This is Kickstand Kate writing in to share my results from and impressions of today’s Portland, Maine 5k physical challenge. Official RAID Results here.
Today I completed the Urban RAID 5k Obstacle Course in downtown Portland in just under 27 minutes making me 8th female finisher. I destroyed last year’s time of 35:47 which landed me 7th female finisher.
BIGGEST DIFFERENCES YEAR OVER YEAR
1. No free t-shirt with your $75 registration fee.
2. The race committee did away with the parking garage staircase climb.
3. Congress St climb replaced stair climb resulting in downhill finish. (easy peasy!)
4. All men’s waves were sent out 4 minutes ahead of the first women’s wave. Team waves followed. Kind of frustrating, huh ladies?
5. Instead of a plastic RAID beer stein and sunglasses crossing the finish, finishers were handed a hoo rag. What’s a hoo rag? Find out why every athlete needs one.
WHAT IS THE RAID SERIES? Before this summer I’d have told you it’s a series of Maine state 5k obstacle course races. Three events happen between June and October - a Beach RAID, an Urban RAID and a Mountain RAID. The RAID series is in it’s infancy as we roll through the third year, yet a Boston RAID series has just been announced and popularity for the event series is growing. Will the RAID Series blow up like the Warrior Dash, Spartan Races, and Color Runs have? Who knows but having participated in the Urban RAID two summers in a row, I can tell you that participation is up 43% vs. last year (374 vs. 262).
The RAID Series recently met up with Melting Point, a Maine podcast on all things fitness. Hear the conversation Dan had with Parker Swenson about the RAID event series and learn about the other two RAIDs happening in Maine before the summer is out. Listen here.
MY OVERALL IMPRESSION. If you’re a female athlete looking for a local race to dominate, try the Urban Raid. Registration is low and the obstacle challenges are doable. No mountain, no mud, and no excessive travel, expense or time commitment necessary. Parking is easy – no shuttles, no fees. It’s an in-and-out-race that hardcore obstacle course runners could potentially find pedestrian but it’s a fun race with a clean finish and a lot of opportunity to train smart and finish strong.
Was it intense? Lots of running. No hardcore obstacles. Check out my race stats on my Garmin Connect page and take note of the lap splits. The pace was quick despite the obstacles and the finish was downhill. I had more in me at the end than I should have perhaps (indicating I could have given a little more throughout the first half) but I was totally gassed crossing the line. No dramatic spikes in my heart rate, really, and elevation was nothing compared to comparable 5k obstacle challenges the Warrior Dash puts on.Was there anything missing? Costumes! Crazy athletes, a live band! If you’re accustomed to attending events like these, you may be disappointed to find there’s no festival to follow and the beer tent isn’t the center of the after party.
Would you do it again? Probably. It’s just too darn convenient not to! Though the entrance fee was pretty steep… and I didn’t get a t-shirt!
How will you train harder next year? More high intensity cardiovascular training – hills and sprints to condition my heart muscle. A little pull up practice wouldn’t hurt for the final barrier. Considering the Beach and Mountain RAIDs - there’s till time to register!