Rick was running fast, and Aaron and I were struggling to keep up.
"Slow... down...!" I called ahead to him between gulps of precious oxygen.
Rick's head spun around, taking in our struggling forms. He immediately slowed.
"Sorry about that, guys! I must have gotten a little carried away with the adrenaline of the race and whatnot."
"Thank... you...!" I puffed.
I glanced over at Aaron, already as red-faced as I probably was. He said nothing, just panted, as we slowed to a jog, some of the hard-core racers passing around either side of us.
As I looked at Aaron, I noticed a faint blue glow around him, as if a dim light were shining behind him, and I was just seeing its silhouette.
Aaron gave me a puzzled look, and I stretched my arm out in front of me. It looked just like Aaron, glowing faintly blue around the edges.
That was really weird. They must have some sort of black light on the course, I surmised. I looked around and didn't see anything. They must have them well hidden. They really spared no expense in these races! Too bad they hadn't spent that money on a free bag check instead!
We continued to run to the first obstacle, these chest high hurdle-things. Rick popped over them with ease. I jumped up and mantled, then flung a leg over it, pushing off with my foot and landing on soft knees.
The three of us managed to get over them all to the next obstacle, a really, really tall wall. The wall had to be around eight feet tall. I came to a stop as I considered how to tackle this one.
As I did, Rick ran up to it, jumped into a pull-up, and hauled himself over with ease. Damn that guy! He made everything look so easy!
I saw a little red piece of wood about two feet up from the ground and decided that was my ticket to the top. I ran up, hit the little wood step with my right toe and sprang up to reach the top, I managed the pull-up, my arms shaking with the effort but determination powering me through. Once I flung a leg to the top, I knew I had it. I maneuvered my other leg over and dangled for a moment on the other side before dropping down. On the landing, I accidentally fell backwards, smearing mud all over my back. I grimaced as I felt the cold, damp earth stick to my shirt. Oh well. That's what these races were all about right? Mud!
I was pleased, though, that I had made it over the thing. I yelled encouragement to Aaron, who I knew was just behind me, then I saw his face appear over the edge of the wall. I cheered.
Aaron smiled as he saw me, and powered himself over. We high-fived, and I noticed the slightest blue glow around his hand again.
Rick ran back to us, clapping us both forcefully on the back with a grin.
"Nice work, guys! See? Piece of cake!" he said.
Aaron and I gave each other a look, each rolling our eyes as we thought of our struggle over that last wall, only our second obstacle. I could sense that he was as game to keep going as I was, though, and we joined Rick in a brisk jog, ready to see what else the race would bring.
We neared something in the distance. Bails of hay tied up to wooden posts with a row of gates maybe twenty feet in front of them. I watched a racer fling a wooden pole into the hay and realized that this must be the spear throw I had heard about... something I had never done in my life.
This would be interesting...