Help me find my contact lens

OK, this is actually not a young woman looking for a contact lens, but instead she is a past participant in the Abominable Winter Obstacle Adventure that takes place at Camp Como each year. This year’s obstacle adventure race, for ages nine and up who are interested in becoming official “Yetis,” takes place Saturday, Feb. 22. The course includes challenges such as climbing or leaping over tall walls and slinking through snow tunnels and carrying bricks or boulders up and down hills. (Photo by Lori Bennett/The Flume)

Park County has already had claims of a number of Bigfoot sightings, and Saturday, Feb. 22, promises at least 150 more.

How is this possible? Come out to Como for the Annual Abominable Winter Obstacle Adventure and you, too, can become a Yeti, or just watch them race through deep snow carrying concrete blocks, climbing under obstacle course ropes, leaping over walls and trouncing through deep snow, and slithering through snow tunnels.

This year’s race adventure begins with packet pickup from 9 a.m. until 10:15 a.m. The race begins at 10:30 a.m. Post-race festivities include coffee, hot chocolate, prizes and lots of bragging.

And the after-event party continues with all Yeti racers and guests celebrating with brews in Fairplay at South Park Brewing.

Yes, the parties sound great, but what must a participant actually do to complete the Abominable Race and become an official Park County Yeti 2020?

Good question. The race begins at Camp Como, which is over 10,000 feet in altitude. Adventurers run, walk, crawl, climb and slither through a variety of obstacles in deep snow. The course is approximately four miles and includes steep inclines, thick forests with deep snow, sledding sections and a variety of obstacles.

If this isn’t challenging enough for a participant, individual or team costumes can be worn.

New this year

“What we love about doing this event at Camp Como is the course is entirely dependent on the conditions and what is available on the property on event day. For example, if we are having a particularly snowy year, then expect bigger snow tunnels to crawl through and deeper snow to wade through,” Lauren Jones, event coordinator said.

Jones added, “One year we had participants go through, then under, an abandoned school bus on the property (with a Yeti hiding inside). You really never know what to expect, which keeps participants on their toes and the event fresh and exciting.”

During the course, Yeti racers also carry bricks or small boulders up and down part of the trail.

Jones said, “We will see what the camp has in store for us this year. One year it was a log, another year small boulders, last year bricks. This is just a small section of the event but we like to challenge people.”

“We’ve also had veteran groups participate while carrying a full-sized American flag the entire course, without allowing it to touch the ground, which was very impressive and inspiring,” Jones said.

Abominable Run training tips

Cardio training is just one highly recommended tip.

Jones explained. “Running or hiking at over 10,000 feet is a challenging endeavor, and then add in deep snow and obstacles, well, you better be ready for some heavy breathing.”

Jones added, “We recommend getting in some good hikes or runs on the trails at least three days a week or time on the treadmill or stair machine if you can’t make it outdoors.”

Upper body strength exercises that include pushing and pulling motions are also helpful. Lifting weights from the ground to overhead (for example a deadlift and press combination) is one exercise that may help you get ready for this obstacle course.

And it is not all lifting weights; the race includes fun activities such as downhill sledding.

“This is one part of the course that we will never change; people love the long sledding section, and we love having the element of childlike fun incorporated into our event.

“Participants need to bring their own sled or can share with a friend if they can both fit on one and anything goes: inflatables, discs, cardboard, bags too,” Jones said.

About 150 racers participated last year, and the same number is expected this year.

Age categories

Abominable snow person racers can be as young as nine years old if accompanied by a parent, and all ages beyond that are welcome.

Sometimes entire families and groups of friends race together, and those over age 70 have received special bracelets with inspirational messages for active elders.

Prizes

In addition to being able to brag about becoming an official abominable snow person race finishers, prizes are awarded for the top male and female finishes, youngest finisher, oldest finisher and an award for the largest team and best mountain man. Prizes includes race entries, swag and clothing from sponsors and partners.

Register

Registrants can save $10 on entry with the code WINTERFUN on the website. Teams of two  or more save an extra $5 on registration.

Jones said, “It is more fun doing this type of event with someone, plus you will be safer in numbers; you know, there are Yetis out there.”

For more information or to register, go to the website www.abominablerun.com.

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