Yesterday, Tori and I drove up to Newport Beach for The Liquid Run. It is an inflatable obstacle course floating in the Back Bay of the Newport Dunes Resort. I ended up running it myself since Kenny and Jill came down sick the night before and Tori's knee was still sore from AcroYoga. Below is the time-lapse video from my GoPro camera that I wore out on the course.
Since we bought the VIP Passes, I was able to arrive at any time during the day and join any heat that was about to start. After picking up my life jacket and strapping on the GoPro, I started the course with the 3pm heat. Wading out into the bay, we climbed aboard the course in waist deep water. With so many people moving around on the inflatable surface, I really had to concentrate to keep my balance. While waiting my turn to cross the first hurdle, volunteers on boats kept rowing past to spray us down with water canyons.
The first major obstacle was climbing a slippery slope with the help of a rope. Several guys slid down the other side into the water so I did the same. The Monkey Bars on the next obstacle were probably the toughest part of the course. It took all my hand strength to hold onto the bars coated with a thin layer of sunscreen. At the first corner, I managed to keep my balance as I ran through the sloped curve.
It took a long time to finish the first section on the crowded course and it grew even more congested on the back stretch. Looking ahead, I could see that the course cleared up on the far corner so I decided to cheat and take a little swim. The only problem was that it was hard to climb back up onto the inflatable surface and my wedding ring slipped off as I scrabbled at the edge. I didn't see it but I felt it slide up my finger as I slipped back into the water. I looked around desperately but I could not see it in the murky water of the bay. One of the lifeguards told me the water was over twelve feet deep so I knew I would not be able to find it. It bummed me out for the rest of the course, but I tried to not let it spoil my day. I had considered removing the ring before the race but I didn't follow through. My Fault!
As I continued on, I stopped to help a friendly kid out of the water. I ended up running the rest of the course with him. I have never seen someone slip and fall so many times in my life, but he was having a blast! The third leg of the race ended with a narrow Tight Walk that I managed to cross upright but I turned back to see the kid sprawled out on his back across the center. He received a high five when he managed to roll his way to the far side.
The years of flying and catching at Trapeze High prepared me for the next obstacle, the Flying Trapeze. It would have been pretty embarrassing if I had failed to swing across the narrow stretch of water. Actually, the hardest part was the fact that the bar was so low to the water that I had to really tuck up my long legs to make it across without hitting the surface.
Perhaps overconfident from the trapeze swing, I had my first fall onto my ass right after among the inflatable Pylons. Ha! Even though I missed the two tall slides on the back stretch, I had fun climbing and sliding down the third and final one on the course.
The last section had a Trampoline and a Wall Traverse along with the other smaller obstacles repeated several times over the course. From the shore, Tori took a picture of me tumbling dramatically over a small hurdle. One of the volunteers asked her if she had kids out on the course. "Just one," she replied. Ha!
Despite my shortcut, it took about an hour to complete the Liquid Run. As I was getting ready to climb the Tower Slide for the finish, I saw the group who had been in front of me at the first corner still attempting the Trapeze obstacle back at the half way point. While I was on the course, Tori overheard next year they are considering having of two courses, a fast and a slow one. I think that would be a great idea.
On the drive back to San Diego, we stopped to eat dinner at South of Nick's. There was a forty-five minute wait for the fancy Mexican restaurant but we were able to find a table at the bar. If I had know that they served the same Warm Butter Cake as their sister restaurant, Nick's, I would have saved room for desert. After our meal we walked down to the beach and watched the surfers from the pier at sunset.
Today, I am surprised that my legs are so worn out. I didn't feel that tired running the course but I guess I used a lot of muscle control to keep my balance while standing on the floating course.