EVENT REPORT: Beat the Marines

Fit & Training door thijs

Somehow my mind gets triggered when people ask me to join challenging  fun- uncommon-insane sport events. And before I know it , I sign up for them. This also happened when Madelon Baans - a fierce Fit Girl / former Olympic swimmer at my gym - asked if anyone wanted to join her for an “obstacle race” called “BEAT THE MARINES”. Something with water and the challenge to be faster than the guys of the Royal Dutch Marine Corps was all we knew and all it took for me to sign up!! And yet again this Fit Girl got herself involved in a challenge which no one knew the outcome of. LOVE IT! 

The port of Rotterdam is the one of the largest ports in Europe, located in the city of Rotterdam - The Netherlands. It’s one of the world’s busiest ports. Every year the port of Rotterdam organises a three day event in the first weekend of September: World Port Days Rotterdam. Everyone is invited to take a look in the port life. You can enjoy demonstrations on water, given by the water police or the marines. Enjoy guided tours on old and new ships or celebrate these days with music events, joining work-shops, having port dinners or enter a challenge like “BEAT THE MARINES”. This year’s theme was “Whatever you dream, you can turn it into reality in Rotterdam. Make it happen!” - DREAM PORT - So this Fit Girl did! Dreaming of beating the Marine Corps in what they do best! Whahaha ;)

[caption id="attachment_26617" align="aligncenter" width="620"]Beat the Marines 2015 Photo by Erwin van Leeuwen[/caption]

Beat the marines

Well, actually it was very simple. With a team of 8 you needed to be faster in an
Amphibious obstacle race than the Marine Corps. The only thing was that we had NO IDEA what this amphibious obstacle race had in store for us and to make matters more challenging - our team met each other for the first time; 30 minutes before the actual event. Double challenge, since teamwork was the key element to win the race!

There were five teams:

  1. Marine Corps
  2. Survival Specialists (that’s us - we were very surprised with this label, but we rolled with it )
  3. CrossFit Hoogvliet
  4. Hockey ladies
  5. Hockey boys

Each team had 30min. to row a trail in the water in a rubber marine boat without getting hurt and losing one of your teammates along the race. After we had a professional briefing, I have to point that out, of the Marine Corps Captain and the gamer watcher of the event, we had time to practice our rowing skills and come up with our battle plan! We needed to be smart here because rowing was not our specialty. So every team member got a task to make sure we would finish. Mine: row like crazy and cheer everyone up!

[caption id="attachment_26620" align="aligncenter" width="620"]Beat the Marines 2015 Survival Specialists ;) - photo by Erwin van Leeuwen[/caption]

And since the Marine Corps is all about safety we got ourselves a helmet, a life jacket and orders what to do in case of an accident or when you or one of your teammates got injured. So yeah we were good to go!

Our race was bad ass fun!

First we were transported in a large boat of the Marine Corps to the starting location. The first obstacle was to get in our rubber boat without falling into the water after the go-ahead sign was given. So we needed to slowly slide our boat into the water at the back of the large boat.

[caption id="attachment_26618" align="aligncenter" width="620"]Beat the Marines 2015 Photo by Erwin van Leeuwen[/caption]

Then we needed to row as fast as we could towards the first buoy, get around it, and row back to the platform in the middle of the trail to get out of our rubber boat, climb over the railing with the rubber boat. Than pass to the other side of the platform to jump back into the boat, launch into the water and row towards another buoy.

This time we needed to row towards the other side of the platform and again cross the desk with all of the team members and our rubber boat. OH and don’t forget the 8 paddles which went all over the place. Let me say here, that is was a good thing we had helmets on! YES!

After crossing this madness we needed to row ourselves back again towards one of the buoys and row toward the middle of the platform where a rope net was hanging in the water. Each team member needed to climb over the net without falling into the water and climbing back safely into the rubber boat on the other side. Maximum arm muscle burn proof and therefore it was all about the strength in your legs. YES NAILED IT. After this obstacle we needed to once more get around a buoy and then row like crazy towards the finish tapping into the Marin Corps flag.

[caption id="attachment_26622" align="aligncenter" width="620"]Beat the Marines 2015 Racing towards the finish... and the winner is…. - photo by Erwin van Leeuwen[/caption]


The “survival specialists” - that’s us-, nailed the amphibious obstacle race in 22.39min. Which was considered a very good time! YES, that’s what the captain said. Again I like to point that out! :)

So okay… the Marine Corps was so freaking fast that when we were done practicing rowing they already finished. 15.39 sharp! Well done gents! We didn’t beat you this year, but the “survival specialists”  dare you for a revanche next year :) Because the price (engraved paddle) looks better on us ;)

[caption id="attachment_26616" align="aligncenter" width="620"]Beat the Marines 2015 Photo by Erwin van Leeuwen[/caption]

The clue of this story: ALWAYS DARE 2 CHALLENGE! Of course we knew that we would not beat the marines, and totally underestimated the other teams ;) but we had fun, it was an awesome experience, great work-out and I made new friends on Facebook ;) So Fit Girls when and where is the next crazy sport event? Let us know, I might join you!