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Last weekend my friend and I participated in a Chamber of Commerce event – a Prison Break. It started off at the old Missouri State Penn. What a cool place!! I’m going to have to go on one of the tours some day. That old place is just full of history (and ghosts, I hear).

We started off with a mug shot. Horizontal stripes are NOT a good look on me (I’m on the right).

Kathleen Henley, Cristina Herron

There was a whole story to go along with our race. They lined us all up in front of one of the cell blocks for a picture.

prisonbreak gang

Then an “officer” (who very closely resembles Pornstache) got up to inform us that we were all being transferred out to another facility and that he would be leading us down to the holding cells in preparation for the transfer. We filed into the cell block that is famous for having ghosts and headed down to the dungeon. I’d never been inside the prison before, and let me tell you – when they said we’d be visiting the dungeon, they were not kidding. The whole facility is made of old stone, and the dungeon is no different. Short ceilings, small dank holding cells, no air to speak of. Once we were all inside our holding cells, they shut the lights off. I could not see the hand in front of my face, it was that dark. I was very grateful that I don’t have claustrophobia issues or any fear of the dark. There was some screaming going on from others who had those types of issues.

From the dungeon we walked all over the prison grounds and finally left through the lower gates next to the railroad track. Once there, we were gathered in a large group and Pornstache rips off his wig and mustache and “confessed” that he wasn’t really a prison guard, but that he was here to break out the love of his life. One of the girls in the group runs up to him and plants a big smooch on him. Then Pornstache announces that it’s every inmate for him/herself, and you’d best be leaving before the real prison guards arrive. So we headed up the road, back through the prison (which always makes sense when one is trying to escape), and then out the front doors where the race began.

Y’ALL!!! I don’t know if anyone knows a thing about Jefferson City, but it is HILLY!!!! I mean REALLY HILLY!!! We followed this route:

prison break

From the prison, up and down moderate hills before reaching the wooded trails. The wooded trails had some pretty brutal hills (for me, anyway, but I’m old!). As we were walking up one of the hills (YES, walking, because only crazies RUN up hills), a girl behind me goes, “Where are the obstacles?” I looked at her, pointed to the hill we were ascending and said, “THIS! This is the obstacle!”

Once we got through the wooded area, it opened up and we started in on the obstacle portion of the run. I do have to say that the Chamber of Commerce – they are not race planners. The course was supposed to be clearly marked, but there were a lot of forks in the trail where there were no signs and at one point there were quite a few of us who ended up on a paved path. Mostly, they were heading to the right. I looked at my partner in crime and said, “I looked at the race map ahead of time. We’re supposed to go around Kirchner to the left, not the right.” So we headed opposite where everyone else was going. I was pretty glad for my ridiculous need to study route maps before I get to a race event. Even though I took my partner and I in the right direction, we were still on the wrong trail. As we were walking along we noticed a large mud pit off in the distance and saw the gravel path that came out right by the mud pit. I’m not sure how much extra distance we walked because of this little detour, but we eventually ended up on the correct trail.

It was SO FREAKING HOT the day of the race. We had already gone about 2 miles up and down hills in the heat. I can tell you that I’ve never been so happy to get into a mud pit. It was nice and cool. Refreshing isn’t a word I would use, but it was cool.

The best part of the race was the obstacle portion of it. I wish they’d have had more obstacles (besides the HILLS) throughout the course of the race. The obstacles were FUN! I think the course was designed by a tall person because my partner (who is 5’3″ if she’s lucky) had a difficult time with some of them. I’m happy to say that there wasn’t an obstacle that I had trouble with.

Well. Maybe one. The water slide was a challenge.

Slippery slope

I was sitting up through most of the slide, but was I got closer to the bottom of the hill I began turning. I tried using my hands as rudders to keep myself upright, but it didn’t work so well. By the time I got to the bottom of the hill I was backwards, head first, right into the hay bales they had at the bottom of the hill. I hit the bale with my head, and my legs flipped up over my body. If I’d have had any sort of core strength, I would have just pushed off with my arms and completed the backwards somersault over the hay bales. Instead, I just burst out laughing at my poor old bent in half body, awkwardly lying in the muddy grass.

This was the last obstacle in the course. From there we had about a mile and a half before arriving at the finish line. We were so excited about PIZZA that we hurried to get our t-shirts and pizza ticket and went in to chow down. We had a much needed potty break, washed up our hands, got pizza, visited, drank water, and decided we were happy and that it was time to go. We walked outside of Prison Brews (the local microbrewery – so yummy) and what do I notice in the middle of the road? Well, it was the end gates for the race. You know….the thing that STOPS THE TIMING CHIP FROM TIMING!!! ::head/desk::

After looking at the times from other contestants, I don’t think that we were the only ones who made this mistake. There were quite a number of people with slower times than we had. I’m pretty sure that all the people who went through the gates after me were just finishing the run. I think the mere thought of pizza blinded everyone from the finish line. I’ll know better next year!! Even though it wasn’t the most organized race I’ve ever attended, I’ll definitely do it again next year.

The Prison Break website isn’t the greatest, but check it out. There are more pictures of the whole event. I just swiped a few of them for this post.

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