Epic Fail Challenge: Hold My Beer and Watch Me Do This.

Immediately upon agreeing to participate in the 2014 Epic Fail Challenge at Soldier Field, consideration dawned that I might be the next punchline of a “redneck’s last words” joke.

Not your typical 5k, the Epic Fail Challenge (think Wipeout or American Ninja Warrior) is littered with 12 ridiculously-named obstacles, including Dodgeball Duck, Wreck n’ Fall Watch Out, Crazy Crawler and Over Under Plunder. At 30+ (let’s keep it general, shall we?), visions of broken bones and skinned knees danced endlessly in my head.

But with the promise of cold beer at the end of the (literal) tunnel(s), The Local Tourist laced up its running shoes and joined thousands of Chicagoans as they hit the kooky Soldier Field course. Runners of all ages and fitness levels grinned as they vaulted hilarious hurdles and rocked crazy costumes, from colorful tutus to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle shells. Also spotted: Stephanie Izard of Girl & the Goat (and recent inductee to the Chicago Culinary Museum and Chefs Hall of Fame) dashing through the course with friends in "Team Chicagoat" shirts.

And who doesn’t love to exercise for a cause (it makes the sweating and gasping for air less painful, no?)? The challenge benefits St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital – the money raised will go toward the 2015 opening of the St. Jude Red Frog Events Proton Therapy Center.

As the race isn’t timed, just take it from us – we totally won. We’re coming for you, Kacy Catanzaro.

Want in on the thrills and spills? Keep an eye on the website to catch the next race. www.epicfailchallenge.com

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