A solid buzz gathered as the three couples made their way back to suburbia despite pleas for extending the night at a local strip club. But, without a unanimous decision, the only titties that would be in view were our spouses before slipping into their nightly sleeping arrangements. As the clock rolled past midnight and a solid effort by the nighttime Perkins crew with their above par bacon and ham omelet with three buttermilk pancakes, a brief rest was needed as three of us would be waking up in five hours for a race unlike any we have completed together.
The "before" picture (no idea about the hats I just follow along)
The Warrior Dash awaited our crew of my sister and father in law, my beautiful bride, and that tall thing you see on the left. After getting married the four of us have gone on countless bike rides and 5Ks/10Ks, it is something that I found refreshing when introduced to this healthier side of athletic competition as my friends were more inclined to play a volleyball tournament in the back of bar that offered 3 for 1s and waitresses rarely kept track of how many drinks to charge you for. But, today was different as the drive from my father in law's place in Robbinsdale took us through the once proud North Minneapolis neighborhood which now resembles the crumbles of gang/drug violence, so bad that even charities have packed up and left. Signs of recent tornado damage accentuated the peeling paint, cracked and neglicted wood, and blacked-out store-fronts that a decent chicken dinner could have been purchased with a biscuit on the side for $4.99 but no more.
After getting out of the city, it was on to Afton Alps. A popular, small skiing destination that was last visited 16 years old by a college student, his girlfriend, and my future brother in law with my girlfriend's friend packed into a mutlicolored 85' Nova hatchback (all parties over six foot tall) but it ran and got great gas mileage! Ok, its was a piece of shit but skiing for the first time was an adventure after getting lost in the middle of the slopes and "walking" back to the chalet an hour after they had their feets up by the fire.
Forward to today our goal was this:
Not pictured the three feet of mud below the sign
The goal was one hour, but changed to around 45 minutes after watching someone come flying down the final descent in 24 minutes. Not that I could even run seven minute miles on a flat track but it seemed plausible despite zero training and a decent rum induced hangover.
The race started with about 500 of us packed at the gate with flame roaring above the sign. The few yards was cake, and then around the corner was the pain. A slope that I remembered being quite easy to come down with pieces of fiberglass and several feet of snow beneath my feet, was about to kick my untrained ass trying to climb. About half way up I joined the rest of the sheep, some dressed in nothing but loincloths, others with names across their back proclaiming a wedding party (which actually is a pretty kick-ass idea), and some ladies that obviously had trained were showing their tight superhero underroos (I found a liking to Superwoman).
After the first climb we were met by cars and a tire run to climb across and immediately met by several snow makers blowing cold water full speed like a sideways downpour. Felt good but blinded and now carrying several hundred pounds of extra water weight, the view after regaining my sight was exhausting. Three hills were in view as seen by those with much more superior skills already tackling their heights and valleys. Another obstacle, this one of five foot barriers to climb then a barbed wire fence to duck (repeat X 5). Finally a pacer appeared as she was moving along the same speed. Wearing "I Heart to Fart" granny panties from Spencer's and a well-shaped black bodysuit she would become my rhythm that would hopefully help me reach the 45 minute goal.
After another climb and a twenty foot cargo net wall to climb, there was a large tent ahead. The race official proclaimed "FREE WOODTICKS INSIDE!" yeah thanks dude. Asshole. A tiara wearing princess yelled "NO FARTING!" which was great advice and spared my life as the tent was complete absent of any light and much to my forehead's dismay, there were boards set up to keep you body close to the ground as opposed to crawling through this void. Once on the other side, a breather was taken on the side as my pacer bounced away for the moment.
A rally for air came and thanks to some unknown upper-body strength, the rope climb over the wall was cake as the big red heart was visable again. Through a maze of marshy mud, the final climb had a reward at its peak. A huge waterslide with separated lanes to slide down and a refreshing spritz before the last downhill run. Only two things separated my beaten up body and the final line with a table full of bananas and water. Bricks of fire were stoked as each runner lept over the flames before jumping into a three foot deep/ten yards long pool of mud that required crawling as a barbed wire fence hung above the pool
Fire! Fire! Fire! /Beavis
Once properly caked in mud it was just a few more feet to the volunteers handing out medals for all finisher, a token of completing the course and do something a little nutty for a change. My time was a shade under 48 minutes, I blame the temptress and her fine ass for not pacing us appropriately, but nonetheless the experience was one that will be repeated next year with a little preparation in mind (and yes, booze will involved).
Speaking of booze, by turning in the time chip, a free Shock Top await your hand (or Mich Golden Light if you like such things) along with tasty meats for purchase as modeled by my lovely wife below:
She likes legs, I prefer the breasts
Onward back to a shuttle which was NOT equipped for people that have stilts for legs, but the aisle provided enough room to doze for the five minute, bumpy ride back while snacking on sunflower seeds. Warrior Dash you have four repeat customers awaiting your return to the Twin Cities.
(* all photos taken by my sister in law)