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Thursday, June 7, 2012

The One About The Warrior Dash [Oklahoma 2012 Edition]

This past weekend Alex and I made the trek to middle of no-where Oklahoma on the south side of Tulsa to compete (really?) in the Warrior Dash. I always enjoy a good road trip and double that with racing and I’m one happy girl. It was going to be about a 4 hour drive so Alex and I left about 7:15 Saturday morning so that we could get there by 11:30. We immediately stopped for gas and then found the world’s worst McDonalds ever for breakfast and sweet tea (since giving up Dr. Pepper this has been my drug of choice as of late, thankfully this addiction isn’t as bad as 18 Dr. Pepper’s a day, I can usually handle one large sweet tea and I’m good!), then it was time to hit the road.  Taking a road trip with someone you enjoy spending a lot of time with can be really enjoyable and Alex and I usually have plenty to talk about or like to listen to music or comedians and it works out really well because Alex really likes to drive and I would much prefer to be a passenger and just tell him what to do…..

The road trip was mostly successful until we ended up on this small, country back road and a lady in a lawn chair told us we were in the wrong place. I kid you not, there was an old lady sitting in front of her house enjoying meeting all the lost race stragglers and telling them where to go (apparently the address was posted wrong in one place on the Warrior Dash website and so a few, or like lots of people ended up on the same road we did….). The lady gave us directions and we drove for a bit and thankfully Alex’s smart phone has a great GPS and we were eventually able to find the right spot.

The race was held on “the mountain” as people referred to it, but it was really a camping site with a huge hill. I guess in Oklahoma that’s technically a mountain though. We have no problems parking, getting our race packets and checking our race gear. We had about 20 min until our wave went at 12:30 so we walked around a bit and then went and got in line for our wave.

Once 12:30 hit there was no delay and we were able to start pretty quickly. There were probably about 75-100 runners in our wave and it didn’t seem too crowded, at least not as much as it was when I did the Dallas one last year. The trail is very clearly marked but there is a lot of brush and sticks and some thorn branches around. It was hard to get traction because the tall grass is now flat but slick from people running on it. The first mile seems to go on forever and ever. I was expecting an obstacle any moment but before I knew it we were seeing the 1 mile marker and we hadn’t had a single obstacle yet! We ran most of the first mile, only stopping a few times to make sure we didn’t trip or to catch a breather.

At the 1 mile marker we enter a wooded area and run up and down some hilly and rocky areas before we finally come to our first obstacle – a giant wooden A frame that you have to climb up all while water is being dumped on you from giant gushing sprinklers from above. Once I got to the top I realized there weren’t any foot holds on the other side and it was a good 2 feet to the ground even while I was hanging so I had to drop to the ground.  Then off we went again into the woods some more.

As it turned out this race was much more like a trail race or cross country race than I thought it would be. I’m sure it varies by location but in Dallas it was running through fields and then about 13-15 obstacles. But in Oklahoma it was much more trails and up and down hills with only 10 obstacles. While in the moment I may not have totally enjoyed all the rocky terrain and ups and downs of the course I did really like it; it was different and you never got bored. But man it was hard! At one point there was a giant hill that EVERYONE was stopping on to catch their breaths on – it was crazy steep and we were at least half way in and so I was tired. But overall this course was fun ( I say that now…)

I was a bit disappointed with the obstacles though; most of them were similar wooden A frame structures or cargo nets. And for the record, Alex and I were having a competition to see who could beat who at the most obstacles, he may not have actually known about this competition but it was real and I most definitely won 7 of the 10 obstacles! He claimed afterwards when I told him I had won that it was because my center of gravity was lower than his and therefore I could move through or up and over obstacles much quicker, I just told him he was a pansy and that he lost.  I love a little healthy competition!

We finally reached the end and the famed fire pit (though in my opinion it was a bit weak this year) and the mud pit (which was totally lame this year!). We crossed the finish together, only slightly muddy, worn out and with tired legs from all the hills and rocks. It took us about an hour and 10 minutes to finish; not going to lie, I was a bit disappointed it wasn’t faster! But we had a great time and that’s all that matters.

Thankfully there was a giant pond that you could go in to get cleaned off which in my opinion was great! And they even had changing rooms for guys and girls to change in. Great job Warrior Dash! Once we got cleaned up and changed we enjoyed a yummy turkey leg and some water along with our free beers and then decided to hit the road.

On the way home we stopped in Edmond, Ok to see my cousin and his wife and their new house. I was so excited to see them! There in a small private college in Edmond called Oklahoma Christian and that is where my cousin and his wife went to college and met, it’s where I went for 2 years and it’s where 2 of my other cousins are currently playing baseball – so I was really looking forward to showing Alex the campus. I have so many great memories there. We had a great evening with my Ryan and Abby and they have a cute new house, it was so good to see them. 

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