Warrior Dash 2011 Arizona Race Results – I lost by 20 seconds!

Covered in MUD and PRIDE (from the left, Scott, George, Bryan, Dale)

Well… I actually wasn’t anywhere near the winners, BUT I was only 20 seconds behind a co-worker that I had a bet with regarding who could finish first. Check out there results for yourself here.

See all of my pictures from the event here or click on the picture with me and the guys.

My time was 45:54 – which is a full 20 seconds behind George (second from the left in the photo).  But the time alone doesn’t tell the whole story. I’ll start from the beginning:

When we arrived I could feel the excitement in the air – the guys were already pumped, the people were buzzing everywhere – and we got there in time to see the first wave of runners starting their heat. There were two guys wearing pink underwear… only wearing pink underwear. One guy had his bib pinned to his nipples because he wasn’t wearing a shirt!

I noticed the announcer at the start of the race looked familiar – maybe you know him, Sione Fe from NBC’s The Biggest Loser! Yeah, I did just run with him in a 5k. As we were in line to start our heat – Sione came over and introduced himself to my friends – he has always been very personable – if I hadn’t said otherwise to the guys, they would have thought Sione and I were long time old friends.

Back to the race – George is almost 6 inches taller than me – weighs over 50 lbs less than me – is a marine (albeit ~15 years ago) – and at one time could run 5 min miles for 3 miles easily. I, on the other hand, have been over weight my whole adult life, have never been a runner, and the fastest mile I’ve ever run was 8 mins 30 seconds – I only ran that one mile, after which I promptly collapsed onto the floor for a full 10 mins.

One of the obstacles

I didn’t have any real expectations that I could beat George in a race, but a friendly bet makes things a bit more interesting and since George hasn’t run in over 10 years, there was a chance – right? Before the race, George tells me that his plan is to run the race with me – step by step – the whole way – until the end where he planned to sprint the last few feet to cross before me and win.

That was my window of opportunity. At the start of the race – I let him cross first – and then I waited a few extra seconds before I crossed – this would give me a couple of seconds grace at the end – so that if George only ran fast enough to beat me by a few seconds – he wouldn’t actually beat me at all. I think if I had waited 10 or even 20 seconds after George started, he would have still slowed down for me to catch up – but I just couldn’t make myself stand there more than a couple of seconds.

I quickly realized how much faster than me George actually is when he had to walk several times during the race so that he wasn’t too far ahead of me. But to my surprise (and I think his too), I was able to navigate most of the obstacles faster than him. This was going to be my best chance at a win.

At the end of the race, there is a cargo net obstacle that you have to climb up, across, and down.  This was different than the cargo net rope wall earlier in the race because instead of a full vertical climb and then down – going across a distance on cargo net is more difficult than climbing up or down it. After this obstacle, there is a ~250 yard dash, two rows of fire burning logs to jump over, and the mud pit.

Climbing out of the MUD!

George climbs up the net and into the middle of netting full of women moving slowly across. I climb up and quickly notice there are three supporting wood beams – one on each side and another in the middle.  As soon as I know George is sunk into the middle of the netting – I high step across the edge beam – taking me less than 5 seconds to get across and back on the ground.

Now I’m sprinting for my life – running as fast as I can for 250 yards.  Over 100 yards in, I look over my shoulder – no George – I think, I just might be able to pull this off – 200 yards – no George – I think I can actually win this thing – 225 yards – now I see the fire and the mud pit and victory is just 50 yards away – and then I see his red shorts in the corner of my eye… he has caught up and passes me right before the fire.

I jump the rows of fire to see George half way through the mud – and as I enter the pit I think about those couple of seconds I have from waiting at the starting line – quickly I realize those seconds will do me no good because the couple in front of me in the pit are in no hurry to finish this race… when I finally get up out of the pit – I see George – wearing his warrior metal, drinking water, waiting for me to drag myself across the line… a full 20 seconds too late.

Should I have made a bet with a Marine that I could beat him in a boot camp style race? ABSOLUTELY! Best Race I have ever run! I’ve already made plans on how to beat him next year…

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