jurassic World.
Dakota and I started singing the theme song from Jurassic Park whilst running down the hill towards the mud pit. People were removing their shoes to prevent losing them in the mud pit but I just trudged along. Dakota went all ‘hard-core parkour’ and tried running through the mud, only stopping to avoid running straight into others.
Our inner Tarzan was unleashed at the Tarzan swing. The trick was to hold the rope high enough to avoid the water below. About half the people I watched either dropped into the water of fell backwards into the water when they tried to land. I stepped on the end of the rope when I landed and almost went into the water but my quick reflexes meant I ran to the side and avoided getting wet.
Dry hands were an advantage at the rings as I managed to breeze through them. I made sure to focus on one ring at a time and I was stoked to get through. There were so many girls who doubted themselves yet managed to complete the obstacle where so many men failed.
Dakota put his parkour skills to good use again as he flew through the ninja foot pods. I had one misstep but recovered and got through them. They are a lot harder than they look when your feet are covered in mud.
At the ramp wall I got my boobs stuck under the lip and was struggling to get myself over the wall. I called out and a volunteer helped me up and over as people watched me flailing like a fish on dry land. Straight after the wall was a slide. I gained speed as I went down the slide and as I flew off the end I realised that I ripped a hole in my pants, right underneath my butt. I watched on as some crazy folks headed down face first and almost took out the photographer on the way.
Finally, we jogged up one last small hill before getting to the slip wall at the finish line. The mud at the bottom made traction challenging but we got over it and crossed the finish line together.
I had a fantastic time on the course and it was a great way to end my 2016 season. I’m glad I made the trip out for it and hopefully I’ll be able to return in 2017.
Event: Makahiki Challenge
Type: Obstacle Race (Mud Run)
Location: Kualoa Ranch, Oahu (USA)
Date: 17 December 2016