Terrain Race Sept 28th 2019 in Joliet Illinois

If you have a warrior instinct, listen to it...

In January of 2019, I decided to join my family do the Terrain Race in Chicago that was gonna happen on September 28th, but little did I know, the race will take an unexpected turn that I will later see that it was gonna be me against the world.

As I tell my side of the story, the real story, you will see that my favorite number 3 will soon become a bad luck number to haunt me for many years to come.  Lets start off by giving yall a little bit of history and back story on how we got here.

Back in 2014 at the ripe old age of 38, I was dealing with alot of personal health issues.  High Blood Pressure, overweight, everyone said that I was washed up. Too old and fat, knees all messed up to compete in any race, let alone one with obstacles.  So I made the decision and decided to start a goal to prove them all wrong.  My first obstacle race was gonna be the Spartan Sprint.   It was me, my brother, and my son.  To make a long story short, I was winning the race by a large margin, but my brother caught up to me as I was stuck on one of the last obstacles and won.  Losing that first one was a hard pill to swallow.  It kept me up for many days losing sleep, turning gray, no eye cream will ever work to take away the dark circles under my eyes. I had lost the Fleekness that I never had. Many years will go by before I give it another try in 2018, taking another shot at it, doing the Terrain Race where I went against a 19 year old young buck soccer player in which I whooped that ass and then only to again earlier this year over the summer in the Rugged Maniac against a Superstar Running Back with a 80 inch vertical jump, or at least I like to think so, (Jonathan) whooping his ass too.  With all these races, I decided to go thru them all one by one and get every medal from every race.

My sister Alexie earlier this year Posted that she had entered the Terrain Race in which I quickly replied: I’m in!!!  In my eyes, I had done the Terrain Race before, I had experience, I got this.  It started off with a handful of people but as time went on, more and more people joined, increasing the participants from 3 to over 20.  I was feeling pretty good, I was working hard toward that day, but soon i found out that I will be a one man show.  From the very first day I had started trash talking the other competitors trying to give them a reason to prepare, knowing that if they won, they will be the Reigning, Defending, Undisputed, Undefeated champion of the race.  I felt like I was at the top of my game, but later I will find out that was not the case.  Unbeknownst to me(yeah I’m smart, I use big words), a few members that joined later on this year decided and agreed that I was a threat.  And to beat this threat, they must join hands together to raise their odds.  So what they did was they started watching my brother Alex's Snapchat over the span of a few months and realized one thing: that this mug loves to eat and drink...   So Mikey, being the smart man that he is, did what he had to do.  He dug into his sky miles and attempts to fly my brother in for some wholesome brainwashing.

A few weeks go by, my little brother arrives and their plan was to convince him to join their team as they knew that my brother had beaten me in the Spartan Sprint Race by 3 minutes that first time and had some experience.  My brother walks in their house, Mikey wearing his best suit, pulls out a chair, Nahomy putts a hankie around his neck, On the table, there was an empty plate, 3 forks, 3 knives, some lotion, and some Werthers Original caramel candy, his favorite.  He is confused, wondering is he was the one ending up with an apple in his mouth on the table, until he sees Georgie, walking slowly to him showing off his new TEAM F*CK IT! tattoo on his neck, in his hand is a 15 inch plate with a well done huge juicy Ribeye steak, (you know, the one that’s $24.99/lb) fire roasted and flamed broiled marinated for hours in Adobo among other of the worlds finest seasonings money can buy and puts it in front of him.  Now let me remind you they were gonna go all out with their presentation, so the amount of money was not of importance.  So my little brother starts to dig in, doesn’t care about the utensils and grabs it with his hands boricua style.  He was destroying it the way zombies eat people as he hasn’t eaten since the day before (had a few bean burritos and was experiencing some occasional mild diarrhea).

