|My cousin and I before the course.|
Last year on Father's Day I ran the Warrior Dash after having breakfast and spending some quality time with my family. This year I ran it again, but this time my cousin Abby signed up to run with me. Throughout the months leading to the event, my cousin and I would keep teasing each other about how we were not going to be able to make it or that we didn't exercise enough, but once we got to Channahon, IL, there was no turning back.
Being that I ran it last year, I kind of knew what I was in store for the run, but when I looked at pictures online, it seemed like the course was changed a little. Since last year I arrived with only a few minutes to get my packet and stretch before the race, we decided to leave earlier this year. As luck would have it, again we arrived with a few minutes to get our packets and stretch before the race.
Along with my cousin, we were running with our family friend Jorge N., who was already there and waiting for us at the starting line. There was supposed to be a total of about ten of us running, but traffic held the rest of the group back and we decided to just run and meet up with them afterwards. With only about five minutes to stretch, my cousin and I decided to run at our own pace and just have fun with the race. I gave my little girl a hug and a kiss and asked her to wish me luck, then we ran to the starting line.
The event started off with a new obstacle which was a rope bridge that was pretty easy to go over and once we got over that the running began. As we ran along the path, my cousin and I would joke with each other or with the people around us. Doing this not only kept our minds off the intense heat, but it also made the run seem to go by faster.
|Climbing over the final cargo net wall.|
Once thing that Jorge and I were talking about after the race is that there were a lot more crawling and climbing obstacles than last year. We crawled through some trenches under barb wire, climbed up a few rope walls. One wall had a small pool of water before it and sprinklers showering down muddy water on us as we climbed it. Another wall, the rope was so soaked that it was hard to climb up.
One of the fun obstacles was a hill that had a wet tarp on it, like a slip-n-slide, with a huge pool of muddy water at the end of it. When I saw it, I thought "This is going to be fun!" but when I ran to slide down the tarp I did not move. For some reason or another my shorts keep getting stuck on the wet tarp and not letting me slide down. I would see people next to me sliding down like nothing and I had to use my hands to push me down the tarp.
While running through the course I kept sliding and falling down and this was largely in part to the fact that the front of my shoes were so worn down that there was no traction at all. This made climbing some walls kind of hard to do, but I didn't give up and kept pushing myself to get through.
Running along the path my cousin and I met a father whose daughter had signed them up as a Father's Day gift. When asked where his daughter was, he replied that she was somewhere ahead of him. We ran along with him for awhile cheering each other on, then we decided that after the course we should all celebrate with a beer together.
After a few more climbing obstacles, we started approaching the final obstacles of the course. The first obstacle was a huge muddy hill. In my last post I mentioned how this hill was hard to climb, due to the wet rope and the path being just too muddy. Now imagine me doing that with no traction on my shoes! What I decided to do was stick my heel in the mud when I climbed up to at least get a better grip. Next up was the cargo wall, which was no problem at all. The only two obstacles left were the fire jumps and the crawling through the mud under barb wire.
|Pretty cool action shot of me jumping taken by my wife!|
As my cousin and I approached the fire jumps we knew we were almost there. Two quick short jumps and we came to the final mud pit. This year it was more of a mud pool than a pit. Last year the mud was about calf deep and was hard to crawl on top of. This year it came to about my chest and I was able to swim under the barb wire. As I was swimming, I felt the tarp underneath me and started using that as a rope to pull myself across faster. Getting out of the mud pit was again hindered by my lack of having no traction on my shoes.
When I got out of the mud pit, my cousin was there waiting for me and we crossed the finish line holding our hand up high together. It was such a great experience sharing this with my cousin, but it was also greater seeing my little girl waiting for me with my wife at the finish line. Although she did start crying when she saw me covered in mud, my little girl was happy to see that I made it through the course.
My cousin stated afterwards that she had a lot of fun and can't wait to do it next year and hopefully this could become a tradition with us and I couldn't agree any more. This is definitely a great experience to have and I recommend you to try it a least once and see if you're not hooked. Last year I asked if any of our readers wanted to join me next year and Nathan commented, "I'll join you next time. Having a partner to push and push you will only help improve time and the fun." Unfortunately, we didn't run at the same time, but were there on the same day and Nathan posted pictures up of his run and he can't wait until next year. So, I'll throw the gauntlet again, anyone down to join me next year? Maybe we can make Fandad shirts to run in, maybe.
|My little girl and I after the course.|
|The entire group minus Jorge.|
|Jorge, myself and my cousin Abby.|