Two weeks ago, Allison Herren and I did one of the most random and fun races I have ever participated in: "The Amazing Decathlon".
Because I love to race, I was looking for a Fall multisport event to remind me of why I do all of this working out. I went on Trifind.com, and there wasn't much, but then bingo! Multisport race, $25, less than an hour's drive from DC. The swim/bike/run portion is all pretty short (fine with me), but there are also seven more events: tennis, frisbee golf, soccer, etc. No online registration, so I just emailed the race organizer to reserve our spots.
That morning, we drive out to the address listed on the website, north of the Annapolis on the Severn River. As we make the final turn into this neighborhood, we're both like "this could be a pretty small race... 30-50 people maybe?" We finally reach the address and it's just somebody's house, so we decide to just keep driving because surely we will see all the race hoopla momentarily. Hmmm... it ends in a cul-de-sac... what? So we drive back to the address, and figure we'll just ask the guy we saw in his lawn where the race is. We get back there, and notice that his lawn is covered with things like footballs and tennis rackets and a homemade football goal post.... strange....
I go talk to him, and it's this really nice guy named Dave. He confirms that we are at the right spot, and I ask him where to park, and he points me to the driveway. Really? Okay, I guess I'll park in your driveway, random guy Dave.
Turns out there are just nine of us racing today, and I'm thinking, "yes! age group win!" Dave tells us that he organized this race a month ago as a test run, and this is the second test run, with a larger race to follow in the spring. It is true that the entire race is in his yard, or off the dock behind his house, or on his street. Brilliant! Why don't more people do races like this?
After the rest of the competitors arrive, Dave walks us through the course, and then we line up for a pre-race potty break. This is, of course, in Dave's house. Dave: you are too nice.
So here's how the race actually went down. First, we split into two groups (5 women and 4 men), with the men having slightly harder tasks to complete at some stations. Below is what my race was like:
1. Knockout basketball: I'm competing against the other guys, and the goal is to make sure you don't miss two shots before the person behind you makes a shot. Once you win the round, you get to leave for the next station, and the remaining people keep playing. My basketball skills are a bit rusty (not that they were ever good), and I finish this round dead last. Run to the tennis courts, and...
2. Tennis serves: Okay, this should be easy, I played tennis in high school. Get 8 tennis serves in, but you have to use the same ball each time, meaning after every serve (in or out), you have to run after your ball. So I end up sprinting up and down the tennis court about 10 times. I finish tennis and haul out of there, still in last place among the guys.
3. Swim: First you have to run from the tennis courts, down the street to Dave's house, through his backyard, down the massive staircase, and to the end of his dock. I have managed to pass one guy. I don't hesistate and jump right in the water, which takes my breath away. IT'S COLD. Oh well, I only have to last for 150-200 yards. I pass one guy, and another passes me, so I'm still in 3rd. (I find out later that Allison wore a snorkel mask for her swim.... nice.)
4. Stairs: Run up and down 110 stairs, twice. Punishing, but doable. Still in 3rd.
5. Frisbee golf: Dave (race organizer) must be solidly in first place, because he is nowhere in sight. Clearly he has designed a race that he can dominate, but if you are the race organizer you might as well! The other three of us are there together in the backyard, and this proves to be my nemesis. Four holes, two are par 1 and two are par 2, and you have to fail a hole 5 times to automatically pass it. Well let me tell you, I probably spent about 10 minutes running around that course chasing my crappy throws. Left there in last.
6. Football: Kick a 30-yard field goal AND throw a football into a can 6 times. Seriously, kick a field goal? I have definitely never played football... okay maybe in 5th grade. Thankfully, I only have to miss the goal 5 times to consider it done. One of those times my shoes flies off, because my speed laces keep my shoes pretty loose (like they are supposed to be for running anyway). Again, out in last place.
7. Bike: 4 miles, on the road in front of his house. I hop on my tri bike and hope to dominate... where's my aero helmet?? (Just kidding.) I take a few minutes off of everyone and move back into 3rd.
8. Volleyball: Hit in 6 overhand serves... not that difficult.
9. Soccer: Dribble through a course of cones, and then make 3 shots on goal. Not bad.
10. Run: I am tired and ready to be done. Okay, I can run 1.5 miles. I certainly don't take time off of anyone, but at least Dave only beat me by about 5 minutes. I take a respectable 3rd place (podium?), finishing in about 55 minutes.
In summary, it was a freakin' fun race! Original and cheap and close to DC... how can you beat that?
Thankfully, you will have a chance to compete in The Amazing Decathlon because it will be held again on May 5, 2012... on Dave's lawn, of course. This time it will be limited to 20 men and 20 women (separate waves), which I can say will be pretty chaotic but a heck of a lot of fun.
Here's the race website, though you should ignore the pictures at the bottom (they have nothing to do with the decathlon):
If you think you might want to do this race in May 2012, just reply to this thread, and then in the spring I'll send out reminders and you'll get an email notification.
Thanks for reading!
Kevin, are you serious about this competition. This looks AWESOME! And my track meet that day is in the afternoon due to SATs. All I have to do is get out on my PE field and practice these events. Now there is an advantage being a PE teacher.
the race sounds awesome. Can't wait for May 2012!
That is hilarious, love it!