On Saturday, June, 30 we participated in The Great Inflatable Race, held in Erie, Pa., along with some of our friends. We had done a different inflatable 5K with the same group of friends a few years ago and had been looking forward to doing another one.
Registration Cost: This race’s registration cost was $25 with an early-bird registration. The regular full price that’s listed on the website is $75; if we were paying that much we would have bounced and gone to another race, ha ha!
Packet Pick-Up: This was offered last night somewhere other than the race course location, or available before the race this morning. Because we were driving in from a short distance we did the race morning option. The pre-race info had instructed you to bring a copy of your registration ticket, which was scanned for the pick-up. There weren’t any numbers for this race, just a wristband that had your starting wave printed on it. The other goodies in the packet include a cotton t-shirt and a silicone-type wristband. One other note about the venue is that parking was $10 per car, cash (and they requested exact change).
Pre-Race: There was a DJ there who was playing music and trying to keep the crowd excited. That was probably a difficult job because people were taking their time on the obstacles and it was already over 80 degrees (we were in a 10am starting wave–it was about 10:15 when we actually got started and to the first obstacle).
Course: The course began and ended at the Lake Erie Speedway race track, and the middle part went through their grounds (we think). In the beginning and end, we were on asphalt pavement and in the middle, we were in fields with a path mowed and some mud from rain over the past week.
The obstacles were mostly slides that had hand grips and foot ledges to climb on, then a slide to go down. There were a few with large balls and other components to weave around, but not a lot of variety. We aren’t sure, but these obstacles seemed a little smaller than the ones that we had done in the previous inflatable race. Calling it a race is a bit of an overstatement, though! Most people were walking and that probably wasn’t due to the heat alone.
Some of the obstacles also seemed a little deflated, which made them tricky to navigate. We observed two injuries–one ankle sprain and one that looked like a knee/ankle issue. Between those two factors, we were pretty injury-cautious. In general, people were pretty good about waiting for others to get through obstacles before entering each of the elements.
The course was kind of marked with cones that were supposed to be one the left of racers. Even with those, it was a little confusing to figure out where to go. There was a water station that we passed twice on the course so that was nice, especially today. We forgot to set our distance trackers and we aren’t sure how far the course went–somewhere around 3 miles, but we’re pretty sure it was less than a 5K.
Finish Line: The finish line was in the race track’s inner oval (you can tell that we don’t frequent car races very often to know the lingo!). The final obstacle was called the “toothbrush,” and had some round hedge-like hurdles to roll over and then some upright bristle-like things to go through. After all of the slides, I was kind of hoping for a big slide that went fast. But the toothbrush was fun, too.
There were volunteers at the finish line handing out medals and water. Everyone had a choice for the color of the medal’s lanyard.
Post-Race: We pretty much just left after the race. There were some other inflatables around, but you had to pay extra to do those. There was also some merchandise but we didn’t look at that.
Weather: The temperature started in the 80s and was close to 90 by the time we finished. It was sunny and humid, but also had a breeze throughout so it wasn’t as bad as it could have been.
Apparel: Charcoal wore a tank top, compression shorts, Nike running shorts, Darn Tough 1/4 crew socks, Newton Kismet shoes, and a running cap.
Violet wore a tank top, compression shorts, TJ Maxx brand running shorts, Pro Compression crew length socks, a MedSpec ASO Ankle Stabilizer brace (very good call on putting that on this morning!), Asics GT1000-4 shoes, and a running cap.