Yeah, we're a ninja.
Yeah, we’re a ninja.

We gave the staff here at MojoFiction an informal poll in an effort to find out why we keep doing these things to ourselves. The only answer we could come up with was some kind of pre-midlife crisis (we’re not 40 yet…). Here was the pole question:

Why does MojoFiction keep doing this to himself?

a. Stupidity

b. Not smartness

c. Some kind of pre-midlife crisis

d. Other

The staff at MojoFiction actually consists of just one, and we chose “d. Other.” But we’re pretty sure we meant “c.” so we’re going with that.

See, we ran another body-crushing obstacle race on Saturday out near Rockford, Illinois. While most guys in America having a midlife moment would be out buying a time-travelling DeLorean so they could go back to 2003 and pull Bartman’s arm back before he could get his fingers on that foul ball in game six of the N.L. playoffs at Wrigley Field (not that we’re living in the past or anything), we were out challenging our poorly constructed physical infrastructure in a 5K race to the death vs. hordes of zombies in an obstacle course challenge called “Run For Your Lives.”

We got up on Saturday morning and drove out to Byron, Illinois, south of Rockford, to meet a friend who also couldn’t afford a DeLorean, and therefore would be running, for our 9:30am heat. The first thing we did was forget our phone at home so we couldn’t let our friend know we had arrived. Luckily, said friend left us twelve voice-mails and one really insulting text message asking us where the heck we were. Thankfully, we were able to meet up shortly before our race started.

The premise of “Run For Your Lives” is, of course, that you are a banker trying to get away from the 99%. Ha, ha! Just kidding!  You are actually a banker running away from zombie hordes who are demanding refinancing. This is basically an excuse to host an obstacle course race, but also serves as a nice gimmick to get otherwise nerdly people like MojoFiction to participate. When you sign up for the race, you can sign up as a runner or as a zombie. We thought that paying to be a zombie was like paying to work, so we went with the runner option. Each runner received a belt with three red flags on it and absolutely NO Green Herbs (not even a First Aid Spray), which didn’t make any sense, because how were we going to heal ourselves? The zombies spread themselves out around the course in specific “Zombie Zones” where runners would try to get by them without losing any flags. The object of the race: to get to the finish without approving one adjusted mortgage rate.

That’s what made the race so darn difficult. A 5K isn’t the longest race in the world, but the race was on a motocross course that was very up and down (hello knees). In between hills and obstacles, runners had to sprint through gangs of zombies and avoid losing flags. Sometimes the zombies and the hills would get together to really hose you. We’re in decent shape, but we did not train to run wind sprints and 50-yard dashes all day.

After only ten minutes on the course, we had crawled through rock-infested mud, under barbed wire, over large bales of hay, meant to really annoy your arms, and ran at full speed through three groups of zombies. Barely a mile in we were beat down and walking. We didn’t feel bad because a LOT of others were, too. That actually worked in our favor because the only way to have a chance at keeping a flag was to wait for a group of runners to congregate at a zombie zone and then run through as a group. We’re pretty sure we were the sacrificial lamb most of the time because we finished with zero flags. And that was after finding one out on the course and attaching it to our belt (extra life!).

Nonetheless, it was fun. If you’re in any kind of shape, you should really take that fitness out for a spin, it beats the gym any day.

Best part of the day (besides the celebratory beer): They had an obstacle called the Smokehouse. It’s basically a long tent that looks like a shack. You crawl under it all the way to the other end.  Because they pump all this smoke into it (which is basically a fog machine), you stay low.  We happened to be on the edge, so when we heard the SNAP! and “OWE!” from our buddy crawling next to us, we looked up and saw thin threads hanging down in the smoke.  They delivered a mild shock to anyone touching them.  We skirted them on the edge, but the whole way through we could hear our friend swearing up a storm.




Yeah … that was great.

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