Monday, September 29, 2014

How to Prepare for the MCRD Boot Camp Challenge in San Diego 2015

What I learned from running the 

MCRD Boot Camp Challenge in San Diego

MCRD Boot Camp Challenge in San Diego

by Kathleen Lisson

One of the feelings around long distance running I enjoy the most is the feeling of being a Badass. I feel so strong and confident when I can run for more than an hour at a time. Finishing a half marathon is an amazing feeling. I also felt pretty badass when I reached the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro in July.

I have been focusing on strengthening the muscles in my core, hips and legs to prevent my ITBS from flaring up as I prepare to train for the Triple Crown in 2015, so I felt confident that I would be up to the challenge of the MCRD Boot Camp Challenge this September. Held once a year to celebrate Fleet Week in San Diego, the 5K obstacle course race allows civilians to experience the obstacle course that Marine Corps Recruits use during their training. Screaming Drill Instructors are included, too! Money raised goes toward Marine Corps family charities.

Tips for Running the MCRD Boot Camp Challenge in San Diego

A Month Before the Race

Pushups are Mandatory. It took me a few weeks to be able to do 10 pushups while fatigued. Practice your pushups, because there are not one but two pushup stations on the course. The drill instructors stand right over you yelling at you when you do pushups!

The Day of the Race

Arrive early. Traffic was backed up at several gates around the MCRD. Only one gate allows cars in without a military ID, so know your directions in advance. 

Wear long pants. I wore pants to my calves and pulled a few splinters out of the fabric of my tights after the race ended. The obstacle course will require you to make contact with wooden obstacles, so protect yourself from splinters.

Use all four pins for your race bib. I crawled under and slid over so many obstacles, I tore off one of the corners of my race bib before the finish line. Make sure your race bib is well secured.

Wear sunscreen and use the water stops on the course. Be smart about hydration and sun protection.

Have Fun. If you are in relatively good shape and can get yourself over an obstacle, you have a good chance of completing the course. I was a little scared to enter into the first set of obstacles, but I pictured my friend Michelle smiling at me (she’s a Marine) and ran headfirst into the adventure!

Be a badass at the end. I passed several men who were walking to the finish line after the final set of obstacles. Stay hydrated and preserve some energy for running the final mile.

For more information about the MCRD Boot Camp Challenge, visit

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