But first note that I learned a valuable lesson that race day, and it was this:
When jumping off the hood of an old rusty car onto a pile of tires, be careful to land properly so that you don't blow out your knee.
Here's the breakdown of how the race went.
You check in, get assigned your numbers and your tracking button, and prepare.
Costumes are encouraged, as you can see from Frack and Payson's outfits. Although someone probably should have warned the guy on the far left in the background there -- kilts are acceptable, as a type of Braveheart-esque warrior gear. But if you don't have a kilt in your closet, and you are a dude, then don't think that just any skirt will do. You will look like you should be featured on the People of Walmart website, not wielding an ax on the battlefield with blue warpaint on.
Next, you stand at the starting line and pretend that you don't know the crazy looking guy with the afro wig and painted-on mustache who claims to be married to you.
After the starting gun goes off, you race for about 1.2 miles before you hit the first obstacle. After a while, the boys fall a bit behind the girls. You take a moment to photograph the racers behind you, so that later you can go nah-nah-nah-bo-bo. If you look really, really, closely at this photo, you can just see a faint red blob at the very back of the photo. That is the boys.
You approach Obstacle #1. You are feeling cocky and self-assured. You are master of the junkyard cars.
Epic FAIL. You find yourself suddenly with a lot of time on your hands to take pictures, because in your haste to jump off the cars you landed funny on an old tire and hyperextended your knee. You wave off the EMT and try to look brave.
The boys have now caught up.
After a while, your knee feels better enough that you can walk. You can't run or jog or climb things, but you can walk - slowly and carefully. And gosh darn it YOU ARE GOING TO FINISH THE RACE! Because you can walk without limping (right now), you get lots of funny looks like people think you are just being a wimp. When really the slightest wrong movement makes it feel like your kneecap wants to slide off your leg and you would go down like a lead balloon. (That picture, by the way, is as close as Phoenix gets to a "river run").
And then comes the second-to-last obstacle, the part where you are supposed to leap over a burning flame. Twice.
You take a moment to contemplate how you are going to leap over the flames when you can't get a running start and you only have one workable leg with which to push off and land. In the meantime, the people on the sidelines are cheering you on, not understanding the reason behind your hesitation.
But by golly YOU ARE GOING TO LEAP OVER THE BURNING FLAME. TWICE.
Although the second time doesn't go so well and your knee buckles as you land and you almost fall down (but don't!) although the organizers offer you EMT assistance and you can hear someone in the crowd wonder, "what is wrong with her?"
However, now your knee is really smarting and you are supposed to get down on all fours (yes, that's right -- your hands and knees) and crawl through the mud.
You crawl through the mud. Some what awkwardly, of course.
THANK GOD. It's the finish line.
Then it's time for the "warrior showers."
After which you get to redeem your race button for a nice cold beer and relax and listen to some music. Assuming, of course, that you brought a change of clothes so you aren't completely muddy and/or soaked.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, was the Warrior Dash.
A special thanks goes to:
Payson's wife, for being an encouraging team mate even though I crapped out less than halfway through the race;
Frack, for being a good husband and staying by my side for the remainder of the race;
and Payson, for agreeing with Frack that the boys would pay up on our friendly bet even though there was no clear winner due to my injury.
Next year, however, I'm going to train beforehand. And be a little more careful on the obstacles.
(Note: this is not the size of the free beer. This right here is a $20 beer. Although you get to keep the mug.)