So now the time has finally come, they all sat there around the backyard fire, mariachis playing his favorite song, a big 80oz glass of Don Q (Passion fruit aka "Palcha" flavor) and they say to him in a very calm tone, “Bro, if you join our clan, it doesn’t matter which one of us crosses the finish line first, the Champ will go down and you will be part of being a champ”!  With my brother’s eyes glistening from the smoke of the fire under the pale moon light, swallowing the last bite of that juicy 72oz Prime Rib eye steak fresh from the cow that was butchered the day before by my uncle Miguel, Mikey’s dad, everyone in the group held their breathe and my brother with one big last swallow of that mouthful of meat he had was followed by one big gasp, he accepted.  I later find out that my son was also compromised and turned against me, which I will explain later on. This was a major turning point for the Benitez Family, taking a page from the 4 horsemen back in WCW and knowing that if it worked for them, it can work for us.  It was at that moment that not only did my little brother become brainwashed and a traitor with 15 inches of steak, but he had joined forces making them now 6 strong and together created and formed the team we all now know as Team F*ck It!

To backtrack a little, this team was created months before the race in which I had not ever the slightest clue, thinking everyone was racing for themselves, and with all that trash talking that I was doing, they seem to only get stronger and strong taking their Flintstone vitamins, eating their fried spinach mixed with Wheaties, and as for me, my downfall was just beginning as the more trash I talked, the more lazy I got and started to believe my own hype.  Mike Tyson, Conor McGregor, Adrien Broner, Glass Joe, Barney, and others got to a point in their career that they were unstoppable.  The guy that played Barney got into doing adult entertainment but that is story for another day.

So the weekend finally arrives, I rent my car, get my kids, and off to Chicago I go. A 12 hour trip finally returning to the Windy City for the first time in about 8 years.  Chicago is not what I last remember.  I was having a hard time recognizing landmarks and buildings that were either not there anymore or had another building built in front of it.  The Windy City was telling me “you don’t belong here...  GO!!  VETE PAL CARAJO”!!!  But I was here for one thing, to make history.  Spend a night with my sister Alexie, after driving 12 straight hours, my body was beat and I quickly went to bed. The next day was the day that I was gonna stay at my cousin Mikey house, which we now know as my nemesis but at the time I thought we were cool. We had dinner at Bills Pub, got together with a few friends that I’ve known since I was a teen, ate pizza, wings, and tons of peanuts. Mikey has a huge all beef hot dog but that is a story for another day. Later that night, we get to his house, beds are ready to be slept in, and my plan was to get up early and just be ready to do this.

The next day I wake up in the morning, instantly having a very big headache which in the histories of histories, headaches is something I rarely get. Another thing I also realized is that I woke up with a HUGE thirst for some water. Throat was super dry and I needed to have a drink.  All of a sudden, I hear someone coming down the stairs, it was Mikey.  We was in full running gear, had all this energy like if he had not 2, not 4, but 12 chips ahoy cookies with a full glass of milk, his phone in hand with someone talking.  A few moments later there it was, The Eye Of The Tiger.  Mikey was trying to Mock me, running around the room, showing me that he was ready to take the title.  It was a great spectacle until he got on the treadmill.  Upon stepping on it, it looked like to me like he was gonna warm up and jog a little, but the treadmill was unplugged.  Not today Mikey, the title will come back home. He went back upstairs and I continued to get ready. The weather was calling for rain, wind, and cold temperatures on race day, and that is the way I wanted it I felt it was to my advantage and was feeling great about the whole thing, walking around with the belt, bragging on how all those asses were gonna get whooped, and then I go upstairs.  I get to the kitchen, the whole team was there and I realized that everyone is wearing a black headband.  I take a peak at the headbands and they all said TEAM F*CK IT!   It was at that moment that I knew, I f*cked up.  I was blindsided. Ambushed from all 4 sides.  I realized that we were no longer a team,  I was alone.  Why did I feel alone?  Well there is a simple answer for that question....


I was pumped, I was ready to take care of business.  But I had a problem, I was not feeling right at all.  Anxiety maybe?  🤔 I know what you’re saying, it’s either 1 of 2 things. Either EXCUSES EXCUSES....  or DITOOOOOO el nene de mami se siente mal!!!!  My cousin asked if we wanted breakfast, and his way of asking was pretty much Gumer style.  Breakfast was already cooking, which was about 45 hard boiled eggs, the breakfast of champions which was good with me. 3-4 eggs a day will keep the doctor away, or was that apples...   Anyways after eating 3 eggs, I was still dealing with the same issue, my throat was still so dry, the thirst was still there. Headache, also still there. Maybe I was just Car Lagged from driving those 12 hours just days before.  Who knows.  But I was not gonna let that stop me as I am a Vega and Vega’s go hard into war alone or with a team, healthy or injured, tall or short, fat or skinny, we still give it 200% and leave everything out in the battlefield CARAJO!!!  From the minute that I woke up till the minute we got into the car to leave, I had drank about 3 big glasses of water.  An act that I will soon regret on our way to the Terrain Race.

