David S. and I headed to Forney, Texas early yesterday morning to run the Warrior Dash--a 3.51 mile romp under, over, and through various obstacles. Decked out in a kilt (er, plus-size mini-skirt), a beaded "warrior" shirt, a skull-and-crossbones headband, and donning a mohawk, I was ready to act like an idiot for 30 minutes of running and rambling.
Despite the uncertainty of whether the event would actually take place, I was very impressed with the race organization. Parking was a breeze, volunteers were everywhere, and the facilities were top notch. The main entrance looked more like an outdoor concert, sporting various booths for vendors to hawk their wares (anything from beer and turkey legs to stone tossing and hatchet throwing). A large stage and video screen anchored the grounds, where a pretty decent cover band was rocking out to inspiring tunes from the likes of Survivor and Journey.
Around 9:45 a.m., we made our way to the starting area. Fifteen minutes later, as giant flames roared into the sky around us, we were off.
After about half a mile, we entered "torando alley," where a fan boat blew gusts of wind directly into us. Cutting through a muddy path, we next came upon some planks over a short gulley. Pretty easy stuff so far.
Then it was down into a creek that varied in deepness from a few inches to several feet. After that, we had to pull ourselves up over a slippery, muddy embankment. We ran through more standing water and mud until we can upon some stacked hay bales that we had to climb over. Again, nothing to hard yet.
Coming around a corner, we arrived at the first tiring obstacle--traversing down a creek bed. The water was too deep to touch, so there was nothing to do but swim. With mud-soaked clothes and shoes, it was slow going. After we made it across, we had to jump over some wooden spools, followed by a rope wall (pretty benign). Next up was the fire jump, which was goofy and fun.
Finally, we arrived at the last obstacle--crawling through muddy underneath barbed wire. I made the calculated mistake of diving head first into the muck, which caked my eyes and ears with mud, rendering me blind and deaf. It sucked. My eyes were stinging from the mud and I had no idea where I was in relation to the barbed wire or how far I had to go. I just stayed low and kept moving foward until I was back on grass. Then I got up and ran it in to the finish. My eyes were tearing like crazy from the mud, and it took me several minutes and splashing them with water before everything returned to normal.
All in all, it took us a little under 30 minutes to complete the race. It was different and fun. If I can get some folks to join me, I'll probably do it again next year. It was a nice change from the long distance stuff.