Last Thursday evening I rode a Divvy bike over to Soldier Field to partake in a Nike-sponsored decathlon-type event. Nike hosted this event so we could all get a taste of what their sponsored decathlete, Ashton Eaton, had to do as he competed for Olympic gold that same evening!
I knew very little about the decathlon other than an article I’d read about a week earlier. I wasn’t even sure what the actual 10 events were! And I had no idea what the 10 events Nike chose were going to be. Pretty sure they weren’t going to let us throw a real javelin, though.
Not me! But this is a photo from the event.
Anyway, I was one of a team of five Windy City Blogger Collective members and two boyfriends who gamely agreed to be the male part of our co-ed team. Our team of seven was assigned a “pacer” who would make sure we got from event to event and that our scores were recorded.
And what were our events?
In order we did:
- 100 meter dash
- Standing long jump
- Shot put
- Vertical jump
- 400 meter run
- 60 meter hurdles
- Medicine ball throw
- Sled pull
- 1500 meter run
I totally forgot to take a picture of my final scores! Actually, I forgot to take pictures of a lot of things. Honestly, I was having too much fun! Well, up until the javelin where my lack of dinner and the almost 9PM hour were making me grumpy.
Each person on the team got to attempt each event at least once and our pacer recorded our best scores. Each team had 10 minutes to complete each event so for some of them we got to try more than once. My personal favorite was the hurdles. Leaping over things while running is probably as close to flying as you can get.
Emily is doing a great recap of each of the events so if you want more detail I suggest you check out her blog! For me, I just want to focus on the highlights and lowlights.
- Free shoes! Seriously. As a “media” participant I got free shoes, a free duffel bag, and a free pin. The pins are allegedly even the same ones that Team USA took to the Olympics to trade with other countries.
- My fastest 400 meters ever (probably)!
- Second best vertical jump on my team
- Not knocking over a single hurdle
- Feeling really strong until I saw how awesome other people were! In the end, though, this just made me realize that we’re all good at something and, for not having any previous track and field experience, I’m not bad! That’s right. I never ran track and I never ran cross country!
- Hitting myself in the head with the javelin. Thankfully it was a plastic toy javelin. Still, it hurt!
- Getting tired, hungry, and grumpy by the 8th event. Now I know why real decathletes break their events up into two days!
The event ended with all the participants doing the 1500 meter run and ending on the field in Soldier Field. Then we took a bunch of photos before watching the awards ceremony while eating pizza in the stands. They put the Olympics up on the Jumbotron but I was way too tired to stay and watch.
I promise I’m in this photo. I’m actually in the second row hidden behind a sea of raised arms.
After this event I have so much more respect for decathletes! You have to be super well-rounded and have lower body, upper body, and core strength galore. So, props to Ashton Eaton for winning the gold in Rio this year! You have my utmost respect.
5K PR Training
- Monday 8/15 – Leg strength workout
- Tuesday 8/16 – 3 mile run & upper body strength workout
- Wednesday 8/17 – 6×400 run
- Thursday 8/18 – Leg strength workout and Nike Decathlon event
- Friday 8/19 – Upper body strength workout
- Saturday 8/20 – Rest
- Sunday 8/21 – 6.4 mile run