The Dash

I did it.

After all the build-up, all the training, all the self-doubt, terror, and excitement, the day has finally come and gone.

I can’t wait to do it again.

The 2 1/2 hour drive down to Johnson Creek made us more than a bit antsy. I was glad we left as early as we did–with mixed GPS, map, and app directions, a long line for parking, and the mile walk to the check-in, we made it just in time to watch one wave finish, one wave start, and some time to stretch out.

Left to right: Nicole, Tyler, Me, Lindsay, Holly, and Emily

We arrived all clean and shiny, excited to see what was in store for us. I started the race thirsty, which I was not happy about, but the only water in sight was bottled, and I didn’t want to start exchanging money and lugging around extra gear until afterwards.

The first mile and a half was by far the worst. The group split apart after the first half mile or so with my brother Tyler in the lead, followed by me, then Emily and Lindsay who ran together, and Nicole and Holly, who ran together. We ran through slippery hay and badly cut brush in the hot sun before I even met the first obstacle. I was delighted to receive a small cup of water after the second obstacle and chugged on.

At this point, some people had already started to walk, and I contemplated giving in to the temptation based on how tired and hot I was. Then I realized I had trained to run, so run I would–until I passed out. I hardly noticed how many obstacles I did, because they kept getting closer and closer together towards the end.


Halfway through, I finally got a glimpse of Tyler scaling a wall just as I reached the bottom of it so I scurried up fast, ran up behind, and jumped on him. 🙂 It was so good to run next to someone I knew, even if we weren’t talking!

My downfall was almost Capsized Catamaran. After jumping into a small lake, we were to pull ourselves up onto a plastic floating catamaran.

After I passed over the first set of blocks, I jumped into the water expecting to be able to touch ground. I couldn’t. I was so out of breath that I swallowed oodles of water, coughing and gasping for air. I could feel myself sinking as I struggled to keep my arms afloat. Luckily a glittering, muddy arm reached down and pulled me up onto the second set of blocks.

Thank you, green t-shirt man. You may have saved my life. 🙂

I caught up to my brother again and waited at my least favorite obstacle: a set of muddy pits that took ages to cross given an atrociously long line and slimy ropes. After this obstacle I trekked on, slip-running as mud slid down my shirt, my shorts, my legs. I could feel mud in places mud should never be, and mentally overcoming that thought was almost worse than the actual physical feeling itself. Tyler and I passed a bunch of walkers towards the end as we ran up a hill, but I knew if I stopped to walk then, it would be worse.

We finally passed a glorious man who yelled “three more obstacles!” and we crawled over a cargo net, jumped over freshly stoked fires and finally reached the muddy pit to crawl under barbed wire.

I stupidly grabbed the last line of barbed wire to pull myself out (no cuts, though) and passed the finish line at forty two minutes and fifty six seconds. I placed 1,581 out of 6,496 people, placing me in the top 25%. I still can hardly believe it.

The sense of accomplishment I feel not only for overcoming something so physical but that would have been completely out of my social comfort zone awhile ago means so much to me.

I earned my free beer. I earned my Viking helmet.

And I earned these battle scars.


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