We did the final Yellow Brick Road challenge today. Section 1 and Section 4 were scheduled to be on the first two buses leaving the academy. We left the gym for the pick up point just as a thunderstorm rolled in. After standing around under tall trees for about ten minutes and getting soaked and lightning cracked (the things you do that you would yell at your children for) and just as the busses were finally in sight, we were told to return to the gym. So we took care of getting soaking wet before we even ran the first step. We all had to wear orange bracelets for the run, I believe this was a replacement for carrying our ID cards while we were running on the base but maybe it just signified we had signed the forms that said it was not the FBI’s fault if we died.
In another fifteen minutes, the storm had lessened and we ran out to the busses. With all the rain we have had and were still having, some of the guys grabbed their swim goggles to wear on the run. The drop off point was about 2/3 rds of a mile from the actual beginning of the obstacle course, so the running began there. After reaching the obstacle course we were sent through in groups. This really did not matter much, we still stacked up at the obstacles. I fell in with a group with some injuries, so we took it slow. This actually worked out well, as other groups would pass us, I could get photos of different people.
The course was challenging but a lot of fun. There were instructors at the tougher obstacles, like rope climbing down and up cliffs, to offer guidance on how to do it. The rain continued on and off as we went, the trail was a mess of puddles, and the soil was clay, which was pretty darn slick. I can see why you have to sign a liability waiver. I saw a few people take spills and a couple close calls on the cliff climbs, one of the guys who had been my suite mate the first week nearly fell from the top of one of the cliffs but he held on to the rope.
I took an old crappy point and shoot camera on the run, figuring it was cheaper than buying a water and shock proof camera and it would not matter much if the camera died at the end. The negative to that was I got pictures from an old crappy point and shoot. Oh, and I think the rain did the camera in, it was functioning oddly by the end, not turning off, and a few of the pictures were corrupted files.
I had left the main camera in the gym for Rachel to use again. It was pouring from almost black skies when I finally came across the finish line. She had two guys trying to protect the camera by holding a towel over her head. The higher end Pentax cameras are supposed to have some of the best weather sealing in the industry, so I put it to the test for the rest of the shots. I have had my cameras out in the rain before, but not rain as heavy as this was. Thus far, it seems to have survived fine.
The pictures will do a better job explaining than I can, so here they are:
I have to run to dinner now. I will post a few more shots from the good camera later.