AKA: The time our car decided to get in on the mud
Over the last two years I’ve become a bit of a Warrior Dash aficionado. Ever since my first foray into the world of mud and fire-jumping in October of 2010, I’ve been hooked. And I always, always wear a costume. Sometime along the way everyone who I’ve hoodwinked into doing it with me always asks: Do people really dress up in costumes? To which I always answer: The cool ones do.
From Legend of the Hidden Temple to Catwoman, Thing 2 to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, I’ve managed to keep it interesting. This time Cecily and The Flying Crane were doing it with me and we decided to go for a Sesame Street theme. I picked my character right away, because who could possibly like the Warrior Dash more than Oscar the Grouch? With all that mud, filth and various odors, he would eat it right up. Unfortunately it also turned out that we had plenty to be grumpy about.
The Dash was happening two and a half hours south of us and we were supposed to be running in the 2:30 wave. It was pretty likely that we would hit traffic on the interstate, so we left a little early. Turns out traffic on the interstate wasn’t that bad: we made it to within three miles of the race around 1:45. Then we hit a snag. A very long, slow moving snag.
No one told us that parking was the first obstacle. Almost TWO HOURS LATER and we had made it about two of the last three miles. People were ditching their cars all over the place and dozens walked passed us as we sat in Cecily’s car. Finally I got out, walked ahead and found a grassy spot where I thought we could pull in. Several other cars saw me and started backing in, but I held my ground.
Unbeknownst to me, the ground I was holding was right where the ditch got deeper. I watched two other cars back in without a problem but things did not turn out so well for us. Cecily managed to back in most of the way, but her front tires got stuck in the mud and dug in deep. About eight burly guys on their way to the race tried to push us out, accidentally pulling Cecily’s bumper halfway off in the process, but that car was just not budging. Obviously a tow truck needed to be called, but like a real warrior, Cecily let us do the Dash first.
The last wave was supposed to be at 4:30 and we rolled into registration at 4:25. Luckily they added extra waves, cause otherwise more than one of us would have lost our cool on them. We pinned our numbers to our chest, I got my brand new GoPro camera strapped to my head and stepped into my trash can, and we were finally ready to go.
The course itself was pretty lame for the first mile and a half, with almost no obstacles and enough running-through-the-woods moments to give me nightmare cross country flashbacks. But the second half was a different story. We climbed over walls, waded through chest deep (at least for me) water with rolling logs, scaled more walls and, of course, jumped over fire.
In the end, we all got in a good dose of mud and my roommate became the newest initiate in the Warrior Dash fold.
After the race was over, the real battle began: getting Cecily’s car out of that ditch. Luckily I had just signed up for a AAA membership days before in advance of the epic road trip Cecily and I are taking in a few days. We called moments after crossing the finish line because we knew it would take a while.
Half an hour later and we had made it back to our car, but no AAA guy yet. Then a different tow truck started to go by and we flagged that thing over like our car was on fire. Behind the wheel were what I can only describe as two good ole country boys looking for some damsels in distress. We were it and after promising to get us out for free, they officially became our heroes. 10 minutes later, our car was out of the ditch and we were shoving homemade cookies on them. Chalk up another reason to love country folk.
A full twelve hours after we had left Cecily’s house that morning, we managed to make it back home and take some very much needed showers. And while my trash can did not survive, I am so keeping that green wig.