Saturday, May 18, 2013

Fun in the Sun: Ninja Challenge Part II

Part I of the article is >>> HERE <<<

The hour drive was great. I listened to some old Never Not Funny podcasts that I had. I laughed the whole way into (and past) Raleigh to the little town of Fuquay-Varina. What's to say about Fuquay-Varina?


Anyway, drove there and got out of the car and was greeting by a woman in a green cape. She smiled, I nodded and I would have said something charming but a guy dressed like a Teenage Turtle Ninja Turtle walked by and I couldn't stop staring. There was no way he was going to make it through the obstacles with that thing on.

For the next 15 minutes or so I was all eyes. There were some great costumes there, but mostly there were just beautiful people. Men who were carved out of granite, or marble or quartz; women so hot I'm surprised they weren't surrounded by actual flames. It was a fun time.

Look Ma, I'm a ninja!

Then, it was time for my race. I lined up with perhaps 50 - 75 people. There were a lot of teams out there. The NinChillas was my favorite. Their logo was a chinchilla dressed like a ninja. Most teams only went as far as wearing the same colored t-shirt, adding the name of their team to it, and putting a clever nickname on the back. One team used their real names interspersed with vegetables like "Johnny AsparaGriffon." I was a little jealous of the teams. They were definitely having the most fun. There were even some couples and a few pals just hanging with each other. But, I also caught some solo folks and we chatted while we waited for the countdown. And then, it was time to run!

This was a fun one. Easy to do, helped a
few people over the other side. My Good
Samaritan work for the week. 

Once running starts, there was no more fretting about being alone, how hard the course might be, what I would do when it was over, etc. It was a blast! Most of the course was your typical obstacle course fare: walls to climb over, over-unders, tire runs, and a shit ton of hills. These hills made Julie Andrews seem like a crazy person when she sang about her stupid hills. These hills were like, Super Hills. Drew Hill would have hated these hills. Benny Hill was buried in this hills.

I think you see where I'm going with this: These hill had eyes! That's what I'm trying to say. I may be statin' the obvious, but afterward I caught a dose of the hill street blues. That's how big these hills were.

By the way, BEFORE the correction, I had said Sandy Duncan instead of Julie Andrews...but don't people confuse the two all the time? I know I do!

There were a few obstacles that I hadn't done before. Naturally, if you're going to be on a ninja course, you have to throw some shuriken. The old throwing stars, as we here in the States call them. We got to throw them into a target about 20' away. Yes, I hit the target the first time. What did you expect?

We did a waterwalk. That was fun. Check it:

You just run over these floating planks. They were attached to each other with some string. But, mostly, they just floated there. You ran over them fast or they tipped and you were dunked. I watched people do it for about 45 seconds before it was my turn. It looked easy. What I didn't count on was that those people weighed about 73 pounds each. So, I get ready to do my run, I leap onto the first board and there's a slosh like some giant's butter churn and I am hauling ass trying not to get dunked into the water. I sprint and leap across this thing with as much grace as I can muster while saying over and over, "shit, shit, shit, shit, shit, shit!"

It's such as spectacle that when I got to the end everyone behind me cheered. A guy in front of me gives me a high five and says, "those things are NOT for big guys." No shit!

There was also something that I call a chimney. I don't know if that's really what's it's called. You have to shimmy up two walls, feet on one and back on the other. That was the final obstacle and it was a mother! I'm a tall man, and I was wedged between those two walls like the Grinch. It was tight. But I managed to pull it off.

Wanna-be Santa's start out here.

And at the end, there was beer and celebration and bananas and pretty people stripping off dirty clothes. But the best thing at the finish line was victory, accomplishment and, quite frankly, an incredibly fun experience. I'm already putting next year's Ninja Challenge on my calendar.

But first...The Tough Mudder! November, here I come!


  1. Sounds like you had a great time! I got stuck doing a Color Run. NEVER DO THAT. NEVERDY-NEVER. My obstacles were little kids, large giggly ladies in tight spandex and clusters, no make that gaggles of people who saw nothing wrong with stopping every twenty feet, 10 wide blocking the entire path, to take a picture with a colored-dust covered camera that can't possibly work anymore anyway. I would gladly have traded your Ninja run for the folly that is a Color Run..........