Sunday, October 19, 2014

Warrior Dash World Championships!!!

This past weekend Brian and I pack up our bags to start our winter racing season...first we made a quick stop in Sacramento, CA though. Earlier this summer I won a free entry into the Warrior Dash World Championships by winning the Southern California event. My sister and I raced it while I was visiting her and my other siblings after last year's Super Tour Finals in Anchorage, AK.

Brian was going to come and join me for support but then decided he would Dash for the Cash too! First place was $30,000! We figured that it would be an awesome experience and we had no idea how we would do but we would never know unless we tried! One part of my racing career I have always embraced is the opportunity to support myself and my ski racing to the fullest before ever asking for help with funding. I am very proud of how hard Brian and I work to make this the reality and how grateful we are when we come up short for a major event and our great supporters are there to help us go all the way!

The Warrior Dash event this past weekend was nothing new for me, I have been competing in multiple sports to support myself for many years! In College I competed in Cross Country Running in addition to Nordic Skiing so that I could maximize my scholarship and put myself through school. In 2007/ 2008 I enjoyed the opportunity to compete in Biathlon and learned a ton about Nordic Skiing by working with the incredible US Biathlon coaches and traveling on the World Cup circuit with them. So it comes to no surprise to those who know me that I would enter an event to try and make some money to support my upcoming World Cup season!

Making More Mud!!!
Once word got out that Brian and I were headed to CA there were a lot of family members, most of whom lived in CA, that wanted to come and watch the action. Brian's parents, brother and sister-in-law also came to find out what the race was all about.

To describe the course I would have people think about the most difficult Cross Country Running race EVER! Than throw in 12 obstacles, including mud, tires, walls, more mud, balance beams, water and finally more mud! It was unbelievably fun but also exhausting. It's one thing to complete the obstacles when you are fresh or even running at an easy pace but after sprinting hard for 2 miles it makes some of the smallest rope ladders seem to last forever!
Brian after his race.
The event was mass start and the competition was by invitation or qualification only. Brian was lucky to get in without having to compete in a previous event based on his running times and previous racing resume! The Olympic starts certainly helped! The caliber of athletes who showed up were amazing and it was fun to meet many of them on the walk through of the course the day before. Brian raced first and I was able to see him finish and get a quick course report from him! He finished 12 overall and told me he couldn't believe how hard the course was.

Fire, balance beams, water!
Swim, crawl, get stuck! It was all possible in this obstacle!
Just a little mud out there! My shoes weighed about 10 pounds each!
 My race went okay. I have been feeling a little tired lately and I think all the events, clinics and appearances as well as some of my hardest training ever, finally caught up to me. I was a bit slow off the line but picked gals off as we ran almost a mile straight up hill. I reached the bottom of "goat wall" a super steep section just after the mile in 9th place and moved up to 4th just over the top. I was pretty stoked! Although the top two girls had taken off I could see the next ladies just ahead of me at the first obstacle. I rolled as fast as I could and sacrificed knees and elbows on the hard ground! By the next obstacle I could hear a girl climbing quickly on the rope beside me and as I through my leg over the top of the wall to climb down I witnessed her just jumping off the whole thing! Yikes! These girls weren't messing around. I managed to catch her again but as we entered the mud pits I hesitated. I watched as some of the girls who were just ahead were leaping as hard as they could to span the gap over the mud only to then see, and hear them, miss the other side and come crashing down into the mud. I jumped, missed, and found myself waist deep in some seriously thick mud struggling to just get out of the first pit! I watched as two girls jumped over me and left me fumbling around in the muddy hole. I finally made it out and proceeded to jump the next two only to fall into and climb out of the next three. 

The rest of the race went well from there on out. I spent most of the next few obstacles side by side with Clou Godbout, a Canadian Biathlete and recent winner of the Spartan World Championships! I managed to gap her on the net tunnels thanks to my practice on the nets with Brian, Matt Liebsch, Sven Krouese, Andy Brown and Josh Doubert at French Park last week!!!

I could never make back up the time I lost in the first muddy obstacle and finished 7th overall which was still pretty fun. I will definitely be back next year for more of these events! Unfortunately the money only went down to 5th place so both Brian and I left without any cash for our ski season but a pretty fun adventure to talk about for a long time!

Before and After the showers!
Chad and Liet
Team Gregg Cheering Crew!

We boarded a plane at 6 AM this morning and have now settled in to our place here in Canmore, Canada. Tomorrow we will be skiing!!! I love that I get to spend these trips with my husband and that so many of our adventures are together! We are both pumped to get on snow even if it is only a few kilometers. We look forward to getting out and training with the local ski club here as well. The weather is great and I know there are some sweet mountains to climb around here. Right now I am enjoying my day off from training and stretching A LOT of sore muscles I never knew I had!

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