We get in our cars, I make sure the championship belt is securely fastened in the back seat, and we start to drive towards Joliet. It was gonna take about an hour to drive there and the weather was cold and windy with lots of rain, making the roads more treacherous.  I’m following close behind Team F*ck It when I hit the first toll.  $1.90?  Are you kidding me?  Tolls used to be 40 cents when I was living here.  This felt like Illinois was telling me to go back from the parts of which I came from.  I noticed that Team F*ck It had an I-Pass so they were gonna get there way faster than we were.  So have way thru we end up hitting another toll.  Again it was $1.90.  Crazy.  How did they get this high and how did we get so many tolls.  I mean we are only driving one hour and already we coughed up $3.80, that’s enough to get 2 bean burritos at Taco Bell.  But this was only the beginning…  Upon getting within 10 minutes from the Terrain Race, we hit a third and final toll.  $3.80.  This was double of the 2 previous tolls.  So just to recap, we have driven less than one hour from Mundelein Illinois to Joliet Illinois and we had to pay 3 tolls for a grand total of $7.60 which is pretty much a steak burrito with extra sour cream here in Atlanta.  Now Imagine if you drove to work and back every day thru here.  Don’t rack your brains, Ive done the math.  It will cost you $76 a week, around $350 a month, almost $2,000 a year….  JUST IN TOLLS!!!  Imagine the thousands and thousands of people that pass thru every day.  For example, an easy number daily lets just say 25,000 and I’m sure it’s way more but let’s start here. They collect almost $200,000 a day which is a shitload of money and I remember the tolls that are supposed to pay for a bunch of construction be up for 10, 15, even 20 years. Do the math.  How expensive are these projects?  Something smells fishy around here, but for now, let’s stick to the story of the Terrain Race. 

So I pay the 3rd toll and take the exit that put me about 7 miles from the event. Remember those 3 tall glasses of water from earlier?  This is where it comes back to haunt me. About 5 miles from the even, I get this strong urge to urinate.  Now this wasn’t your ordinary slow warning, this came on very sudden and it had to be now.  For some reason my body had to dispose of these fluids right then and there.  I wish you would of seen me.  I was dancing from side to side, bouncing on my seat like a 4 year old, using every ounce of energy I had not to pee my shorts.  I was sweating, I was panicking.  I was actually asking myself, “Am I gonna make it to the bathroom”?  I was having one of those moments where I was trying to control my breathing, similar to when a woman is giving birth.  It was really intense.  So about 2 miles from the event, I get off the exit and I saw that there were 2 gas stations.  The only problem I was having was that in the panic, I didn’t know if they were to the left of the exit, or to the right.  Driving down I had about 10 seconds to make a decision.  It was a decision that I knew if it was the wrong one, I would not be racing today.  As I approach the stop sign, I made a left.  Immediately upon turning, I realized I had turn the wrong way. They I turned had nothing in that direction, only houses and some buildings and I can see the street light about 1/4 mile down.  Wanting to do a u-turn, I was doing my breathing techniques combined with the bouncing and dancing maneuvers and trying not to talk, as it would for sure trigger the unforgiving flow of death. And then the unthinkable happened. I get to the stop light, and as I started to do the u-turn, someone in the car decided to rip one and that was pretty much the boiling point for me. It was coming and I had about 10-15 to abort from the car.  So I quickly pulled over and ran behind a tree and let me tell you, another 5 seconds and I would have been on my way back Georgia right away. Today I was lucky, but I had used up a lot of my energy in those moments that my performance in the race was questionable.  But the show must go on no matter what.

