Two things you should not do: (1) Attempt to run a 5K when you literally cannot remember the the last time you ran, and (2) attempt to do so when it is 90 degrees outside. But if you are going to do it, it might as well involve a dozen or so awesome inflatable obstacles. Last weekend the Inflatable 5K visited by town and I took that opportunity to tackle my first obstacle course race.

Inflatable 5K Starting Line

The race started with a climb up inflatable steps and a slide down the other side. Game on.

Inflatable 5K Big Balls

All of the obstacles were a little bit different. The one pictured above (“Big Balls”) was full of, well, giant inflatable balls.  You had to push your way past the 5-foot orbs to make it through to the other side.

There were volunteers at every inflatable offering encouraging words. Considering how hot it was outside, I am really not sure who had it harder, the people running or the volunteers standing in the sun. Either way, I really appreciated having them there.

Inflatable 5K Slingshot Climb

The “Slingshot” was the first obstacle (of several) with a rope climb. This probably would have been a little less difficult had I not also been attempting to carry a GoPro.

Inflatable 5K Crash Course

It was only 9:30, but the blaring sun made some of the obstacles a bit scorchy on the skin. It was definitely motivation to get up quickly and keep moving.

Inflatable 5K Wrecking Balls

Some of the obstacles were surprisingly difficult, like the “Mad House.” There was something about running up and down a a moving surface that made each step simultaneously more fun and more challenging.

Inflatable 5K Mad House

When I signed up I intentionally chose a wave that had fewer people in it. However, in hindsight, I wish I’d picked a fuller wave.It was a lot more enjoyable when there were several people scrambling on an inflatable at once.

Inflatable 5K Finish

The finish line had the biggest slide of the day. It towered over the starting line next to it. I slid to victory, anxious to collect my first medal and sit down to a delicious carb-filled breakfast.

Inflatable 5k Finish Line

Walking in to the event I overheard a woman exiting say that it was the hardest 5k she’d ever done. At the time, I thought to myself that it couldn’t be that bad and it was just a bunch of bouncy houses. It turns out she was right. The 5k was surprisingly exhausting. I keep telling myself it was the heat and not the excessive amount of time I spend sitting at my desk each week. Either way, I am looking forward to the next one.