After being chosen to be on the Gore Tex Big Days family team for the Family Challenge in St Wendel we were all excited to prepare for this as a family. Usually we all do our exercise separately as family time allows, but training for a 5km obstacle course needed to happen together, so a few weeks before the race started we started to train for this as a family.
I was very pleasantly surprised at how well Lilly was able to keep pace with us as she ran. We normally run in a local forest and figured that this would be a good way to train for a muddy, dirty race! Plus we used the play equipment on the playground in the woods to train Lilly to climb and hoist herself up. This made my muscles ache the most! It has been so long since I was on a zip wire or navigating a climbing net, but it was a lot of fun and Lilly enjoyed showing us how to play.
A week before the race our Viking Trail Running shoes arrived. This made everyone very excited, even baby Charlotte as she got to play with the packaging. The shoes are fantastic, light, stable, waterproof and (most importantly!) they look good. I was not a huge fan of Lilly’s shoes because of the color, but she was really pleased with them because „they are proper running shoes and not just for girls“. Apparently this is now a good thing. My shoes are black and pink, the colors of my Bugaboo pram and also from Skinny Mom®. Read our shoe review here.
Finally it was the race weekend. We set off early Friday evening to our hotel for the night. It was a nice 4* Hotel in St. Wendel, Germany. We had a family room with enough room for the four of us. It had a nice sauna area and a lovely, lively bar but we were all too tired and excited about the race to use them.
Early Saturday morning we got ready for the race with our Gore Tex Big Days T-Shirts and Viking Shoes and made our way over to the sports center to see what awaited us! The sun was shining and already the sport’s center outdoor track and fields around were filling up with excited families. We registered and made our way over to the different stands.
There was a lovely stand for the children to play, as well as plenty of drinks and snacks to keep the energy up before the race. Lilly was excited but still relaxed, Dennis and I were getting a little nervous, especially as we started to look at the different obstacles! Although we had trained, we were not prepared to see the height of some of the obstacles! This was the real deal, not just for kids. The adults who were running the course as we arrived looked incredibly muddy and very determined. Thankfully there wasn’t much time to deliberate and before we knew it, Dennis and Lilly were on the starting line.
Charlotte and I ran alongside as much as possible to cheer them on and take pictures. Every time I saw Lilly going for an obstacle (the children do not have to complete all the obstacles) my heart melted a little bit. My big girl! Dennis was able to help her with climbing etc. or just watch in amazement as she tackled the obstacles (like the high beam) on her own!
It was a pretty hot day, but they did not tire. The cold, muddy water obstacles revived them a little bit to keep going and in the end they crossed the finishing line after just 1 hour and 7 minutes, a fabulous time. Everyone got a medal, which the children especially loved. Of course they stank – some of the mud also had some manure in it – and they went straight off to shower.
Thankfully the shoes washed perfectly on a 30 degree wash and look like new. The mud washed off too. We are left with wonderful memories of a family sports day and with a new inspiration to keep the family training up! I am so glad that we got to see how tough our „little“ girl can be and how much she enjoyed training with us and eating healthily to fuel her body. We can’t wait for next year and hope to take friends along too. If there is something like this near where you live, I cannot recommend it highly enough. Viking Heroes Family Challenge Completed!