A few months ago I participated in the Under Armour #whatsbeautiful campaign. I made one of my goals to PR a WARRIOR DASH. And this weekend I’m happy to say I DID IT!!
In the past we have run Warrior Dashes in NY. This year we got CRAZY and decided to try out the Pennsylvania location instead. Held at Pocono Racetrack it had SEVERAL to MANY advantages over the Windham, NY location. First plenty of parking for just $10! A much flatter but longer course than at Windham, AND it was much faster and direct drive too! Score one for PA we are fans!!
In our ritual Warrior weekend pattern we camped out the night before. This year we stayed at the Hemlock Cabins which were super cute cabins with electricity. NO tent for us this year! But we don’t hotel because that’s not very WARRIOR!
We got in on Friday and for our first night it was time to see what our shirts for this year looked like. Michele created them for us! It’s the perks of having an art teacher for a friend, she always makes us super cute shirts! 😉
Troy had fun making his shirt a little more interesting and spent most of first night creating his race masterpiece.
We had to laugh as we started the race the announcer even yelled out “the PACEMAKER” which of course gave us all a laugh! His final shirts:
Out team consisted of Michele, Maureen, Troy, myself and Amanda. For me this is like a family reunion! I’ve been best friends with Amanda since Kindergarten. Michele and Maureen parents are good friends of my parents since like forever and Troy joined the clan almost 10 years ago!
Now you may remember Troy had a I had placed bets on who would win this race! Well I lost the bet by 2 minutes. And I can’t even be mad about it. At the start of the race we all took off on our own. While we are all a team, we are all super competitive and knew this was a race for time!
I saw Troy running out fast and I knew I wasn’t going to try to race him in the first mile of the run. Michele was ahead of him and both were where I could at least see them. The first mile of the race was just trail running. We started on pavement by the track which quickly lead to a narrow, rocky path around the Pocono track. The first obstacle was low barbwire and tires you had to crawl through on your knees. Troy was just ahead of me in the obstacle but made a poor choice on who to follow and got held up. I kinda pushed the guy in front of me through and came out first!
And just like that I was ahead of him. I knew at that point I had to keep it together but the lack of sleep the night before and no coffee in the AM had me feeling kinda of off. Troy and I ended up running most of the next mile and a half together. It was fun to go through the course with him. He tried to help me over an obstacle and I felt bad brushing him off. BUT I’m a warrior too, I can’t be girly about it.
The next obstacles included cargo nets, sand pits, a lagoon, bunkers, plank walks, barriers and for me the dreaded rope wall. Last year I couldn’t get over the rope wall by myself a man at the top reached out and helped me over. This year it was just me and the wall. At this point Troy was running ahead and I knew I couldn’t keep his pace so I let him go.
I did a stop at the wall with nerves, when I heard a guy yell from behind me come on BRENDA I’ve been following you this whole way you got this! Every year someone calls me Brenda it kills me, and was just the motivation I needed to scale that stupid wall! All the way up and all the way over by myself! It’s amazing what can happen in a year.
The next obstacle scared the crap out of me and was the first time I thought OMG I might get hurt. I can’t see, I can’t breathe, I don’t know what to do!
You can’t see it well in this photo but it will help me explain it.
You climb straight up the backside with netting that is too small to stick your feet in, so basically you are pulling with your arms and just pushing your feet against the netting to move up. Once you climb to the top there are water hoses spraying from every direction making it impossible to see the pegs on the wall you need to climb down. Making it worse there is a water lagoon at the bottom which you have no idea how deep it is. Can you jump? I decided to climb down but 1 foot down could barely breathe because the water was so cold and coming at you so hard. I was scared, I was going to lose a contact. And there was NO seeing the pegs. Our entire team said you reached and prayed you made a connection with a peg.
It was frightening! And we couldn’t help but notice after our heat went they turned down the water pressure on the obstacle. Maybe they realized it was a bit too much?
After that it was a few more obstacles most of which you can see in the above shot. another cargo net, the fire jumps, and the mud pit. Which of course has ONE major drop off that I fell into and swallowed some yummy brown water in! This mud put is deceiving it’s all rocks and mud at the bottom, my knees are so bruised from crawling through.
At the finish I came in 76th in my age group with 1,402 runners at 44:38 . Michele kicked ass and came in 34th in our age group and Troy Benda first time runner came in 129th out of 1,300 in his age group! I did lose to Troy by 2 minutes but I was so proud of him! His first race and he kicked butt. I think he also may have gotten bit by the running bug because there has been lots of talk around here about running a real 5K race among other race
I crushed my #Whatsbeautiful goal and am so happy to have done it with some amazing ladies and my husband!
After our race we of course enjoyed some beers and food while we watched the other warriors arrive and tackle the course. Amanda was amazing and raised over $600 for St. Jude’s so she got a warm shower after the race and food at the St. Jude’s Tent. I was lucky enough to be her buddy for the tent and decided next year I’m going to raise money and be a St. Jude Hero as well!
We watched for fun costumes and the crazy people! This was my favorite costume of the day:
And we watched awkwardly as one women stretched in every stretch possible for at least 20 minutes before the race while her husband(?) took pictures. We hope she didn’t pull anything out there. She was super limber.
It was another stellar Warrior Weekend and I’m already looking forward to next year!!
Question of the Day: Have you ever run a Warrior Dash? Best Race Costume you’ve ever seen?