googlea875c0213e6e807d.html] Fandads: I Survived the Warrior Dash

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I Survived the Warrior Dash


If you remember I put up a post awhile back about how I was trying to get myself in shape for the Warrior Dash that took place on June 19th. A little more than a week later I filled you in on my progress and started to worry and second guess my attempt at completing this obstacle course.  Well, it's be over a week and let me tell you that I survived and it was a great experience. 

The morning started with a Father's Day breakfast at my parent's house where I was surprised by my sisters and wife who bought me a grill.  After some fine eating and spending time with my dad, it was time to take the hour long drive to Channahan, IL for the Warrior Dash.  One of the things that had me excited about going on this adventure was that I had my wife and little girl with me.  I thought this would be a great way to show my little girl that her daddy does crazy and fun things.

That entire morning I was feeling a bit nervous, but I think it had to do more with excitement than actual nerves.  Once we were on our way I started feeling relaxed, but I started getting nervous again when the traffic wasn't moving and I felt I wouldn't make it for my start time.   Fortunately, we arrived with about twenty minutes to spare and I got my registration packet, which included my number bib, a t-shirt, a warrior helmet and my electronic chip that tracked my time.

logo
Waiting for the dash to begin.
background
We're off!!

Knowing that I didn't train enough for this event I decided not to push myself too much and just go at my own pace.  The course was only 3.25 miles, but I knew the obstacles were going to make it difficult for me in the long run.  The race started off pretty good, I was running at a good pace and the first obstacle was not really an obstacle it was just a section of the path that was really muddy that people were just slipping and falling trying to get past it. 

As I continued running, the path consisted of running up and down hills, running through tires and climbing over cars.  I felt pretty confident about my stride and picked up the pace a little to get over the bigger obstacles to come.  Some of these obstacles included: pulling yourself up a wall with a rope, jumping across strategically placed platforms, climbing over boxes and running up mud covered hills.  I did fall down a few times in the mud, but I would just pick myself up and keep going.

About halfway through I started feeling the lack of training catching up with me.  I felt my body getting tired and I decided to slow my pace down and conserve my energy for the finish.  The cool thing about slowing down was seeing how some of the other participants were helping each other through the course or cheering each other on as they would pass you along the way.  The sense of camaraderie was present all around me and that energized me to pick up my pace again and finish strong.

As I approached the end, the first of the last three obstacles was the hardest for me.  We had to climb up a steep hill that was drenched in mud.  While we climbed up other hills that were muddy, this one was harder because you could either climb up without using the rope or using the rope.  Obviously, I choose the rope way, but if the person in front of me slipped they would slide down taking me down and anyone else behind me.  There were a few times where I helped the girl in front of me not fall, but I did slip a few times and was able to keep my grip on the rope.

After the steep mud wall.

Cargo net wall.

Homestretch to the finish!

After that hill all that was left was the big cargo net wall, jumping over a few lines of fire and the mud pool with the barb wire.  The cargo net wall was no problem, same with jumping over the fire, but the mud pool was a different story.  The mud was about middle of my calf deep, but I had to crawl through it to go under the barb wire.  This was really hard to crawl through, because the mud was really thick and I was trying to keep my head above the mud, but after I crawled through it there was just a small mud path to the finish line.

At the finish line we were handed our medals for completing the dash and given some water and a banana.  They had a guy with a fire hose hosing people down and believe me after crawling through the mud, you needed to be hosed down.  For running the race everyone got a free beer and they had these huge turkey legs, which I thought were free, but you had to pay for them.  There was a live band playing throughout the event and after the final participants finished the race, awards were handed out for best time, best costume, etc.

For not having that much time to train, I think I did good for my first time running this event.  My official time was 47:04:05 and I finished 257 in my age group out of 536.  My overall place was 3384 out of 8200 participants. 

This was a great experience and I'm glad I did it.  I know that I will prepare better for next years, but now I am eying a few events that take place later this year and I will keep you posted on how those go.  Although she is almost two, I think my little got to see another side of me and I hope that next year she will have a better time watching her daddy run in the mud.  If any fandads want to join me for these events let me know, maybe we can start a team.

Thanks for reading.