So I get to the event.  Team F*ck It is there, but my sister and her side are not there yet. They are running a little behind and so is my mom and other sister which were one of my biggest fans including my great niece which I was gonna have her hold the belt which I was for sure was coming back for it, but there were unforgiving ailments going on within me.  Thirsty, headache, the whole chicken dance I did in the car was such a workout, it was pretty much like running a 10k so I was pretty exhausted even before the race began, but the show must go on.  My sister arrives, and my mom and we get ready to get the race going by 10am. By this time it had been raining and cold winds blowing, we were pretty much in the North Pole.  Felt like -10 degrees and being in Georgia for 15 years, I lost my ability to stay warm, and the shaking of my body was burning nonstop calories consuming much of the little energy I had left.  But the show must go on.  We all get together, take some last minute photos, and on to the starting line we go. At this point, I was in desperate need of a nap. Already have dealt with so much and the race hasn’t even started yet. The dude on the mic starts talking, he says pretty much that he doesn’t care who is running, no need to wait...  Ready, Set.....  GO!!!!

The time has finally come, the moment we all been waiting for, we all start to run.  In the front of the pack is me and 4 members of Team F*ck It.  We pretty much were on the same pace approaching the first obstacle which was jumping over some wooden walls along with another short wall shortly after.  It was at this moment that I decided to show my dominance. I was in 4th place and I started to pour it on, closing the gap ready to burst into the lead, I gently let out some kind words of encouragement.  I say to them in a subtle gentle tone:  AQUÍ VIENE EL CAMPEÓN, EL CAMPEÓN DEL MUNDO!!!  Which means: HERE COMES THE CHAMPION, THE CHAMPION OF THE WORLD.  They shared a giggle among themselves and continue to run. The third obstacle we had to flip some Bigfoot tires. Lucky for me I managed to get a few people in between us and I blasted into the lead.  I was winning.  Even thought the odds were against me both inside and outside my body, there was some hope that I truly was, gonna whoop all their asses.  I continue to run and as I look back, none of them are in sight.  Here is my chance to increase the lead by getting more people between us which will take them longer to complete the obstacles.  Yes this was my plan, and I was so sure that it was gonna work. And then the unthinkable happened. I was in line waiting to complete the next obstacle, and I get this soft smack to my back along with the utter of the words, “What’s up Papa”.  That put chills in my soul cause I had given it a lot to increase the lead but there was my cousin, my enemy, my nemesis right next to me.  From this moment on, it was just me, my brother, and my nemesis Mikey.  And the more time we ran, the further away my cousin Mikey got away from us. I slowly saw my chances slipping away and there was nothing i could do about it.  At one point Mikey looked like a small black dot in the distance.  My belt was about to be taken from me.   The best that I can possibly do is 2nd place, but did I have enough in the tank to make this happen.  Only time will tell.

So as my cousin is running hard in 1st place, trained for this race and came well prepared gets further and further away, my brother was next to me running trying to keep a steady pace, complaining on his ankles were hurting and wish he had a tissue to blow his nose, and he was being unusually chatty for some strange reason.  Being so exhausted cause remember, I started with half a tank due to all the energy I used not to urinate in my pants, I said to myself, "Is this a tactic"?  He was saying the weirdest things almost like if he wanted to cry, saying how he appreciate it being his big brother, showing him all the ropes growing up, free adult entertainment, remembering the snuggie blanket I gave him for Christmas, teaching him to ride a bike, talking about how one day when he gets married and had a son, he would name him Liro, my nickname. The numbness from the cold rain had me very confused.  I think he was trying to subdue my warrior instincts by pretending and had me feeling like we were having a brotherly moment. Not knowing that the whole time that we were running he was stalling me from catching up to my cousin, allowing him to get many minutes ahead of us.  Like I said before, he’s a traitor and I was ambushed by all of them with mental warfare, starting with that huge pot full of eggs, but I should of known better. I should of followed my natural instinct and showed no mercy from the very start, but it was cold and my mind was numb, I couldn’t tell the difference between his lies and the truth.

