My Thoughts on Competing in the 2012 Hawaii Warrior Dash
I love new challenges and new races, but this one was different! I planned on doing this race for fun and not really competing, because I didn’t know what to expect. I got nervous the moment I saw a picture of “THE WALL”. I did my usual pre-race prep, but added a few extra items to take including a garbage bag, extra clothes and shoes. I met up with some other SOHIers at the start line and we talked until we heard the count down 10…9…8… by now my stomach dropped and my adrenaline had kicked in 7…6…5…4…3…2…1! Fire shot into the air signaling our start. I still wasn’t planning on competing, but as the first mile was going by with no obstacles, I figured I can at least run at at fairly fast rate, but not a race pace, because I didn’t want to wear myself out before the obstacles. So I started passing a few people as we ran for about a mile through uneven terrain. I ran past many CrossFit people thinking to myself. “Well, they may be bigger and stronger, but I can be faster!” It takes more than lifting heavy weights and power movements to do well in this race. Uh-oh..I was starting to think competitively…here we go. I knew I was going to work a little harder to do better and wasn’t going to let myself “take it easy” as I had planned. The first obstacle,
a girl stopped on the top of the balance beam for a full minute from pure fear while I had to wait behind her. I was a little annoyed as was the guy behind me. We had to jump off and keep going. The next obstacle of two huge walls were relatively quick and easy to climb using the rope and I thought so far so good! Then I got to the cargo net that was raised up and parallel to the ground. I had no idea how to get through it quickly and took my time crawling from square to square. Frustrated, I moved slowly and ran quickly to the next obstacle. Soon, I started noticing a strong, muscular looking woman who was passing me on the obstacles while I was passing her on the runs. She became my motivator. I imagined she was trying to beat me so I decided I would beat her. She might be stronger than me, but I was confident in my running. I was determined to use my speed, strength (probably from all those TRX workouts!), and endurance against her massive strength. Running next to her around the fifth obstacle, I could hear her heavy breathing and that is when I knew I had her. I passed her and never saw her again. Determined to stay ahead, I looked for my next motivator and that’s when I saw Jimmy from boot camp! I yelled out to him at the last run before the swim “Jimmy! I see you! You better run faster!” (as a good boot camp instructor should). He looked back and smiled and I sped up as did he! The next obstacle was the pond, what the event organizers called “walk through the water,” but the problem was you couldn’t reach the bottom. I hyperventilated for a few seconds after jumping in due to the cold, asthma, and a little fear of swimming with tennis shoes on. I saw Jimmy ahead gulping down the nasty, brown water, and forced myself to calm down and swim. I felt huge roots and gross things beneath me, which motivated me to swim high and fast. Out of the pond soaking wet, it was time for the fire. I leapt through the flames feeling like a hurdler flying five feet through the air (looking back at the video it was more like 5 inches), climbed the cargo net, crawled under the barbed wire in the mud that was up to my elbows and finished! It was fun and I would totally do it again. I finished 10th overall female thanks to my motivators. Lastly, I want to know is where was our big slide? I was totally looking forward to that! OH well! I guess there is next year!