Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Gladiator Rock'n Run at the Rose Bowl was Awesome

Gladiator Rock'n Run at the Rose Bowl
Hey there.  My year of fitness reached a new level last Saturday.  I completed my second obstacle course and the Gladiator Rock'n Run was BRUTAL!  It was a lot tougher than I thought it would be.  I spent a lot of time at the gym the following month trying to level up my fitness stats.  I focused more on endurance than anything else and it definitely paid off.  There were long stretches of jogging in between the obstacles and I'm sure that it was designed that way so that you reach them feeling pretty drained.  Nevertheless, I loved it and would definitely be heading back next year for round two!  Let me tell you about my experience.
Nitro pumping up the participants!
The event took place in the world famous Rose Bowl.  If you haven't been before, it's a pretty neat place to for a run.  There were plenty of people there out for their morning jogs along the Gladiator Run path.  Also, I LOVED the fact that they had live bands playing for the crowd.  Personally, I liked the Stone Temple Pilot tribute band, Core, the best.  They played some pretty awesome STP songs that pumped up the crowd.  Once I received my race bib, timing chip, and cool Affliction T shirt, I was ready to go.  I started to head towards the starting line and waiting for some words of encouragement from Dan "Nitro" Clark.  If you guys remember seeing the ORIGINAL American Gladiators, you'll remember seeing Nitro knocking people out with those jousting sticks.  He was one of the gladiators on the show!  

Anyways, once he pumped up the participants and the horn sounded, we were off.  After a short sprint, I ended up at the steps of my first challenge.  Literally...  77 flights of stairs.  Up... then down... then up again... then down again... and up one more time... and down one last time.  IT WAS BRUTAL!  My quads were burning and my calves were bulging!  I pushed through and hoped that I didn't trip and fall down while going down the steps.  lol  I saw many of the participants take it slow.  People that looked way more fit than me were getting tired.  I was surprised that I managed to finish the steps near the top of my wave.  I felt good.  

After another short sprint, mud was introduced.  I had to crawl under some barbed wire, in the mud, and through a few short tunnels.  We then had to climb over monster truck tires and hopped over a few logs.  Then it was a long sprint towards a few 7 feet walls that we had to climb over.  Shortly after that was the rope climb.  I was dreading the climb.  I'm not the strongest of guys and I knew that it would take a lot of upper body strength to get to the top of the rope and tag the bell.  The rope was about 15 feet high.  I managed to get up the rope... my outstretched arm a mere inch away from the bell.  I felt my grip beginning to give way and with one last push, I managed to reach up there and ring the bell.  YES!  I felt GREAT after that.  I was very proud of myself.  I'm afraid of heights and I tend to freeze up when my feet are not on the ground.  I knew this obstacle was coming and I tried to prepare myself mentally for it.  Once I overcame that fear and obstacle, I felt unstoppable.  The adrenaline was rushing through me and I knew I was going to finish strong.

Another long sprint before I reached the next obstacle.  I had to crawl in the dark for a good 50 to 100 feet. It was hot, it was dusty, and it sucked.  The volunteers warned us that it would be very hot and would not recommend you to do it if you felt winded.  I was up for the challenge.  I dove right in and went for it.  Once I emerged from the other side, I heard more than a few cheers from the volunteers.  I was feeling it!  After another long sprint, I reached the pool.  I learned from my previous encounter with a pool!  I took my glasses off and held them in one hand before I jumped in.  The obstacle was to dive under 3 rows barrels before emerging at the end.  No big deal, right?  WRONG!!!  The water was FREEZING COLD!!!!  The moment you jumped in, you stopped moving!  Many participants were taken by surprise by how cold that water was.  I told myself that the longer you were in the water, the colder you got, so I moved through that pool as fast as I could.  Once I got to the end, I started running to warm myself up.  It took a minute but man... I still can't get over how cold that water was!
Up and down... again?!?!
The next obstacle were the dumpsters!  We had to climb into and over several metal dumpsters.  It was much more difficult than you would think.  They were wet (from everyone getting out of the pool) and they were full of participants struggling getting over.  I helped a few people get over and I received a hand or two getting over a few myself.  By this time, everyone is drained and team work was beginning to play a crucial part.  When I could help, I did.  I got through the six dumpsters or so and headed off!  I could finally see the beginning of the course!  I'm almost there!!!  I carried a 20 lb sandbag around a small shack, and then headed to the muddiest trench I have ever seen.  We had to crawl under barb wire in the mud and that was for at least 100 feet.  I stayed low, but I felt my legs and knees hit rocks and what not.  But again, being so close to the finish line, adrenaline took over and shook off that pain!
I can see the finish line!  Almost there!!!
Right after that, you had to "monkey bar" your way across a small area full of hay.  That obstacle was nearly impossible to complete.  Everyone is wet and muddy and the metal bars were slippery.  I saw men and women constantly slip off of them and hit the floor.  I gave it a go and met the same fate.  Knowing that I wouldn't be able to finish it without slipping off, I decided to do the 10 burpee penalty before moving on.  As I jogged to the final 2 obstacles, I see my support system!  My wife and son were cheering me on!  I felt rejuvenated and charged toward the cargo climb.  Heights... ugh....  I pushed the fear aside and climbed over that bad boy.  Then... came The BEAST.  A steep wooden wall that needed conquering.  Many tried to do it on their own and many failed.  Others stayed at the top of the wall to help those, like myself, over the wall. When I finally reached the top, I felt relieved!  I crossed the finish line and was greeted with high fives and a finishers medal!  I got to my wife and son and gave em each a kiss.  I DID IT!!!!  AND IT WAS AWESOME!!!!  I took the souvenir picture and bought it because yeah.  lol  We stuck around, listened to some music, I grabbed a beer, and then headed out.  
I will conquer THE BEAST!
It was a great experience and I look forward to bettering my time next year.  I managed to finish with a time of 1 hour and 5 mins.  Not too bad, right?  The fastest time finished at 35 mins and I was floored when I read that.  I just didn't see how that person managed to finish in 35 mins!  If anything, that's just a goal that I'm going to set for myself for next year!  
Gladiator Rock'n Run and Hero Rush Medals
Thanks for the invite, Gladiator Rock'n Run!  It was fun and I highly recommend those that are looking for a challenge to go out there and do it!  I hope to do it again next year and if you decide to join, let me know!  We'll prove the world that we're gladiator tough together!  Later!


  1. Hey there Betty! I can't wait until next year so I can try and improve on my time! Thanks!

  2. Hey there Betty. I was great fun and I can't wait for next year to best my time!

  3. i just remembered there is a thing here where it's a mud run or something liek that

  4. i have done a mud run before.

  5. Awesome, Kris. Which one did you do?

  6. That looks so much FUN! I've never tried to join this kind of race.

  7. Hey there Chris! It's a pretty cool way to get out there and test yourself! I have another mud run obstacle course in November so I'll keep you guys posted as to how well I do there.


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