Do you remember field day? It was almost always my favorite day of school. Races, obstacle courses, challenges, team work, and fun meant for an awesome day. Well…it’s been about 25 years since I have competed in a three legged race. Last Saturday, a group of nearly 30 people from the FOF Pace camp got together to compete in our third annual FOF Pace Survivor event. It was full of laughs, competition, and tons of fun. We had three teams, and we all set out to win this year’s medal. Hey…we might be slightly competitive, but we sure are a lot of fun.
FOF Survivor has been organized and hosted for the lat three years by Mark and Pat Hill. They go above and beyond planning, creating, and executing an amazing day for us. We all arrive around 9:00 am ready to find out what team we will be assigned to. Everyone brings a side dish to share (Pat and Mark provide a smoked Boston Butt for everyone). I will say…I wish I had taken a picture of the food…it was amazing.
Along with our side dish, we brought along items for the first two challenges. We usually select a charity or family to donate to through this event. This year, we selected two different causes. We chose to donate to Manna Food Bank through canned good donations, and we collected monetary donations for a family that has been a part of FOF for years. We brought our food for Manna as well as our donations. Through this simple effort (I told you we were competitive), we collected over 300 lbs of food and over $1,100 to donate to our dear friends.
Sunscreen and bug spray were applied, and we were ready to find out what team we have been placed on (and who are teammates would be). All couples were split up (for obvious reasons), and the teams were organized by Mark and Pat.
Manu, Toa, and Malosi…The Teams
This year, we played a team format. Points were awarded for each event. First place earned three points, second place earned two points, and third place got zero. This was so much fun because no one was voted off, and we were able to stay together as a team for the entire event. To get started, we lined up and were handed our colored bandana. Yellow was Team Manu, Green was Team Tao, and Purple was Team Manosi.
Our first two activities involved team building. Since we all know each other pretty well, these were full of laughs. We played the Saran wrap ball game to start with – put on oven mitts and try to unwrap the ball.
Next came the team flag competition. We have started FOF Survivor every year with this event, and Pat keeps the flags from each year. We have a few creatives folks, and a few of us that aren’t so creative. We had around 15 minutes to come up with a team design and paint that design on a pillowcase.
Tao knocked this one out of the park. However, for being ex-cheerleaders or teachers (not artists), the rest of us didn’t do that bad. It’s always funny to watch this competition…one person almost always takes over, and everyone else just stands back or does the coloring in :).
The prize for Tao was an automatic entry in the final round of tug-o-war. Win the winner of the flag competition was announced, we also found out that Manu won the canned goods and donation events.
The Events…Part 1
I’m not sure that I can even remember each event that we did. We did A LOT of them. We started the day with tug-o-war. Manu was the clear winner over both teams. We may have been going downhill, but how much of an advantage could that really be?
From there, we moved into relays. We had a bear crawl + three legged race relay up first. I swear, I have never seen some people bear crawl so fast in my life. Josh looked like a dang gorilla running through the forest.
Next came the doughnut eating relay. This was not my favorite. I don’t really eat doughnuts, especially week old doughnuts from the grocery store. Each team lined up, and one team member went at a time. The doughnuts were tied to strings, and they were swinging from a clothesline contraption. Without using your hands, you had to eat the doughnut, and once your mouth was been checked, you had to tag the next person. Thankfully, there were tarps on the ground, but a few of us ripped the doughnut off the string so hard that it went flying to the ground. Yum…a dirt covered stale doughnut :).
I’m going to get out of order here. One of the next events was a massive memory game. Looking out, there were so many red cups with matches underneath them. It took us a long time to make it through all the matches. This was my team’s worst event by far. I think we ended up with six matches while the other two teams has around 13 and 17.
The Warrior Carry made an appearance again this year. Mark and Pat have a nice gravel hill on their property that runs right next to a trail (covered in leaves). We selected the people that would carry and the people that would be carried. Then, the sprint was on. One group from each team sprinted up the hill with someone on their back, turned the corner, and made their way down the trail that was covered in leaves. I may have face planted with my partner on my back at the last part of the downhill, but maybe that was my plan to get us across that finish line…hahaha! I still can’t believe my slow motion fall wasn’t captured on camera.
