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Unique race offers extreme family fun

Working for a marathon company has given Norm and me ample opportunity to squeeze in races of various distances around our work schedule. Norm usually runs half marathons (13.1 miles) and full marathons (26.2 miles), but will register for a 5K (3.1 miles) once in a while.

I, on the other hand, stick to the 5K. I have successfully completed seven half marathons but my body does not agree with the 13.1 miles, so now I focus on the shorter distance. However, I know my limits so I did not register for Norm’s most recent escapade.

cathy-extreme-fun-3When our oldest granddaughter told grandpa that she wanted to run a 5K with him, Norm found a race that fit our hectic summer schedule. Norm, our daughter and two oldest grandchildren formed a team called Cpt. D’s 3 Gen and recently participated in a race that wasn’t like any other 5K they have ever done.

The XtremeAir 5K included inflatable challenges throughout the course. Needless to say this was not a race that focused on time, rather teamwork and fun. The best description came right from the company website:

5XtremeAir 5k is a very bouncy 5k race with 12 inflatable obstacles throughout the race course that will have you laughing, smiling, sweating and bouncing up and down with fun! Add a little (actually a huge) spring to your fitness step and try something new. The XtremeAir 5k is the hottest ticket in town!

“Who wouldn’t want to propel themselves up an inflatable mountain and then get to slide all the way back down or climb, duck and dodge their way through the Gauntlet Obstacle? And that’s two of the 12 obstacles you get to bounce around on-there are 10 more inflatable challenges that must be conquered to get the full XtremeAir 5k fun experience!”

As a spectator, I loved this race! Most races have the start area cordoned off to everyone but participants. Our two youngest grandchildren and I were able to mingle with participants throughout the entire race.

To make the wait easier, the XtremeAir 5K organization provider bouncy houses for the young children. When our team members finalized their race by sliding down the huge inflatable slide, we were at the bottom waiting for them.

To top off the day, the race director approached me while we were waiting. He introduced himself and answered my questions about the race and obstacles. He presented my youngest granddaughter with an opportunity to test out the finisher slide and presented her with a t-shirt and medal. She was so proud of herself and she felt like one of the “big kids.” Hats off to him!

The day was hot and humid, the course measured long, but that did not stop Cpt. D’s 3 Gen team members from tackling the challenges with gusto. They did not set any speed records that day but they were successful in completing each challenge encountered through teamwork, and they had fun in the process.

About Cathy Duesterhoeft

Cathy and her husband, Norm, travel throughout the United States in their Brave Winnebago working for Mainly Marathons. When home in Westfield, Wis., their RV is parked on a gravel pad while they finish construction on their new home. Cathy documents their many adventures on her website at www.positiveinfluences.net.

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