The morning arrived with an ominous forecast of 31 degrees with a humidex of 36+, but at least I was vindicated in my decision to make sure we were in the second earliest group to go. The setup was pretty easy, the parking was close to the event so no buses this year like last time at Warrior Dash (You can read about the Warrior Dash HERE and HERE)We were pretty early but since I was paranoid about my shins I spent about 45 minutes warming them up and asking them to please behave during the hell that was to come. The overall event was much smaller than Warrior Dash but I think was more suitable for us especially given those who were participating, I am not sure even I would have been up for running up ski hills again this year, I wanted more obstacles and less running where possible. In fact, the course delivered exactly that, there was plenty of running up through woods and small hills and over streams mixed in with the “official” obstacles. Even the first part from the start to the first obstacle which I was dreading due to my lack of running practice wasn’t so bad. Probably the adrenaline and the crowds helped though. Speaking of running, I really wish I had practiced at least a couple of times. What made me slow was not the fact that I can’t run, I already know I am not the greatest runner but that due to my lack of practice in my vibrams with actual running my mechanics were terrible. That meant I was working probably twice as hard as I needed to in order to produce the lava like speed with which I was running. Had I practiced and got my mechanical stride in shape, I am sure I would have had a much easier time of it. Not only that, you would think after last time I would have learned to wear shorter, less absorbent shorts, by the time we were past 3 or 4 obstacles my shorts were filled with mud and it was like carrying a backpack strapped to my butt. I did however remember not to let my knees touch the ground in the mud pits because just as I had recalled the bottom of the mud pit is in fact littered with sharp stones and rocks which can really tear up your knees.
The obstacles themselves were far more entertaining than last year, probably because I was not as tired when I got to them, several walls, hay bales, parked cars, cargo nets and so on made it very similar in difficulty and enjoyment. The haunted house was a fun addition and the fact that they had put out actual water slides and not just a tarp over a rock bed made that part far better for me. The people we went with all did great, I have to admit, probably better than I did which was a little disappointing but I know what my issues were and I won’t let them happen again. Fact is that we all managed to stay together pretty much to the end which made the whole experience that much better.
This was about half way through, as you can see my choice of shorts was ill advised. Bruce, one of our participants wore a GoPro camera on his head, the footage of which I can’t wait to see. My favourite part? I am not sure, getting sprayed with water as you are dying from the heat was great, and for sure the hardest part for me was the horizontal cargo net ( I should have walked over not bear walked) but I think my favourite part was the hay bales, being able to throw yourself around on them was a blast, that and the vertical cargo net, for some reason I just love to climb those things.
In all it probably took just over an hour to finish with 19 obstacles covering 6km. The fastest time was around 25 minutes I think but that is just insane.
I am really happy we did it, I am disappointed that all my girls didn’t decide to do it but I have to tip my hat to my one athlete who chose to run with us, her determination, drive and willingness to push through her obvious pains was a real inspiration.
All in all, a really successful day and I hope inspiration to others to come out and join us next year!!
And no, no Usain Bolt poses!