Warrior Dash (2011) – A Timeline:

7:00am – Head out with brother-in-law, Luke, for Warrior Dash; Expect great time of adventure and bonding

7:30am – Luke reveals he was unable to get 9:00am starting time with me and had to settle for 9:30am

7:31am – Decide this will still be a great time of bonding; Try to ignore the fact that we won’t be running together

8:20am – Approach traffic standstill 5 miles from entrance; Become a bit concerned about not making my starting time

8:47am – Pass entrance and find parking spot; Neglect to make note of location

8:50am – Get in line for race packet

8:55am – Luke pulls race shirt from packet; I remark about its cool design; I pull my race shirt from packet; Logo is crooked, off-centered, and cut off by collar; [Typical]

8:56am – Hand my bag to Luke and rush to the starting line; Neglect to establish meeting place for after the race

9:00am – Reach starting line as buzzer sounds; Start running behind enormous male with full orange Viking beard (and wearing large pink tutu) who exclaims, “Wait, I thought this was the food line.”

9:05am – Jokes have continued from bearded friend until the start of first obstacle; Hear him say, “Hold on, I’m going to need a minute…” to the others in his party as I tackle the balance beam.

9:20am – Following too closely behind random rear end in seemingly endless tunnel; Preceding individual slips and loses ground on incline; Un-preferred contact ensues; Time appears to stop while both parties struggle desperately for separation

9:27am – Approach finish line and watch preceding contestants leap over line of fire while posing for photo op

9:28am – Take ambitious leap over fire and attempt to pose for dashing, superhero-like photo; Notice in lower peripheral vision that a second line of fire lies just beyond the first, necessitating a substantially shorter leap; [Photo later reveals a pose and expression resembling someone who has just slipped on a skateboard and is about to fall into a cactus]

9:29am – Run while patting at shoe in attempt to extinguish flame from tip of shoelace

9:30am – Watch preceding contestants dive into mud of final obstacle before crawling under barbed wire; Attempt similar leap that rather resembles a 3-year-old jumping into a pool with a duck-faced floaty

9:31am – Cross finish line tired, hungry, and extremely thirsty; Claim race bag and head for beer tent

9:35am – Asked by table-tender if I would prefer a cup or a commemorative beer mug;  “Mug…of course!”; [Attempts to refill at home would later reveal that mug holds approximately 5 beers]

9:36am – Head back to finish line to wait for Luke while enthusiastically guzzling beer

9:38am – Notice that everyone crossing finish line is covered in mud and looks relatively indistinguishable from others

10:00am – Try to focus on recognizing Luke with increasingly impaired senses

11:00am – Determine I must have missed Luke at the finish line and decide to search the grounds

11:01am – Notice the grounds are moving; Wonder why I’m walking like sailor on tumultuous seas; Discover empty mug in hand

11:05am – Pass a shoe donation bin with a sign above that reads, “Donate your muddy shoes.”; “What a clever idea.” I say and toss my shoes in bin

11:06am – Discover no further need for socks; Toss them in nearby trash bin

11:10am – Decide to head for parking lot and see if Luke has returned to car

11:12am – Encounter rough and jagged lime-rock road; Wonder what has become of my shoes; Determine they must be in bag

11:13am – Reach parking lot entrance and look out upon a sea of endless swimming cars and trucks; Decide this can wait

11:14am – Head back to main grounds and try to get radio announcer to request for Luke to return to the main entrance; “How old is he?” the announcer inquires; “Um…”; [not a 5-beer question]; “Sorry man,” he says “we only make those announcements for children.”

11:15am – Decide to sit in middle of grounds and hope for Luke to pass by

11:18am – Pass out

12:00pm – Wake up to starting buzzer for noon heat; Take a moment to recall where I am; Notice bare feet; Check bag

12:01pm – Determine shoes must have been stolen; Scan grounds for shoe thief; Notice hundreds of bare feet; Count shoes as a loss

12:02pm – Decide to head back to car for phone and let wife know I’ve lost her brother

12:08pm – Reach gate of parking lot and head in general direction of car with some memory returning

12:10pm – Approach car and hear Luke talking on the phone, “Yeah, I haven’t seen him since the start of his…wait…here he comes.”; “Man, I’ve been looking for you everywhere.” he says; “Oh…and I see you donated your shoes too.”; “Yeah” I say.  “Wait…what?”

Author: T. A. Fuller

I'm a 40 year old husband and father of four. I'm also an Air Force veteran with a Master's Degree in Health Administration from the University of Florida, and I am currently employed by the Veterans Health Administration. I am committed to sustainable health, and I would love for you to be as well. Please, come join me on this journey!

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