A mental game was up next. We had runners and puzzle solvers. The runners had to run into the woods or jump into the creek to retrieve puzzle pieces. The puzzle pieces were then delivered via a runner to the puzzle solvers. Once all pieces had been given to the solvers, their job began. It’s scrabble style, and this year’s phrase was, “Sometimes the hard part is just showing up!”
The dreaded eating challenge. This challenge might be the most talked about and the most hated. Thankfully, this year, nothing was that awful. One person from each team came up to the table, and alternating each round, one team selected a number. The number got you a brown paper bag with something “delicious” inside. This year’s goodies included six Saltines, a can of vienna sausages, a dill pickle, a lime, a blazing beef jerky stick, a pack of Nature Valley granola bars, and the best one….a hot and spicy pickled sausage. Yuck! The two teams that ate the food the fastest won. I felt horrible for the group that got stuck with that pickled sausage…it looked absolutely disgusting.
After everyone felt like they might throw up from the yummy eating challenge, we went back up front for another relay. We used some stilts as well as a walking board. Everyone did pretty well with the stilts, but the walking board was a different story. It looks so easy, but coordinating 8-9 people with two boards is tough. Josh’s team rocked the walking boards. Maybe it was because his counting was SO LOUD, but they moved along at a really brisk pace. The rest of us simply struggled to get moving an inch at a time.
Now we were looking at a nice combo…85 degrees + and raw eggs. It was time for the egg smash. Each person had to take two turns. Half of the eggs in front of us were hard boiled, and half of the eggs were raw. You picked an egg, and you smashed it on the head of someone from a different team. If you had a hard boiled egg cracked on your head, you got a point. I will say…there may have been a little bit of aggression behind some of the egg smashes.
Last challenge before lunch….bobbing for apples. I had no idea that apple bobbing required so much skill. According to some, there is a clear strategy when it comes to apple bobbing. Take the apple to the bottom. Some folks were pretty good at this. Others, (myself included) felt like we were drowning in the bucket. This was another event that my team pretty much did awful at. Or, maybe we were just ready for lunch :).
After a nice lunch break, we headed back out for the final few events. We were not allowed to see the point totals for the teams, but we were told that it was still very close. Post lunch, we had just four challenges left.
We started with a relay. You had to run a zig zag through cones, run football style through tires, hurdle a sawhorse, spin 5 times with your head on a bat, and then run back. We had some mishaps on the hurdle…it was a little higher than it looked to some. Thankfully, despite a few falls, everyone was okay.
From the relay, we went into a blindfold game. Each team had a caller to direct the blindfolded pair to a marker. Once the pair got to the marker, they detached a bag with a letter in it, and the caller directed them to the drop point. After each pair collected the letters from four different poles (with three teams calling directions), a solver had to come decode a lock. The code was MEAT. Two teams got hung up on the code TEAM, but we eventually all figured it out.
Breaking from physical activity came flip cup. Apparently, we have some members of the FOF family that have had quite the practice in the game of flip cup. Tao came out on top without question. I swear, they all flipped the cup on the first or second try.
Finally…the last event. This one required putting a pair of panty hose, stuffed with a tennis ball on your head. You then had to swing the panty hose around and around until you knocked down a bottle of water. This was pretty freaking hilarious, especially for those that weren’t exactly getting the technique. Once you knocked your bottle over, you grabbed a sweet potato, ran with it in between your legs, and then you had to drop it in a bucket. This was extremely comical. It basically looked like we were all pooping sweet potatoes into a bucket. The last part of the relay required you to walk on pieces of wood with a string tied to them…this looks much easier than it actually is. After all that, you tagged your teammate, and the relay progressed.
And the winner is……
The point system worked beautifully, and the Hills did a great job organizing the teams. Only 6 points separated 1st place and 3rd place. This year’s winner of FOF Pace Survivor was…..
Pat ordered some awesome medals for us, and we had some custom trucker hats with the FOF logo made for the winning team.
We had an amazing time. It was a long day (9 – 4ish), but we had a blast. I will say, we definitely got a workout. I woke up more sore on Sunday from whatever we did at Survivor that my legs felt worse than they did after the Mt. Cheaha 50K.
This type of event is an incredible team building opportunity. Whether you organize something like this for your family, co-workouts, workout partners, or just your friends, I guarantee you will walk away closer.
Pick something to donate to. Challenge you participants to rally together and raise money, collect food, whatever. Then, go have fun! Be prepared for a little arguing (if you have a competitive group), but know that it’s all about having fun.