Thursday, June 12, 2014

Foam Fest 5K Recap

This past weekend my friend Danielle came to visit me for the first time since I moved back to NY, and we had plans to run the Foam Fest 5K! The Foam Fest 5K's catch phrase is "Get Filthy Clean" Well isn't that the truth. The race is a 5K obstacle course with a lot of mud and even more foam! This race is more like a "Fluff Mudder" for those of us who are not interested in participating in the Tough Mudder.

When Danielle and I registered for this race we had to select a wave time to start, so we decided on 9:30 am. We figured this wasn't too early, or too late in the day to make it more of an inconvenience. I am so glad we decided on the 9:30 wave (and I even would have been happier with an earlier wave) because it got warm out very early!

(Our "before" picture)

We arrived at the Foam Fest around 8 to get checked in and this allowed us to walk around a bit. We decided to watch some of the first waves take off to see what it was all about. Luckily, we were also able to see the first obstacle, the Lily pads. This obstacle requires you to run across foam mats that are laid across a small pond full of muddy water. Danielle and I had a great time watching people run across the lily pads, and we cheered when people fell into the small pond when they couldn't balance themselves while running across. It was like a episode of Wipeout!

Finally it was our turn to enter the starting chute for our wave! The guy announcing each starting wave was also mixing up the music every few minutes or so to keep us from getting bored. Once we got into the chute there was a huge start banner and hanging from the banner was a huge "foam machine" (for lack of better words), and foam was just spilling out into the starting area. Before we knew it we were knee high in foam! Everyone was dancing and throwing the foam everywhere while we waited for them to let us go. We counted down from 10, and then we were off, we ran through the huge pile of foam and onto the course.

The course itself was actually a dirt bike track, which is full of steep knolls. We rounded the corner and came upon the dreaded lily pads (which I was honestly excited to try)! We watched as those ahead of us attempted the lily pads. Many did just fine. As I watched, it seemed the trick was to not stomp on them (causes too many waves - you'll lose your balance), and not to stop. Danielle insisted I go first, which I didn't mind, and I flew across them with ease.

 (This one honestly makes me look like I'm walking, I'm not)


Danielle also made it across with no issues and we celebrated. Danielle had also mentioned that the guy behind her in line made a comment when I ran across the lily pads that they weren't even moving. Ah, yes, weight also played to my advantage.

We trudged onto the next obstacle which was a wall we had to scale. No problem! Danielle was not as excited, but she did conquer her fear of heights and scaled the wall too! I was pushing Danielle outside her comfort zone. ("I'm a pusher Cady, I'm a pusher." Threw that in there for you Danielle) After this point the obstacles became a bit blurry. I don't remember what order they were in, but I know there were close to 15.

Just past the 1 mile mark was the Mike's Hard E-Lemon-Ator obstacle. Here we ran through an area of inflatable lemons that were hanging from chords. Let me tell you, I know this sounds like a joke when I say those lemons were hard, but they were. When they hit you, it actually stung a bit. Haha

(I am the queen of awkward when it comes to action shots)

We ran through some mud pits, and over inflatable logs in mud, and came across a foamy car wash obstacle.

(Oh to be clean! Not really.)

Next was the death drop slide!!! I was so excited for this. It was an inflatable slide, I can't even tell you how high it is, but once you climb up, you literally slide straight down into a pit of mud. It was awesome! Danielle on the other hand does not remember it, all she said was her heart ended up in her throat. Next we had to crawl under a bunch of wire in a mud pit, then we came up to a large inflatable slip and slide that ended in a pool of muddy water. I sprinted and leaped onto the slip and slide and slid a decent amount down the slide. I jumped up and dove back onto the slip and slide to slide the rest of the way into the mud.


(Well isn't this just attractive)

The next part of the course actually weaved us through the woods on a bunch of trails. We ran through numerous mud pits. At one point I almost lost my sneaker in one because it was so deep and the mud was thick. There were a few small obstacles in the woods, aside from the mud. I'd say we were in the woods for a good mile. Once we came out of the woods we were just shy of the finish line. We looped around the corner and ran across the finish where a volunteer was waiting to give us our finisher medals!

We walked through the finisher tent where they gave us our t-shirts for finishing (this is actually a great idea, so you can change out of your muddy, soapy shirt). They also gave us water and a protein bar. Danielle and I made our way back to the car to get our stuff to change.

(Our "after" picture)

(I know it's hard to tell, but I'm drenched - also notice how gross my sneakers are)

We went up to the changing tent to change, then made our way over to the 21+ area. Since Mike's Hard Lemonade was one of the sponsors for the race, you received a free Mike's after finishing. I opted for a Black Cherry Mike's while Danielle got the Strawberry. Both were delicious. We hung around for a bit, then decided to head home.

(Enjoying our Mike's in the sun)

I really enjoyed this race, there were certainly pros and cons, but overall it was fun experience.

  • 15+ fun obstacles (The Lily Pads were my favorite)
  • T-shirt & Finisher medal (Who doesn't love bling?!)
  • Race photos included
  • Free Mike's Hard Lemonade
  • Non-timed course - This is nice for obstacle course races. I'm sure there are still very serious runners that do these, but there is no way to accurately time a course like this since you have to wait in line at some of the obstacles.
  • The course itself was a dirt bike track, the little knolls became tiresome.
  • Price - For a 5K, this race was a pretty penny, and I didn't even pay the full price. I had a coupon code, but I think it was still $55. (Race day registration was $90.00) However, when you consider all that's included, it may be worth it.
QOTD: Have you done the Foam Fest before? How about another obstacle course race? If so, what was your favorite obstacle?


  1. Thanks for the great post. It we love hearing from our participants. -Kara 5k Foam Fest

    1. Anytime!! Looking forward to next years Foam Fest!!