Sunday, May 6, 2012

Bleach Warrior Part 1!!

Wow, has it been a long time since I’ve posted something or what?  Don’t answer that!  I know it has.  So please consider this a consolation post.  I know some of you are waiting for the end of the Sitcomoff, but this, I felt, was more interesting to more folks.  Therefore, I interrupt your irregularly scheduled post for this:

A Manly Warrior Post!!

As some of you may know, the last couple months I’ve started jogging.  The purpose of this is twofold: to get healthier and to prepare myself for the zombie apocalypse.  The zombie-fighting knowledge in my brain should not be lost to something as simple as loss of breath after a couple stairs.  Zombies don’t lose their breath.  So I needed to find mine.

With that in mind, I decided to start looking at 5Ks in the area that I might “enjoy.”  My roommate, AB2020*, told me about a race his brother competed it called the Warrior Dash.  Part 5K, part obstacle course, free beer, turkey legs, costumes, music, beards...what else could I ask from my initial race?  “Dragons” feels like a selfish answer.  So AB2020 and I decided to sign up for the Kansas City, MO, race.  There were two days, the 5th and 6th of May, but yours truly needed to budget for it and by the time the funds were available (ty tax refund), the first day was full up.  So we grabbed two spots in the 12.30 wave on the 6th.  The idea is that each half hour from 10-2 there would be a wave of about 600 folks starting the course.  To my knowledge, there was no upper limit on the time, you just had to complete all the obstacles to get a participant medal.

Well, AB2020 and I enlisted the help of of Dagger Dame* as our fertergrafer.  Then last night, night before the race mind you, we get an email saying that the weather forecast has hail and high winds listed for the area of our race in the afternoon so they moved up all the start times of the waves.  That’s fine.  Until...ours went from 12.30 to 9.40.  So instead of leaving the apartment at 10, we left at 7.  In the morning.  On a Sunday.  Yeesh.

We get to the parking site.  Parking was in an old airport complex that had a very intimidating “Secure Area: No Access!” sign that threw me off enough that I turned and tried to park at some Air Shuttle business.  They told me I had the wrong place and that the super secure area was where I needed to go.  So we went over there and saw folks parking.  Lots of folks.  Lots of FIT folks.  I immediately hated them.  So I got out my outfit and my ziploc bag of essentials and then AB2020 and DD and I hopped aboard a school bus and headed up I29 to Platte City.  Actually, to a park not far north of Platte City.

The problem with this trip, though, is that the bus driver didn’t really know where she was going and overshot the entrance to the park by, oh, at least three miles.  She actually got pulled over by a sheriff’s deputy that explained to her where we needed to go.  The officer was then nice enough to block the road so we could turn around in a driveway.  Next problem was that the bus was just a smidge too long to really make a great u-turn on this road.  The first time we almost backed into some power lines.  The second attempt ended up with one of our back wheels off the road, well into the shoulder and almost the ditch.  After another shot, the driver successfully got our carriage back in the right direction and we gave her a round of applause.

When we arrived at the course, it was nuts.  There were people everywhere.  First priority, though, was to find restroom facilities.  We found a very helpful row of port-a-johns so we looked for a couple that had green (for unoccupied) on their door.  The first one I opened was green but occupied.  I apologized to the man for interrupting his alone time and quickly hopped in another one down the row.  This one had no occupant.  DD watched it happen and did her best to ignore the man as to not make awkward eye contact when he exited the john.  Silly dude.

Then AB2020 and I found the packet pick-up area and grabbed our race supplies.  We got a numbered bib, a time-tracker chip, a shirt, and a warrior hat.  It was pretty sweet.  Then it was time to don our outfits.  AB2020 chose a very tight shirt (from his days as a hardcore kid), swim trunks, and an eye patch.  He was fierce.  For my part, I went shirtless, with swim trunks, and a pair of pink polka-dotted water wings (floaties).  I did not expect them to be the hit they were.  Almost as soon as I put them on I saw appreciative stares from other dashers. I suppose it could have been my pasty white belly drawing glares though.  After our group figured out where to go, we marched up a hill where we found the race start, a merch store, and several other booths including two for beer but only one for food.  Hmmm.

As DD and AB2020 perused the Warrior Dash store, I stood around gazing at the course, which I could only see a part of, and the other folks gathered there.  Suddenly I heard a voice behind me say, “My floatie lovin’ friend!  I’ve got to get a pic with you!”  I turned to see a man coming toward me with a large smile.  His lady companion snapped a quick picture with her intelligent phone in which I did my best to give my normal smile.  Those who know me, know the smile.

By this time, DD had noticed the ongoings and gave me a motion that said, “Ah shucks!  Look at you making friends and all!”  This picture-taking comrade was perhaps the fourth or fifth to comment on my wings and by this time I had also received several compliments on my beard.  All in all, I was impressed with how happy everyone seemed.  At this point, AB2020 and I decided we needed to stretch and warm up a bit, our heat started in ten minutes.  So we worked our legs a bit then headed to the start.  

The start was basically a pair of railings forming a corridor all leading up to an archway with WARRIOR DASH emblazoned on it as well as the WD logo.  There was some sort of emcee up there as well trying to get us pumped.  I didn’t listen much to what he had to say, I was concentrating on NOT DYING.  Well, we said our good-byes, hopefully not permanently, to DD and then the emcee lead us in a countdown from 10.  At one...we slowly started moving towards the arch.  The sweet part here was that the arch would occasionally shoot fireballs into the air.  They were so massive, we could feel the heat from over a dozen yards away.  It was intense.

Unfortunately, that's all I'm going to post for tonight! There is more to come. Pain! Triumph! Friendship and love! Beer! Smoked Flesh! The fury of Nature and much more! Stay tuned folks!!

*Code names aren't necessary, but they make me feel secretive and spy-like.

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