Another week has flown by! This past weekend we found ourselves traveling again. This time we were going back to my hometown in Pennsylvania to visit my family and to run the Warrior Dash!
The Warrior Dash races are a series of events across the country that involve running and going through crazy obstacles. I had done one last October and LOVED IT!
The race involved climbing, crawling, going through swamps and over logs, mud pits, fire, and more! It was dirty and so much fun. I knew I had to come back and do it again with Kevin. So we found out that they were coming back to the area on June 11 and 12th and we signed up immediately!
We downloaded our waivers and signed our lives away…
And we left early Saturday morning, nice and clean and ready to be WARRIORS!
The drive to the race was about one and a half hours north of where I live in the Philly suburbs. It was raining when we arrived and the parking lot was already muddy and slippery. I knew we were in for a wet and dirty day.
When we finally found a parking spot we waited in a long line for the bathroom and then another long line for the shuttle bus that would take us to the start area.
As we were waiting for our buses people started returning to the parking area once they were finished with their races. They were all super muddy and everyone was laughing and having a good time, and it made me even more excited for our wave that was starting at 11.
Once we actually got to the race area we still had to pick up our bibs, timing chips, shirts and WARRIOR HATS (to be seen in a later picture). Then we had to check our bag of clean and dry clothes. By the time all of that was finished we had only 15 minutes to spare before our 11 am start time. The race had waves of 500 people each that began every thirty minutes. It helped stagger the crowds a bit but it was still packed everywhere. I was so glad we left the house when we did that morning!
Our race started right at 11 and it was very crowded. The whole course is spread across a Paintball park that goes through the woods, open fields, and trails. The ground was muddy from the start and it was hard to move very fast because of the volume of people.
Our first few obstacles came quickly and before I knew it I was crawling on the ground through a “blackout” tunnel that seemed to last forever. After that we had to “jump” over a series of TALL boards. When I say jump I mean, try to jump and then hoist myself over it with the zero arm strength that I have. After jumping each board we had to crawl under barbed wire to get to the next board, then it repeated that way six times. By the last one my arms were jello and I needed a boost from Kevin!
Then we ran a bit more, and ended up at an obstacle that had us running up a very thin wooden balance beam then running back down it. The balance beam was in an upside down V shape. I have TERRIBLE balance issues due to inner ear problems and this obstacle really messed with my equilibrium. I got to the top and felt dizzy so I had to sit down and scoot down on my butt on the way down. Kind of embarrassing but oh well, I got it done!
The next few obstacles were quick- crawling through tubes, getting through a tangled web of strings that were attached to trees, trying not to twist an ankle on the rocks and roots that were everywhere (note to self- do ankle strengthening exercises! Mine are weak!). The one that put me over the edge was when we had to drag ourselves through knee-high THICK sludgy mud. It smelled so bad, I think it was more than just mud, if you know what I mean. I was gagging the whole time! It was like quicksand and everyone was sinking and getting stuck. Some people even lost their shoes and continued on without them.
Next we went into the waist-high water and crossed a river, followed by more trail running and ankle-twisting. Then we came across a huge wall that we had to climb up using a rope. Kevin estimated that it was about 25 feet tall. There were some ledges to help us get up, but they were all super muddy so my feet kept slipping. Not to mention my upper body was dead so I couldn’t pull myself up. At this point I saw some people actually give up on this obstacle and walk around the wall, but I didn’t want to do that. The guy behind me (dressed in a beer bottle costume) gave me a lift and I was able to pull myself up the rest of the way from there. But when I got to the top my equilibrium messed with me again and the view looking down on the skinny flimsy board was too much for me! I started to panic and had visions of myself falling on my head. Luckily, Kevin was there at the top waiting for me and he talking me through it and I made my way down the other side.
We only had a few more obstacles after that- including climbing over hay bales, climbing a huge cargo net, running over old beat up cars, running through a field of tires, and jumping over fire! By this point, 3.5 miles had felt like 15 miles and we were exhausted. We saw the mud pit at the finish line and Kevin took a BIG leap right into it!
How awesome is that picture???!!!
Then we crawled in the mud pit, being sure to stay low because there was barbed wire above us. When we got to the end we stood up and ran to the finish line together.
The guy next to Kevin at the finish line is the one in the beer bottle costume that helped me over the wall!
We were tired, we were muddy, we were so happy! We had the best time together! Our finishing time was 50:54. We definitely didn’t set any records but that didn’t matter to us. We had so much fun and we did it together.
We slowly made our soggy way back to where we checked our stuff and changed into clean(er) clothes. We also put on our warrior hats now that we had earned them!
Then we walked around the finish area and did some people watching. There were so many people in hilarious costumes. The race had waves until 6 pm, so there was a constant flow of people coming in and out.
Eventually we made our way back to the shuttle bus and back to the parking lot. Once we were back in the car we were able to really see how dirty we were.
I also noticed my poor beat up knees! It’s hard to see in this picture, but my legs are destroyed. It’s probably from all the crawling on rocks and dirt.
We were starving so we stopped at Subway on the way home. We definitely got some looks from confused people…
It was so much fun. I already want to do another one. Maybe something even more challenging next time- like Tough Mudder??? 🙂
Here is my Weekly Run-Down:
- Monday: 6 mile run (56:44/9:27 pace)
- Tuesday: 6 miles of speedwork- 1 mile warm up, 1600 x 3 @ 7:37 pace, 1 mile cool down (Splits were 7:29, 7:26, 7:31)
- Wednesday: Rest
- Thursday: 6 mile run (55:51/9:18 pace)
- Friday: Rest
- Saturday: Warrior Dash Race – 3.5 miles (50:54/14:32 pace)
- Sunday: 14 mile run (2:09:49/9:16 pace)