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Sasha Mikhailpoor, 19, of Glendale climbs a rope at the Gladiator Rock'N Run on Saturday morning, October 25, 2014 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. Mikhailpoor ran the 17-obstacle course, which also included crawling through mud, sprinting up and down bleachers and hills, charging through ice cold water and scaling a giant wall. Proceeds from the Gladiator Rock'N Run benefit TACA – Talk About Curing Autism. (Keely Ernst/Courier)
Sasha Mikhailpoor, 19, of Glendale climbs a rope at the Gladiator Rock’N Run on Saturday morning, October 25, 2014 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. Mikhailpoor ran the 17-obstacle course, which also included crawling through mud, sprinting up and down bleachers and hills, charging through ice cold water and scaling a giant wall. Proceeds from the Gladiator Rock’N Run benefit TACA – Talk About Curing Autism. (Keely Ernst/Courier)

Only the bravest of gladiators thrived on the mud madness held at the Rose Bowl last month.

 

“Dead Man Carry,” “Widow’s Web” and “The Beast” are just a few of the obstacles of Dan Clark’s 5K

and 10K Gladiator Rock’n Run. The mud run called about 5,000 gladiators to not just test their courage,

stamina and grit, but also to raise funds and awareness for autism.

 

“I didn’t know until after,” first-time participant Felice Corrales said. “But it’s good to know that my

money is going to a good cause.”

 

A portion of the $75 fee goes to the TACA (Talk About Curing Autism) charity and admission also

includes a t-shirt, post-race festivities and one free, ice-cold beer waiting at the finish line. After

conquering the mud run and downing her Sierra Nevada, Corrales participated and took second at

a female push-up contest. Live bands performed while participants and spectators could purchase

apparel, food and more beer.

 

Nina Vasquez, another first-time runner, enjoyed herself and said she’d definitely participate again.

 

“I had a blast, the bruises were well worth it,” said Vasquez.

 

Whether one participated in the 5K or 10K, completing the obstacle course can be very self-gratifying.

Obstacles like the “Dead Man Carry” had runners carrying someone on their backs and the “Widow’s

Web” was placed over a mud bath that runner’s had to slide their way through on their backs. The most

impressive obstacle was “The Beast.” With the finish line in near sight, “The Beast” forced runners to

scale a 15-foot wall.

 

PCC student and Circle K President Julia Hoang hooted at runners as they shimmied up a 14-foot hanging

rope and then cheered as the bell rung when runners got to the top. Hoang was passionate as she

motivated gladiators through their obstacle.

 

“This gladiator run is basically to open the shells of people to make them feel more encouraged to do

something, a little bit more wild and crazy,” Hoang said.

 

About 40 other Circle K members from colleges of the Los Angeles area joined Hoang that early morning

to volunteer their time for the event. They helped in the apparel booths, water stations and made sure

the race ran smooth.

 

“It’s so tiring, but when I go home and think of what I’m doing and why I’m doing it, it makes me happy

at the end of the day,” said Hoang.

 

Although Hoang didn’t mount a 15-foot wall or crawl through a mud bath, she and the Circle K

volunteers are gladiators nonetheless.

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