The Warrior dash was two weekends ago and it did not underpromise.  Half-way through this 5K I was already fantasizing about it being over.  But I'm already psyched about doing it next year, and next time in costume.

Here is my group about 15 minutes before the start of the race.  Yes, there was face paint and furry viking hats with tusks involved.  Oddly enough, we were downright conservative when you compared us to the clan of red Avatar characters, clans of Scotsmen, and squad of girls in 80's prom dresses.

The race started with an uphill dash--up a ski slope.  Most people made it only a few hundred meters before having to walk.  I held out for about a quarter mile before realizing that I shouldn't kill myself at the onset of the race.  There would be plenty of obstacles later to blow my energy on.

The first obstacle was a tire run on a plateau halfway up the ski slope.  Then a little further ahead was a series of chest high barricades I had to jump over.  After another third of ski slope uphill (I was mostly walking at this point) there was a crawl through (clean) sewer tubes about 25m long.

The first downhill was a relief--no more walking.  But the problem with going down a ski slope is that it is so steep you couldn't pick up your speed, because then you'd topple over.  At the end of this first taste of downhill was a nasty surprise: a shoulder high pond that was freezing cold.  It's probably 60 degrees, but it was frigid compared to the heat radiating from my body from the uphill runs.  I walked/swam through the length of the pond, about 50m, and emerged victorious on the other side:

The next segment of the race was series of sharp downhills combined with long muddy cuts across and wooded trails between the slopes.  In the middle of this craziness I took a tumble and rolled onto my knee.  I rolled right out of it into a run, but I could feel the scrape on my right knee stinging from the dirt and sweat.

After more downhill/mud/woods there was a short plank bridge to scramble across and then a cargo net.  Before the race I was most afraid of the cargo net obstacle, thinking that I'd lose ridiculous amounts of time on it because I have zero upper body strength.  But when I saw the net, it was all of 20 feet high, and I easily scaled over it to the home sprint.

The last bit of the race (all within a quarter mile) was a series of three obstacles.  After the only downhill where I could actually sprint came the first obstacle: the longest slip n slide you could ever imagine.  I slid belly down through sprays of water on a tarp tunnel for about 25m.  Not only was this tough on my abs and man parts (it felt like the tarp was over gravel!) but after knocking into a girl at the end of the slide I realized that my contacts were all sprayed out of place--and maybe had even fallen out.  

I did a bit of a Frankenstein walk, afraid that I wouldn't be able to see for the last two obstacles.  But after playing around with my eyes a bit my contacts fell back into place.  With my eyes set I got a running start to leap over the next obstacle: two rows of flaming coals.

I flew over both rows of without hesitation (or burnt hair) and dove right into the last and signature obstacle: a crawl through the mud under barbed wire.  It wasn't pretty.  It was totally designed to guarantee that you leave this mud run filthy dirty.  Oh, and how dirty I was:

After emerging from the mud I bolted for the finish line, which was a few short yards away.

Final Numbers (as if this was a serious race):
Net Time: 34:02 (10:32 pace)
Overall place: 409/5020 (top 8% of finishers)
M25-29: 110/751 (top 15%)

Afterward, I took my best victory pose.  Um, not my best work:

Perhaps it would have been better if I was also ripping into a giant roasted turkey leg at the same.

The rest of my group straggled in afterward--I came in second from our group of 10ish.

Victory tasted like...well it tasted like dirt.  Sweet, sweet dirt.

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