So me and my brother, side by side, approach the last obstacle which was a high net wall.  Upon being about 100 feet away, I made the mistake to push a little too hard to get to the structure first.  There were a lot of people climbing and finding a direct path to the top was a little difficult but just as I approached, there it was.  One direct path to the top, up and over and to the bottom.  At this point, I had a lot of issue going on.  I was exhausted, weak, emotional with my brothers story, thirsty, head was still pounding, but I was determined to finish this race one way or another. Breathing so hard, I hit the floor first and I see my brother dangling about 10 feet about to hit the ground as well.  I look forward, I see the finish line.  So in my mind, being 44 years old, the cold started to play tricks on me.  Its like I was moving in slow motion, but my brother was moving at normal speed.  I said screw it, this is for all the marbles right here, right now.  I decided that although I had nothing left, I was gonna go full power.  So I start to gun it to the finish line, nothing is stopping me, nothing in front of me but air and rain.  I was running on fumes and on auto pilot.  If I was a plane, I would of definitely crashed and burned.  I look back, my brother is also gunning it to the finish line.  I had specifically cut my hair in a mohawk to be more aerodynamic exactly for this moment right there, but the rainbow tutu was slowing me down, kinda like running with an open umbrella against a hurricane.  I had to make a choice, take a few seconds to take off the tutu or just give it everything I got.  With my brother getting closer, I decided to go for it.  Here we were, like a fierce lion chasing a tasty Dik-Dik in the middle of the Sahara. Its a real animal in the Sahara, look it up...  In my mind all I can think of was one Phrase:  Akuna-Matata!!!  Yes it’s a wonderful Phrase, but not at this moment in time.  We both run for it, my head is cutting thru the air, my tutu is slowing me down, Body is burning and my brother is getting closer and closer.  The finish line is only a mere 100 feet away and I start to have Dejavu.  Is this happening again?  Is my brother coming back and beating me again like he did 7 years ago.  Not today Alex, not today.  Well, that’s what I said to myself but I wasn’t believe it one bit.  He was on high speed stretching his legs so much that his ass was literally inches from the ground.  10 feet from the finish line, side by side, running on fumes and on full speed, I look over and I see this huge smile on my brothers face, knowing full well that he has come back again to beat me once more.  As he crosses the finish line with his finger up at a time of 41 minutes 30 seconds, I follow close behind at a time of 41 minutes 33 seconds.  Yes you got it, by only 3 seconds he takes second place.  And what place did I get?  Yes, 3rd as in the number 3.  I run into my nemesis Mikey which had an awesome time of 34 minutes 59 seconds, totally destroying everyone in the race, including all his team mates.  He grabs me and let me tell you, if he didn’t hold me for those 15 seconds, I would of fell in the mud cause I had nothing left.  Tired, crushed, defeated, we had a new champion.  He trained hard for this, he deserved it.  I slacked the last few months, I deserved to lose it especially with all that trash talking I was doing for over 6 months.  A lot of people were happy I lost, only a few die hard fans were not.  Either way, the purpose of this race was never about the belt or who was better, it was about all of us being together after so many years and continuing the tradition every year from now on.

Now with all that said, this is where the conspiracy against me was at.  Upon arriving, Mikey called my sister Alexie and were looking for ways to take me out even before the race began.  So my sister did what any loving sister would do to her loving brother from another mother after so many years, she fed me.  I arrived at her house, knocked on the door, having no idea what the night had in store, walked in to a pizza puff and not just a pizza puff, but the mother of all Pizza Puffs.  It was HUGE!!!  which was SOOOOOOOOO good.  Lots of fat and carbs in that thing.  Then the next day my other sister cooked for us.  Chicken with rice and beans with potatoes.  SOOOOOOOO good.  Lots of carbs in that as well.  We all meet up at Bills Pub, what do I eat?  A bunch of pizza.  SOOOOOOOOO good.  Lots of carbs in that as well.  On race day, huge headache from hell, I almost peed myself, took as much energy to hold it in as a woman giving birth, I was super thirsty, and I had a tutu that was not aerodynamic at all.  Yes, I was racing with 80lbs on my back while everyone else was running as light as a feather.  Today, I look back and I wish I could of changed a few things, but one thing is for sure.  I'm not a quitter, I will never give up, I will hunt you down, and I will get my revenge.  Next time will be a different ball game.  Next time I will follow my warrior instincts and not only destroy the competition, but also get my championship belt back.  Only one reason why I lost, and that is because I love you guys.  So yes, its all you guys fault.   So with that said, you have 6 months!!!