Day 68… Spartans conquered Warriors
Who plans a race schedule with 2 races in 7 days, really. Oh yeah this one does. So when I planned this schedule the Beast was suppose to be only 8 miles and the Warrior Dash well I knew how much that was. So this morning I set off for another race. This time alone, clad in my Spartan Chicked Shortie Shorts and Patagonia bra, I took my spot at the front of the line for my heat and let the rest of the day unfold. Below is a bit about what has transpired over the past 16 or so hours.
|Just after finishing|
I left my parents house in upstate New York around 6:30am and made the trek south to Windham, NY for another obstacle race, this time it was the Warrior Dash, a 5k Obstacle Race with a raging party afterwards. I had finished ok last year in the top 20% with a time around 36:00 minutes. This year I wanted to shave 4 minutes off my time and finish under 32:00 minutes. I got down to the race with tons of time before, like 3 plus hours. I planned this so I could, relax, warm-up and catch-up with a few of the Spartan Crew who were their doing some promotions for upcoming races. It was great to have a few friendly faces in a sea of strangers and am reminded how great the Spartan Race family is. They took care of my stuff while I raced and were their for support the whole time. It was cool to basically have a crew for the race.
About forty-five minutes before the race started, I started to warm-up. Now this I am still getting use to that it takes me longer to warm up for a 5k than it does to race it. I ran around the parking lot, around some condos and tried to find a quiet place to compose myself before the race. I took a front position in the line up. Yes, Carrie I took my place up front and this time had a plan. Soon we were counting down and off headed up the mountain. This course is fairly straight forward about 1.5 up then the rest down.
We charged out of the start as the fire blew up around us and began our ascent. The first obstacle we encountered were some up and overs. The barrier walls were about four feet high you went up over the first, under the second and then repeated it again and again. Nothing too challenging, at this point I was up with the lead pack and had one woman who was behind me that I could see. We soon caught up the some of the racers from the last heat who were struggling with the incline, as I passed I gave them words of encouragement.
The next obstacle was a combination of tires to run over and cars to jump over. Nothing too challenging and it was a nice break from the uphill. As we crested the top of the course, the next obstacle was a balancing beam suspended about 3 feet off the ground. It was more mind over manner over this one. Several people around me slowed a bit as the height deterred them. At this point I was starting to get warm, luckily the next obstacle was water. We jumped into a muddy pond on the mountain and went up and over some logs in the water. Some people were struggling at this, I found the best method was to dive over them. I paired up with a guy who was struggling and we jump in unison and it worked perfectly.
Around this time was the water station. I was happy to put some clean H2O into me. When we started what I thought was down the mountain. Quickly I encountered the second water, a quick run across the pond and up a ravine, climbing up a rope. At this point I had caught up with many people from previous heats and found myself yelling, “behind” over and over again. Note to self always sign up for early heats!
Next barrier was a called “Deadman’s Drop” basically you climbed up some a slanted wall and dropped on the other side. Took some people by surprise. We dodged in and out of trails, through a jungle of hanging tires, and back onto some single track trail. Most people were great about moving when I came charging up behind them. I thank them all for letting me go for a PR and actually thanked them each as I passed them.
The next two obstacles included cargo nets, one was an up and over. The other we traversed across them, these were where the two largest bottlenecks were. Luckily, I was able to find a few holes and not loose too much time. The final obstacles were placed for spectators at the end, slip and slide (I ran down), jumping over fire, and a mud pit with barbed wire overhead. I crossed the finish line just over 32 minutes at 32:05 very close to my goal.
Overall, this years course was a little more challenging than last years. However, I have realized after this race I think I have outgrown the Warrior Dash. It is a great introduction to obstacle racing but after the Spartan Beast last weekend everything else seems like child’s play. I met some great people along the way throughout the day and have come home with a new trophy. I also realized I really like the longer distance races, when you have time to relax into the race and it’s not an all out sprint. Guess this means I am becoming a distance runner!
A few things with the host venue were a bummer, not opening the lodge for the day. Having to wait all day to get my award at almost 7:00pm. Again, I hate having to pay for parking ($10 for the day). But still the race itself had it’s own challenges, everything had to do with terrain and I was able to push myself to complete a new personal best. Also two podiums in 7 days is a first for me in any sport thus far in my life, so that’s pretty cool. Hoping to see some of the women I met today in future races! Finally, thanks to my Spartan Race family for helping support me and staying until awards even when they had hours to drive home. The support is appreciated!
THE FINAL RESULTS
Official Finish Time: 32:05
1st in 11:00am Heat for Women
2nd out of 1043 in Age Class (25-29 Women)
9th out of over 4500 Women
177th out of 8267 Total Competitors
Although I think this was my last Warrior Dash, although the overall 1-3 helmets are pretty cool, we will see maybe I will be back to win myself one of those next year. We will see!