Monday, September 13, 2010

5K-ish in 35:42:00 isn't a PR--but DANG fun!! W/ LINKS to Picts.

Saturday I went for a nice little warmup on my healing heel.  I got a nice 3.25 miles in in 30 minutes.  Not to shabby, and as someone pointed out to me, that is their race pace, and I did that for my warmup getting the ankle back into training shape.

Sunday, was a WAY different story, and one I hope to repeat next year, only a bit faster.  You see, yesterday, I got the fam up, made pancakes (good pre-race meal right?), and got all the girls dressed.  We took Numbers 2, 3, and 4 to the in-laws so they could play with Grandma, and the Mrs. and Number 1 and I headed to the fields of North Plains to the Warrior Dash.  Now the Mrs. isn't a runner yet, but I do have her on the Couch-to-5K plan (insert evil laugh here) so I was the only one running this day.  We got to the site about dead on 12:00 noon, for my 1:00 race time.  Wondered through the crowd and found packet pick-up, gear check and the ID check booths.  Got wrist-bands, tied on the timing chip, was warned to make sure I still had my shoes at the end, and checked our stuff.  Number 1 had pockets so she got to hold the important stuff, like cash, and my free drink ticket.

We walked up to the course to watch the last three obstacles, the Warrior Roast, Tire step, and the mud pit.  When we got to the fires, they were diverting runners around it.  It took a couple of seconds to resolve what was going on.  As far as I could tell by the tableau before us, that a woman had cleared the first fire jump, but had stumbled and fell hands first into the second.  This was not a pretty scene, and one that caused my eldest to be very nervous for me until I finished.  They re-opened it while we stood there, and she was carted to the waiting ambulances.

Next we watched people stumble and fall through the tires, then to the mud pit.  Nice bit of fun this looked to be.  They have a guy with a garden hose spraying water on the runners and then down a short 4' drop to a watery mud pit followed by a low crawl under barbed wire to the another slope of mud, and then a short distance to the finish line.  While we are standing there, a large chap dressed as a viking jumps down into the pit.  We could tell that he thought it was deeper than it was, and he did not land well.  He took about 10 minutes to go the final 50 yards or so, and hobbled to the medics at the end.  I watched them tend to his right leg a while, then he too got carted off to the ambulance crews.  I'm thinking---"I am just getting over Achilles tendinitis am I nuts?"


Off to the line-up I go.  Try to stretch and warm the quads up in a "small" pack without kicking anyone.  The flames light up, and we are off.  We start down a steep little path, and talk about first turn pile-ups.  The first 300 yards are one big pile up.  We get stuff sorted for a short period, and we come to the first surprise obstacle.  A water crossing that by now is nothing but water rushing happily over very churned up mud, round the corner after getting wet to our calves and hello hill! The first of many long steep climbs.  One was steep enough that they ran ropes down in case you needed to pull yourself up.  Down a very steep hill, steep enough that I was afraid I would actually loose my footing and fall forward down the hill and take out the people in front of me.  At the bottom of that hill, into the "waist deep water" to then climb over log.  This water would have been waist deep to the late Manute Bol, it hit me just below my ribcage.  I ended in the drink more than once, and as some here may know, I don't like cold water and this water was cold.  Got out of there, and over some hay bales, then over a bridge that was a ladder climb up and over the road, then a run down along the parking lots to a bunch of little challenges, like two different cargo net cimbs, a small "repel" that had turned into a sit and slide down the mud.  We got to jump over a few cars then up some more gorram hills.  At this point, I am walking up the dang things because I figure as steep as they are, I could walk faster than I could run them, and based on the number of people I passed, I wasn't wrong.  At the top of one, we got to go through the "Blackout" trench.  Basically a ditch that they put a bunch of tarps over, then mad sure that it was very dark inside by having two sets of curtains to crawl through on each end about 6' apart.  Since I had seen pictures of someone's knee from Saturday's fun, I "spider" crawled through rather than hands and knees.  Down a little hill, just to climb the next one, and we are almost there.  Thanks for sticking with me so far, if I was ForeverRun (a.k.a. Sara) this would be the end....but I promised pictures.

At the end of the last climb, we get to the Warrior Roast.

This is the second jump and I had to showboat a little.

Through the tires was slow, as the Mrs had asked that I take some time for her to get to the mud pit.

This is after the first slide into the pit.  This mud was as much gravel as mud and my knees are a bit chewed up this morning.

But in the end...

A nice finisher's medal, and to the victor goes the spoils!

After this, a washdown in the Ganges, as the Mrs. was calling it.  They didn't have shower just another gorram cold pond for us to get most of the mud off.  A quick change of clothes and off to the beer and turkey legs!  The camera batteries had died by this time, and I don't have any shots of me getting "clean" of the party after.  But I would do this again next year--no question.

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