Sunday, May 30, 2010

Race Report: Firefighter Challenge and Stair Climb

ready to rock this challenge! Well, I survived the Firefighter Challenge, and it was indeed a challenge. It took me 11 minutes to get through it, which was slower than I expected, but I also didn't plan on doing it in firefighter gear, so that slowed me down a lot. I wore a firefighter suit (pants and jacket) for the whole thing (plus an oxygen tank during most of the stair climb), and those suits are super warm; I was sweating the instant I put it on. Here's a summary of what we had to do:
  1. sprint across the parking lot
  2. pull a weighted fire sled walking backwards
  3. ceiling breach and pull (pull a stick attached to the sled up and down 10 times)
  4. pull a charged fire house across the parking lot
  5. turn on the fire house and "put out the fire" (aka knock over a cone)
  6. run around the parking lot to the maze (what!? why?)
  7. crawl through a maze with reduce profile and save the baby
  8. climb 19 flights of stairs, which I did wearing an oxygen tank for the first 12 flights 
"I saved the baby" Running in the suit was a challenge in itself. I was out of breath by the time I finished putting out the fire and began the run around the parking lot to the maze. Whose idea was it to add that to the challenge? My guess is that it helped spread out the field.

By the time I got to the maze, I was glad to take a break and crawl on my hands and knees. I thought having a baby doll in there for us to save was a nice touch, but I was basically dragging it around the maze so I am sure it wouldn't have made it out alive anyway. When I exited the maze, with the baby, I was already exhausted but kept running towards the stair well.

let's climb some stairs ... ONE slow step at a time =P For a split second, I considered not wearing the oxygen tank for the stair climb (it was optional, just like the suit), but when the guy asked me I just said sure. I regretted that decision the moment he put it on, but I was determined to get the full experience. The tank was so heavy that I could barely manage to walk up the steps, let alone try to run. I was so hot with all that gear on, that I was overheating and I just wanted to stop but kept at it. I was breathing heavily and barely moving, but somehow was making progress. I wanted so badly to take off the tank, but I didn't even have the strength to do that.

When I got to the 12th floor, one of the volunteers was walking up with me and carried the oxygen tank to the top for me. That made a HUGE difference. My legs no longer felt like led, but I was so beat that I still couldn't run. I was so glad when it was over and they stripped off the firefighter suit. The guy who walked up the last few flights with me was concerned for my health and kept trying to get me to go see the EMTs, but I knew I just needed some air and water. That did the trick.

The official results show that it took me 3:52 to complete the outside obstacle course and 7:08 to climb 19 flights of stairs. I finished 17 out of 21 in my age group, 38 out of 43 women, and 111 out of 121 overall. I'm just glad I wasn't last, but these results are a bit skewed because not everyone did the challenge with gear on so those that wore regular clothes or didn't wear the oxygen tank up the stairs could move much faster. I considered doing the challenge again without gear to see how much faster I could finish, but I was exhausted and hungry. We headed to IHOP for a well earned breakfast instead.

View more photos on Flickr.


kat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Harold said...

Good work! Sounds like an interesting challenge!

kat said...

Hey Kitzzy, been secretly reading your blog this weekend, having stumbled across it, just wanted to say hi, and well done on your challenge, sounded crazy, don't think I could do something like that, well done on all your fitness, running, weightloss and for running with the family, which I think it just great. P.S, love the pictures.

The Green Girl said...

Wow! That is so crazy but it sounds like so much fun!

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