Update: Wipeout Run is now ROC Race. Same race. Same obstacles. Plus a few new ones. Just a different name. You can sign up on their website ROCrace.com.
Wipeout Run – the 5K race and obstacle course based on the hit TV show
I’d been looking forward to trying out Wipeout Run for over a year– ever since I missed their event the day it came to my city last year. There was no way I was letting that happen again this year. So I signed up, counted down the days, and then woke up the morning of the race to frigid air and angry skies. Figures, right? I’m a big baby when it comes to cold weather, but even in the freezing rain, I had a pretty awesome time.
Packet pick-up went smoothly. I danced in line with Dragon while waiting for my turn, but we were in and out in under 5 minutes, with new gear and goodies in hand. All participants receive a Wipeout Run tee-shirt, rubber bracelets and a temporary tattoo in addition to a numbered racer’s bib that’s pinned to the front of your clothing or costume. Next stop– line up for your race!
Atlanta, put your hands up.
This is my jump-face. Because jumping up and down like an excited six-year-old is a perfectly acceptable way to pass the time while waiting in line for your race to start. Large globs of racers launch from the start line at set intervals all throughout the morning and early afternoon. Every racer registers for a specific time, so the lines are never very long and move quickly.
One of my favorite parts about Wipeout Run (I have lots-o-favorites) is the foam! I don’t know why I love foam so much. It just makes me happy. At Wipeout you get to dive head first into a giant pool of foamy water after sliding across your belly on a giant inflatable. I was a little disappointed that this was the only foam obstacle on the course (I’d thought there’d be more). If it hadn’t been so freezing, I may have just stayed in there and taken a bubble bath.
What’s an obstacle course without a giant wall to climb over?
Most of the obstacles at Wipeout Run take place across an elevated platform which require a series of ladders and slides to ascend and descend. These ladders are sometimes just small straps or handles embedded into a giant wall of plastic filled with air. It’s a bit more difficult than I anticipated at first glance. The entire structure wobbles, bends, and waves in the air as people tug, pull, and walk across. If you’re not careful, you can easily get knocked off your feet, but that’s honestly the best part. The feeling of not being in control is what makes Wipeout Run so much fun.
After climbing to the top of one of the shorter ladders, you’re tasked with running across a narrow beam while a giant rotating padded arm threatens to knock you into the trenches below.
We made it through unscathed and were rewarded with this slide.
Sometimes a slide is the main attraction. Like this giant inflatable piece of awesomeness. The entire obstacle consists of grabbing an inner tube, scaling to the top and then sliding down into the pool below.
Landing gracefully is optional. Heh.
Wipeout Run earns my respect for making safety a top priority. I’ve attended lots of obstacle races and this was the first time I ever saw life jackets handed out to every racer. The wrecking ball obstacle hovers over a pool of water that is maybe four-feet-deep. Unless you get hit pretty hard (which would be rather difficult considering the balls do not move forward with much momentum) or take a hard fall, I find it highly unlikely for a person to drown. But Wipeout Run doesn’t take any chances– a life vest is provided and required for all attendees participating in that obstacle. I’ve raced in mud runs that involved jumping into 15-feet-deep water from platforms 15-feet-high in the air after already becoming exhausted from running 10 or so miles, and those races never showed the level of concern for my safety that was displayed at Wipeout Run.
Can you walk across a slippery beam quickly enough to avoid getting wrecked? I blame the shoes. (Ahem.)
Your final reward? Another slide. If you have a fear of heights, this one might get to you. It’s tall and wobbly, but oh-so-much fun. Even in the rain. And bitter cold. Wipeout Run, you have my heart.
Check out the video at the top of this page if you really want to see what attending a Wipeout Run is all about. Think you want to try it out yourself? The Wipeout Run takes place at locations all across the country. To see if it’s coming to your city, visit their page here.