SOUTH LOOP — What's it like to obstacle race, city-style? It's kind of like having Bears nosebleed seats.
For Lakeview resident Leah Cox, 27, running up and down the upper deck stadium stairs — twice — was the toughest obstacle.
"There's just so many of them, and it's just so steep," she said after the race.
For Cox's boyfriend Eddie Garcia, 29, a tunnel obstacle that forced runners to squat while moving through was the most challenging.
"I felt like a cow crawling through the cages," he said.
But it was worth it.
"It's a full body workout," he said.
Competitors cheered each other on as they grabbed fellow runners' hands while climbing over 20-foot-high wooden walls or walking across 4-inch wide beams.
Obstacle course races "are a lot better than regular 5Ks because...it's awesome to see other people helping each other out," said Jenifer Weber, 19, of suburban Palatine. Also, "you get a break from running, which is nice."
Another runner, who gave his name as James B., of Hyde Park, found the obstacles to be mere "distractions."
"With the stopping and starting, it's almost frustrating," said the 30-year-old hobby runner who is used to competing in races without having to dance his feet through tires.
After crossing the finish line, runners enjoyed beer, food truck grub and music on the lawn just south of the stadium.
The after-race festivities were a motivating factor for some.
"Two more obstacles, guys," a volunteer encouraged from the bottom of Soldier Field's stairs. "And then there's beer!"