Men’s Health Urbanathlon 2014 is back! A truly one of a kind event that anyone who is looking for some “exciting” race should not miss!  To those who haven’t heard of Urbanathlon: it’s not for the faint of heart! Only the fittest will survive – that’s their tag line. Definitely not for the faint hearted.

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Now on its third year, the Men’s Health Urbanathlon 2014 was happening on June 8, Sunday at Plaza Tenggara GBK Senayan Indonesia.  The race promises to test not just one’s speed and endurance, but also one’s strength, balance, agility and flexibility. For runners such as myself, there’s no better way to celebrate our big day but with a fun run, and this year I joined this event by Invitation from Men’s Health Indonesia as a compliment of my account of last year’s Urbanathlon 2013 .

I’ve always loved Urbanathlon ever since I first joined it in 2013 last year.  I loved it because it’s not your ordinary race—it has obstacles!  It is practically one long obstacle course!  I don’t know how this year’s edition fared with previous year’s before I joined, but it’s definitely way better than the last year!  As if previous series were easy (which was anything but that), this year’s event is promised to be more grueling with tougher obstacles, a more intensified course, and more racers.

warming up before start
warming up before start

Happens only in Jakarta unfortunately. Format is simple and its not just about the running. A 10 km distance ladden with 11  big ass obstacles which you must complete or face timing penalties.How hard are these obstacles? Have a look at their website. The course is approximately 10 km in length with 11 obstacles spaced along it. Whether you are in the first or last wave you can win it! Urbanathlon is an individually timed event.

I was told that the race starts in “waves.”  Apparently there were enough participants to have a need for a deferred start—I had already warmed up enough but was practically back to my normal heart rate when the fifth wave started. And of course it’s quite difficult to start from that stage as you feel heavy. Ups I forgot to mention @ricohartono as my buddy on this event. There, We were waiting for the start of the fifth wave. We’re looking for familiar faces, in vain.

The Obstacles

1st Obstacle Course – Car Crawlling – Senayan Driving Range

Then after the ruckus of the flag start and raising my pulse rate gradually, I was halted abruptly by the first obstacle—the car crawling, with the queue leading to it.  No biggie as I was just starting to warm up..  The queue wasn’t that long but it was long enough to revert my pulse rate practically back to normal.  Downer.

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the obstacles does its job well of delaying runners that it causes significant pauses leading to queues.

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2nd Obstacle Course – Monkey Business Bar – Hotel Sultan

I’m glad this year successfully through this Obstacle course perfectly. I’ve been quite know how to go through the obstacle course without falling to the ground. It’s a back to back test of upper strength as you move from the parallel bars to these specially-forged monkey bars. You’ll need a vice-like grip, strong shoulders and powerful forearms. Rico – My Buddy  even had to repeat three times. He seems didn’t believe when seeing me pass the monkey bars quickly.No skipping rungs allowed…

My Buddy : Rico Hartono tried to pass the monkey bar in the 3rd attempts
My Buddy : Rico Hartono tried to pass the monkey bar in the 3rd attempts

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3rd Obstacle Course – Tire Rocky Road – Hotel Sultan

The tire dump is an enclosure consisted of 100 tires differently stacked to one another and splitted into two phase.  All participants must pass.

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4th Obstacle Course – High Truck – Lapangan D Senayan

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5th Obstacle Course – Vertical Running – Kolam Renang Senayan

Tackle the lung-busting Senayan Pool/Kolam Renang Senayan stairways then climb the stairs all the way up to the View Level. Once on the View Level concourse, Course Monitors will direct each participant into three routes. And all participants will descend the ramp down to the exit gate, where they will continue to run at Krida Loka Park. This obstacle will empty your lungs, put the burn in your thighs and leave you gasping for breath before confronting the next obstacle.

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6th Obstacle Course – Up Side Down Hang – Taman Krida Loka

This was first time for me to run in the Krida Loka Park Senayan. Was fun running in the park. The place is very quiet and there is a running track that is suitable for those want to run without overheating. Because many shade trees in it..

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7th Obstacle Course – Water filled Barriers –  Senayan Pedestrian 

My buddy told to me if i won’t pass this Obstacle Course. Yup..I was unsuccessful in my first attempt. The Technique looks simple. I try to learn from those who pass this obsctacle without any barriers. If you’re going to attempt to hurdle the water-filled barriers, you’re going to need some technique, some speed and enough power in your legs to soar over them without coming to grief.

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8th Obstacle Course – Trail Running 

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9th Obstacle Course – Spider Web

On this Obstacle Course I had to navigate my way through a web of bungee ropes and test my balance, coordination and flexibility as my weave my way through this obstacles.

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10th Obstacle Course – Water Pool – FX Senayan

Same like the previous year this obstacle was very easy for me..There’s no major obstacles..no muddy like i was expecting..especially the icy mud pool. While some runners complained about queues at the pool last year, this year there were two pools for you to wade in, which means waiting time reduced!

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11th Obstacle Course – Wall Climbing – Plaza Tenggara

This is my most dreaded obstacle, and it’s here to stay!  The famous 10 × 8 meter (W × H) wall which all participants must scale using a rope to go up and go down on the other side.  Participants can help one another. This last obstacle will push the limits of both my mental and physical capabilities. I’ll need both to overcome this last challenge and earn the title of Urbanathlete.

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Right after the race there’s an option to take a “shower”

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and food from sponsors.  Isn’t it nice to be fed right after your race?  There were also booths from co-sponsors to make the activity area livelier.

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I don’t think I can say anything bad about this race, say except for the queues on the obstacles (naturally, due of the number of participants). It just goes to show that Men’s Health and its race organizer had actually perfected the art of producing races.Overall I found the obstacles were a lot easier than I was expecting. The shirt is the best one I’ve had from an event so far not only being comfortable to train in but also a nice design. Although it was male focused (which is understandable considering it was organised by Men’s Health) the goodie bag was good.

A day after the Men’s Health Indonesia Urbanathlon 2014, the racetec results.com and FinisherPix captures were already out.

raceurbantlonI just can’t help myself but get disappointed with my race result, I really could have performed better if I did not queue in the long line of  in the car crawling and also in the wall climb. *sigh* But Frankly I felt really tired and exhausted on Sunday and the weather was too hot not really good for me to run. I decided to just maintain a relaxed pace—sudden stops while having a high pulse rate is very dangerous.

Unlike in Urbanathlon 2013 where captures are readily downloadable, this time  a printed copy of 4″ x 6″ or a high resolution soft copy will cost me $19.99 available on the FinisherPix power by Smiles web. So, I was kinda hesitant to purchase one. But I am still making up my mind if I would order or not the following candid picture.

It's a picture of me after my vertical climb. For me, this was an achievement for most of the runners considered this as the hardest of all the obstacles.
It’s a picture of me after my vertical climb. For me, this was an achievement for most of the runners considered this as the hardest of all the obstacles. Photo Captured by FinisherPix

Wanna be different?  If you’re tired of the usual races or is looking for something different to do for a change, Men’s Health Urbanathlon might be the one you’re looking for. Like I said Urbanathlon isn’t for the faint of heart.  It is a very challenging event but is definitely tons of fun! Every year, the race gets tougher and better. Looking forward to the fourth edition next year.

To my fellow Urbanathletes, Congratulations!
To my fellow Urbanathletes, Congratulations!
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