Saturday, August 22, 2009

Warrior Race

In July I signed up for an adventure running race because running four miles wasn’t challenging enough (note the sarcasm). My friends Becca, Tamera, and I drove out to Joliet at 6am on a Saturday morning. Note to those who ever want to visit Joliet, the town doesn’t have Jack Shit at 6am…not even by the prison. Our breakfast consisted of powdered donuts and a microwave breakfast sandwich (I use the word sandwich loosely, it was more like a compilation of questionable cheese, eggs, and bread) from a gas station.

The race gave us the address of the location and we typed it into the GPS…and ended up in a barren field…along with a dozen other cars. It was funny because a whole herd of people were just hanging out their windows asking “Warrior Race? Do YOU know where it is?”. One guy pulled out his I-phone and shouted “it says we have arrived at our destination..WTF”. Everyone was clueless except for one girl who was on her phone and finally said “okay I think I know where it is”. A whole convoy lined up behind her car. It was funny because we would signal people coming down the road to turn around (you’ll end up in a field)!

The race consisted of 14 obstacles. One involved jump over raging fire. When we pulled into the parking lot, the raging fire was like 6 feet high. Oh hell no…I seriously doubted surviving. Luckily by the time the race started, the fire had settled down to less than a foot high.

You know it is an extreme race when the waiver is a few pages long and involves multiple mentions of "bodily harm" "injury" "severe burns" etc.

Other obstacles were, climbing fifteen steep grassy hills in rapid succession that were all about 10’ tall each, walking across a 2x4 balance beam suspended over a ravine, scaling three 7’ tall walls (note, they were no hand holds, so you basically had to get a running start and hurl yourself over), climbing over a barricade of wagon wheels/wooden spools, crawling through some pipes/tunnels, navigating over and through abandoned cars (yeah it was fun climbing over the cars until I got to a hatchback and had to make a leap of faith). Did I mention, it was completely off road, so at times we were wading in weeds and prairie grass or lost in the woods.

My two favorite challenges were the swamp and mud pit. The swamp was about a swimming pool in length with a foot of mud covered by three feet of diarrhea looking water. People jumped in and immediately lost their shoes and you can see them panning for gold to try to find them in the deep mud. There was no way around it; you were going to get soaked from the waist down. My shoes gain twenty pounds which made running that final ½ mile super fun.
The mud pit was about half the length of the swamp, but double the amount of mud. Yep, more gooey smelly mud, yaaay. They advertized the pit would be strung with a cargo net hanging overhead to insure everyone had to army crawl through. Well instead of a cargo net, it was RAZOR WIRE! Yeah, real razor wire (I went over and touched it to make sure because surely they must be joking). People who didn’t want to get completely covered in mud slush would crawl on their hands and knees and they try to shimmy under the wire. Their shirts or hair would get tangled up and their mud covered hands would be no help. I decided why not (well and because I was already dripping with mud from the swamp) and did a full on frontal slide into the mud. I ended up with mud between my toes, in my sports bra, and even in my ear (in my ear, WTF).

At the finish line, there was a trash can full of shoes that people discarded. I would have tossed mine as well but I didn’t bring anything else to wear. I took four showers at home and I still was cleaning beneath my nails the following day. The girls and I figured out that just walking into the shower with your clothes on worked best.

The top three winners were presented with metal Viking warrior helmets. The race also included a costume contest. I thought about entering at Gumby (how hilarious would it be to see a giant green foam guy walk across a balance beam), but the fire pit changed my mind (hello foam…flammable).

You can’t really tell in the pictures, because the mud has dried on my legs and I had dark clothes, but I was coated in mud. I mean thick crust coated. It was tough, but hella fun.

Oh and here is the kicker, before the race, I heard my name shouted out in the parking lot. I turned to see some guy with a big grin. I must have had a puzzled look on my face because the guy was like "hey, its Jason, you know, we had a date last week". I gave him a lame excuse abotu the early morning, but man it was a wake up call about my dating streak.

The "BEFORE" picture

The "AFTER" picture


Post a Comment

<< Home