The Warrior Dash was yesterday in Jackson. I thought I would let you know how it was (from the point of view of one “meandering toward fitness.”)
It was a cloudy, dreary day. For the first time all spring, it didn’t get up to 60 degrees in the South. Our heat time was 8:00 a.m. So we got up and headed to the bus pick-up location about 6:45. Luckily, we stayed at a hotel just across the street. (And it was complete luck, we booked our rooms before we knew where the pickup location was.)
We got checked-in, grabbed a free Monster drink, (yeah, free) and tried not to be nervous. We were at the starting area with about ten minutes to spare. With about thirty seconds to go, the theme from Rocky started. My adrenaline was pumping by then. As we started, fire flamed up from the start gate, an impressive start!!
We jogged about .5 mile before coming to the first obstacle. (Well, I say that, it had rained very recently and the course had numerous places where the mud was knee-deep. I did not try to count all the “mud holes” (which were not considered “obstacles”) but there were at least a dozen and probably more.)
1) Tires – feet up going through tires on the ground. Then another .2 of a mile.
2) Tires – on the ground and hanging from rope. As other people beside you ran through, the tires would swing into you. You would, of course, return the favor as you pushed through. Then a jog of about .5 mile. I set a pretty good pace and was a little in front of Coach Crystal.
3) Up and walk — walk up a ten inch wide board to about eight feet high, then walk about 30 feet in the air balancing before coming back down. Coach Crystal caught me here and we jogged together for the .2 mile to the next obstacle.
4) Up and over and under – a four feet high wall for you to jump over followed by barbed wire for you to crawl under (about eight of these). Coach Crystal left me here, but I caught her on the .2 jog to the next obstacle. We passed the 1.5 mile marker here… Really, not halfway yet!?!?!
5) Rope Net Crawl — the rope net was about six feet high and 60 feet long. Coach Crystal left me here and I never caught her again. The jog was about .7 to the next set of obstacles.
6) The next three obstacles were all back to back. First up, use the rope to climb the twenty-five feet high wall and down the other side. When I reached the top, a girl had gotten scared to come down, but with a little encouragement, she made it to the ground.
7) Then the military crawl under barbed wire and a wooden obstacle about a foot off the ground. This was somehow not filled with mud, but rocks. My knees are a little scraped up from this experience.
8) A fifteen feet climbing wall followed by a pole slide down the other side. Then back to a jog … about .8 miles. You could hear the finish line music here, but the path kept twisting and it was a lot farther than it sounded. I turned a corner and saw Coach Crystal finishing the next obstacle about 300 yards away. I didn’t see her again until the finish line.
9) Rope walk over water — walk on one rope, hands on another. Probably the easiest of the obstacles, just balance. The obstacles came fast from here to the finish.
10) Shallow water pit… if shallow is four feet. The sign said shallow and I was mislead. Haha. I fell back into an underwater root. My left hip has an ugly 3″ diameter red and purple bruise as a souvenir. The pit was about 40 feet long. As soon as you get out, jog a very short distance and leave the wooded area.
11) Another water hazard… this time, it is deep. So you swim… with logs, you have to get over…did I mention the temperature. Probably about 52 degrees. And the water was freezing. It took my breath away. We swam for about 200 feet.
12) A thirty feet tall rope net wall. Climb up and down the other side. I was exhausted, but the fire was the next obstacle!!
13) I saw the fire and sprinted to it and leaped over each fire lane in exaltation… I was finished!!!!!!
but I wasn’t…:( … after the fire I turned the corner, expecting to see the finish line only to see…
14) Another water/mud pit… the water was muddy, but it was more swimming than sloshing…under barbed wire… then get up and sprint to the end!!
Saw Coach Crystal cheering me on… got water and a medal and walked away from everyone so I would not hurl right at the finish line. (Luckily, I
didn’t puke at all, but it was a close thing). Our buddy who ran with us finished shortly behind me and we went over to have our picture made.
We got a beer, watched a few more people finish, listened to the good music, watched the video board of other parts of the course, grabbed some swag and a free beer (yes, at nine in the morning, don’t judge). We were high on adrenaline, talking to people waiting for their turn to run. We met some fun people from Mississippi, Louisiana and Florida. It was a blast…But we were also freezing. The kids stayed at the hotel because it was so cold. So we headed back.
I finished in 43:27:30. That is 12:47/mile (including the obstacles). # 1293 out of 7200 contestants. (That is top 18%!!!) Coach Crystal finished in 41:58:80 (#1049). We were both pretty proud of our first finishes!!
YOU GUYS HAVE GOT TO TRY IT NEXT TIME!!! (We are thinking of doing the Barbarian Challenge in Gadsden, Alabama in June — who is coming with??)