Sunday, October 7, 2012

Warrior Dash!

At the beginning of this year I made a list of goals that I would like to achieve before year-end.  They were a mixture of things including financial, spiritual, personal, parental and fitness related.  Back in the day when I used to work, I would set goals, so why not have a clear path for myself this year since this is my job now!  One of those fitness related goals was do an adventure race.

Adventure races can be a little of anything, but they usually encompass running along with other challenges.  I tried to convince friends to do one back in March with me, but no one would agree because it was too cold and the host city was 2 hours away.  However, the Warrior Dash was just 40 miles north of Birmingham, and Shannon and her sister were already signed up, so I did the same!

Before the race (and the rain)
The Warrior Dash is put on by a company in Chicago, and is country-wide.  It is a 5K (3.2 miles) race with running and obstacles in between.  Dependent on the location, the obstacles can vary.  This particular race was held in Warrior, AL (pure coincidence that the city name matched the race name) on a farm.  Unfortunately it was a cold, rainy day so we were wet and freezing before the race even got started.  The race has a multitude of heats (one every 30 minutes) to prevent too many people from being on the course at one time.  Though we were signed up for heats later in the day, we all jumped into the 10:30 heat so we could be home at a reasonable time.  We were told that our official times wouldn't be tracked because of that.

After the race!

The race started with some running (which helped warm me up), then we were crawling through mud and jumping over hurdles that went to my chest.  Then more running before the course led us into muddy trails through the woods.  Because the trails were so steep (we needed to go up and down them) and they were pure mud, I kept losing my footing.  As I would run down the trail, my feet would literally go sideways .  Many people were falling, but I just kept catching trees as I went down to stabilize myself.  In between the running, there was more crawling through mud, under barbed wire, going through a crazy maze of string going all different directions, climbing a 30 foot net (and back down the other side), swimming (yes, the water was over my shoulders) in a very cold and dirty pond, jumping over fire and more things that I can't remember.

Shockingly, this was an incredible experience and one that I can't wait to do again!  After finishing in 38 minutes (my official time was recorded after all), I waited for my cohorts to finish.  When I spotted Shannon and started shouting for her, I heard someone else doing the same.  When I turned around, I noticed her mom, dad, Christian and sweet Lucy cheering for her too.  We all watched her finish, and then waited for Heather to do the same.  After we all were done, we posed for a few more photos, got sprayed down with a fire hose, donated our muddy shoes and hiked back to our cars.

Though it took me a couple of hours to warm up, thanks to a hot shower when I finally got home, it really was a fun race.  Had it been better weather, I probably would have gone back out on the course one more time that afternoon.  It really was fun, and awesome seeing all of the people in the crazy costumes!  I've already put next year's Warrior Dash on my calendar.... October 19, 2013!!

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