Last Saturday, I woke up with almost no voice, not quite sure if I was going to be accomplishing what I had signed up for many months prior. I was supposed to do my first obstacle race, the Jersey City Challenge, but I was still getting over a cold and now had lost my voice. The hubby was sure I was going to say we should just chalk it up as a sunk cost, but I told him to give me til after breakfast. And so…I had my coffee and breakfast and said, Let’s do this!

I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel during the race. Would I start coughing and have to stop? I decided it was worth it to at least get there and see how far I could go. 

It was a chilly, rainy day as we arrived in Jersey City. We brought a backpack to check in (for $5) with a change of clothes and where we could leave our wallets and phones. That was a nice thing they offered and we didn’t mind spending a few extra dollars for it. The bib pick up was slow- surprisingly there was only one person trying to help everyone. Although they do highly suggest that people pick up their bibs ahead of time, that’s just not posible for some of us non-locals. Hopefully they realize this and make it easier for next time.

I had not intended to do this race for time. I didn’t even wear a watch. However, I knew that chances were high that I’d get stuck behind people in front of me so I made sure to sprint between obstacles to give myself the best workout I could.

The penalty for not completing an obstacle was 30 jumping squats. The obstacles included barricades, cargo nets, walls of different heights, and a pyramid that had to be climbed. There was also a reverse wall and a rope climb. Oh and we had to jump over a cop car and taxi cab. I chose going on top of the cop car- that felt pretty badass.


 Prior to running it, I was fearful that the walls were all going to be super high and that my fear of my heights would get the best of me and I’d had to skip some, but it turned out to not be the case. It must’ve been partly due to the adrenaline that I felt- I got through all just fine and was really proud of myself. I climbed the rope all the way up and rang the bell! I even got half way through the rings which were set up on monkey bars (and so I did my 15 penalty squats). Those were among my top two highlights of the race.


There were also other CrossFit-type obstacles like box jumps, kettlebell swings, sandbag carries, heavy jump ropes and bear crawls. The heavy jump ropes were super hard! There was also a balance beam and I ended up having to get help from the City Challenge Staff because it was super tricky. I think that if I took my time and didn’t rush through it, I could’ve done it a little better. 


So my lack of voice or any other doubts or discomforts didn’t hinder me. Would I do this event again? I think if a group of my friends wanted to do it, I definitely would again. A bonus was that there was no gross mud involved. After all, their motto is, “Think outside the mud!” It’s one of those things that you do for the experience. To test your strength and your fears. To have fun! It was not something I cared to do for time.  I’ll leave that to my running races. 


Xo, 

Julia 

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Posted by:thepetitefastinista

Hi! My name is Julia and I'm a 30-something year-old Paraguayan-born, New Jersey toddler mom. My passion for fitness started when I was 15 years old and joined my local YMCA to learn how to properly strength train. Although I briefly joined my high school track team my junior year in high school, I consider myself a late-bloomer as an athlete. I'm a CrossFit Level 1 coach who first discovered CrossFit with a personal trainer 3 years ago and have been loving it ever since. My other passion is running! To date, I've completed 10 half-marathons and 2 marathons, including Philadelphia and New York. Combining endurance running and CrossFit WODs has helped me obtain PRs as well as age group awards over the past 2 years. I hope to inspire and motivate other mere mortals like myself in leading active, healthy lifestyles!

4 replies on “Conquering some fears at the Jersey City Challenge 

  1. Hey, it’s pretty cool that you got to jump over a taxi or a police car. Sometimes these obstacle races don’t live up to the billing, but I’m glad this one did. Was Fulop there?

    1. It just makes you feel like a rebel, jumping over a cop car especially lol It’s also not super long – I think it’s about 3.5 miles- so it doesn’t take hours. Thank you for reading! P.s. Who is Fulop?

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