Fit Fathers Joins the 10th Annual URBANATHLON in San Francisco

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Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

“It was an unbelievable experience that challenged my body and mind,” stated my childhood friend Steve Redmond who was participating in the 10th Annual URBANATHLON for the first time. His goal for signing up was to gain a greater perspective on what it takes to accomplish a daring feat consisting of an 11.2-mile run and up to 19 energizing obstacles. It was fun and epic as we conquered the course at AT&T Park like men in battle. Hosted by legendary ultra-marathoner Dean Karnazes, registrants couldn’t have asked for a better day of weather and superb running conditions.

The URBANATHLON by Men’s Health Magazine is the very race that led me to a lifestyle change over 6 years ago. Then, it was held in Chicago which allowed me to run the stadium stairs in Soldier Field. I’ve been a Walter Payton since a kid so the destination selection was simple. Since Steve already lives in San Francisco the 10th Annual was a no-brainer. Plus we both wanted to test ourselves on the steep, hilly streets. Training was simple but once you hit the pavement the real world race became intense. That first hill for example drained me but I refused to walk until I crossed that finish line.

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Steve — a Fit Father of a young daughter — took the URBANATHLON serious with months of nutritional and fitness preparation. In fact, the man celebrated a wedding, a birthday and a race all within a 10-day period. Certainly November 2015 will be one of his most memorable. additionally, his new wife was ultra supportive on race day as she consistently kept popping out of nowhere snapping pictures and cheering us on. I thought she was driving and parking, but come to find out she also knocked out a few hundred calories and 10K steps walking and running vigorously to intercept us. “I’ve always suspected my husband might be a super hero. But when I saw him jump a school bus and fly thru the finish line I knew superman had nothing on him,” said Jenn Redmond. Yes, we did have to climb over a bus as well as dive over cabs and the final hurdle, that damn 8-footwall before receiving our medals.

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For 2016 the plan is to recruit several Fit Fathers and Mommy Fit relay teams to compete against one other in the New York event. In totality URBANATHLON may seem daunting, but 11 miles and a cadre of obstacles is easy work when you cherish the body, mind and spirit as the temple it is. I had a blast and continue to highlight all the fabulous moments from the race and the euphoria produced after each task was completed. Memories include bouldering up Telegraph Hill, stutter-stepping through tires, climbing over-under traffic barricades, ascending over marine hurdles along the Embarcadero, traversing monkey bars in the heart of Fisherman’s Wharf, battling the AT&T Park stair climb, and of course completing the aforementioned pre-finish line obstructions. Steve presumed the monkey bars would be an issue but had no qualms since he enhanced his pull-up game during training.

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Afterwards, bananas, Six Star Pro Nutrition bars and Propel Electrolyte Water were available for replenishing the system. However, I enjoyed my vegan breakfast from Herbivore – The Earthly Grill on Valencia Street. Steve said he just ate the best pancakes ever until Jenn reminded him of her special home cooking. Soon after she rushed me to SFO to catch my United flight back home in Maryland after a two-week stay in California. Luckily I was upgraded to First Class because my legs were now as loose as noodles!