Monday, May 16, 2011

Warrior Dash!

UPDATE:  Official results are in - I finished the race in 33:49 with a 9:40/mile pace.  That puts me in 2,459th place overall and 162 in my age/sex group. 

This past weekend was spent getting ready for the Warrior Dash, running the Warrior Dash and recovering from the Warrior Dash.  Friday, Stephen and I ran a quick 2 miles to keep my legs ready and Sunday we didn't really leave the house.  Saturday was race day!

This was my second year running the Warrior Dash, but boy was it different than last year.  Basically the race is a 5k with crazy obstacles throughout the course.  They call it the “Craziest Frickin Day of Your Life” and while it was not the craziest day, DEFINITELY the craziest RACE of my life. 

Running with me this year was Kristen, her boyfriend, Daniel, Mibbie and Mibbie’s friend Emily.  We dressed alike with braids, camo shirts and headbands and we hit the course! 

after the race - covered in mud

The race starts out with what feels like a pretty standard one mile run then you hit the water.  Last year the water had about 20 yards of planks you had to walk across, this year it was just 50 yards of waist-deep water and mud to get across.  I did a combination of walking and swimming.  I’m not sure what was faster, but right out of the gate, you’re wet and muddy.  The next obstacle was to get across a field of tires while also climbing over junkyard cars.  This was different than last year where we only had the tires to work with, and we we’re soaking wet!

I may not remember everything exactly as we ran it, cut me a break, I was running while covered in mud and water.  The next obstacle we had were what I thought was the worst of the whole race – the over/unders.  The over: Scale a 4 foot wall.  The under: crawl under a wall with only 2 feet of clearance, in 100% mud.   Once or twice this wouldn’t have been bad, but I think there were 4 of each.  Then it was running again. 

The wall was the most daunting obstacle, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.  I thought I’d have more trouble because I have zero upper body strength, but I surprised myself.  This obstacle was totally new this year. 

Me (on the left) and Kristen are in the middle of the wall, above the top red helmet, about to go down the other side

There was more running, a cargo net we had to go up and down, a tunnel of black tarp we had to crawl through, a cargo net we had to crawl across, but we just walked the 2x4s on the edge, making it much easier.  There was a hill of tires which looked hard, but was more like climbing a ladder. 

At the end of the race, after a grueling half mile or so of a trail run uphill through the woods you come to the giant slip-n-slide to the mud pit, the most fun part of the race.  There is a picture out there somewhere of Kristen about to take out a poor guy at the bottom of the hill and then I took him out for a second time right after.  It should have been on video.  Then we hit the mud.  We were already 100% disgusting so we went for it, shoulder deep in mud, crawling under barbed wire.  It was awesome, far more fun than last year when I tried to stay semi-clean… not sure why. 

Getting to the mud pit.  The splash in the water is Daniel!  

 Yep - there we are, all the way in.  If you could see the close up - our faces are classic faces of determination

Then you got to clean off in another pond while crawling over barrels they had tethered in the water on our way to the final obstacle – the fire jump.  The big finish!  They looked higher than last year, but we had just come out of a lake, so I wasn’t worried about catching fire.  Some guy and run the race in a wedding gown with a train, so I wasn’t worried.  Then the finish line! 

We did it!!!  You can see the mud is everywhere

I have a bunch of pictures from a waterproof disposable camera that I had with me during the run but I didn’t finish the roll, so I haven’t developed them yet.  (Man have times changed since the days of taking film to be developed!)

I heard my time for the race was 33 minutes and I haven’t confirmed the seconds yet.  Mibbie and Emily killed the other three of us who finished together.  Daniel could have destroyed our time as well, but he stayed with me and so they could finish together. 

Not only did I have a great time running the race with friends, Stephen was there every step of the race where he could be to cheer us on.  It was great to get to the big wall and hear him cheering for us and to see him as we trudged through the mud pit.  The pictures on the blog are from Stephen. 

The race felt longer and more difficult than last year, and I loved every minute of it.  I came out of the race with mud and dirt from head to toe, even in my teeth.  I can’t wait for next year!

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