By Joe Loomis
The Portland Terrain race was held on June 16, 2018 at the Sherwood Forest Equestrian Center. While I normally run early morning heats, I had to run a much later heat for the Portland Terrain Race. Thankfully, Beasts OCR had the largest registered team for the race, which meant we got to set up and hang out under a tent provided by the race (complete with chairs, a table, and a large tank of water). Having a communal space to congregate and BS made waiting for my heat to start enjoyable. It felt like Terrain Race really wanted to treat the biggest team with a sort of reverence as they didn’t rush us to pack up and head out, even though they had rolled up several of their other tents, drained the pools, and were well on their way towards cleaning up by the time the last of our members decided to leave.
At the starting line of the race, there were three large above-ground pools that participants had to climb in while receiving safety instructions and waiting the last few minutes for their heat to start. The starting tubs where great fun, even though (for me) they kind of canceled out all chances at warming up before the race. The course had a good mixture of hills and flats, with both easy and technical terrain that wove through hilly pastures and wooded areas. It made for some good times running down hill, but the up hills were long and tough, even on my hill trained legs.
The obstacles were a nice mixture of fun and difficult. For me, the difficult ones were things like the rope climb, Tarzan ropes (four climbing ropes in sequence that you had to swing from rope to rope), the multi-rig (different overhead holds that you had to swing across), and finished with a set ascending and descending monkey bars. These obstacles were made even more difficult when running latter in the day as the obstacles were either wet or covered in mud, a real test to fatigued grip.
Even the fun obstacles were at least a bit challenging. The four, six, and eight-foot walls felt like standard fare, but the twelve-foot wall didn’t have any footholds, which made many racers skip the obstacle altogether. The mini golf, which involved whacking a tire with a sledge hammer, was fun and terrifying at the same time, as I nearly got hit by another racer as they swung their sledge hammer. My first lap, I had to wait a while at the sand bag carry and monkey bars, and I had to skip the yolk tire walk through a pond altogether because the line was almost all the way back to the previous obstacle. I did get a crack at the yolk tires my second lap, though, and it was the only obstacle I felt needed some polishing—most likely a longer, wider course and more sets of tires. My wife, who ran earlier in the day, encountered a sizable line at Tarzan, which she skipped.
The hardest obstacle for me was a length of pipe that was about half full of water that you had to crawl through. I am not much of a swimmer, and, while the river crossing and the multiple water pits didn’t bother me, crawling through a pipe half full of water caused me to freeze up a bit. I was able to conquer my fears and made it through, but it was definitely a mental challenge, even on my second lap.
I have run very few OCRs outside of Spartan, but Terrain Race was one of my favorites. Maybe it was because I got to hang out with my fellow Beasts and maybe because it was just a whole lot of fun. The course design was solid, and I will continue to keep this race on my books every year that it is available in Portland. I liked it enough that I might even travel to other cities once I finish with personal things (school).
Beasts OCR is a family team and we tend to run together. Beasts OCR, as a team, ran ninety-seven laps of the Portland Terrain Race, which is over 242 miles ran.
Participating Beast OCR Members:
7 Laps: Jeremy Kaugmann
6 Laps: Lorenzo Contreras
5 Laps: Patrick Olson
4 Laps: Zane Treewalker, Seth Bachwalter
3 Laps: Dana Christopher, Ty Collins, Jessica Martin, Richie Neverz, Elise Howlett, Brian Sa, and Mallory Byrd
2 Laps: Adam Birgenheier, Brent Walker, Jeremiah Johnson, Toni Hessen, Marianne Lochner, Scott Brown, and Joe Loomis
1 Lap: Virginia Loomis, Fontaine Kaufman, Justine Wylie, Danielle Gross, Ted Kielley, Jonathan Butler, Malek Musleh, Amy Yates, Laura Veith, Megan Reisinger, Krystal Caron, Sara Caron, Hailey Caron, Darby Monroe, Janell Endo, Nikki Lorn, Madelaine Wright, Kaydi Kemper, Suzanne Burbank, Michelle Ryan, David Roberston and son, Allen Guttormson, Kristen Anders-Wilson, Shannon Hess, Miriam Mccormick, Dave Bax, Shannon Janes, Malachi Flores, Connor Flores, Tara Hartley, Tina Graves, Roger Day, Stephanie Isenhart, and Tyler Sermon.
Mini Monkeys: Adam’s son and Ted’s granddaughter