Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Warrior, Dashed

Last year marked the debut of the Warrior Dash in Minnesota, and the response was overwhelming.  More than ten thousand people ran on the first day of the race on Saturday, July 23rd, and nearly ten thousand more showed up to run the course the next day.  Red Frog Events, the company who runs theWarrior Dash, must be making a killing, because these adventure/obstacle course-style races are sweeping the nation and popping up everywhere.  There are urban obstacle courses, zombie runs, the Tough Mudder, and enough new races showing up every day to keep my email inbox littered with invitations.

Just about all of these races sound interesting, but the entry fees on each new race seems to be higher than the one before it.  When it comes to adventure races, call me a traditionalist, but I'm sticking with the Warrior Dash.  Last year, Ted, McLovin, and I all signed up for the same start time, and the race was a lot of fun.  The toughest "obstacles" were the long, painful, nearly-vertical ski slopes at Afton Alps.  I finished the course faster than I'd expected, and I now have a pair of socks and underwear that are permanently chocolate-colored from the mudpit and the end of the course.  I'm hoping that someday they'll end up enshriened in the Warrior Dash Hall of Fame...if such a thing existed.  I'm confident that one day it will.

A few weeks after the race, I received an email from Red Frog encouraging me to sign up for the 2012 Warrior Dash.  I jumped at the chance--early registrants pay a lower entry fee, and $50 later, I was registered for the race, and Ted and McLovin signed up again, too.  A few weeks after that, I received yet another email--this one said that both days of the race had already been fiilled, and with the overwhelming demand, Red Frog would hold a second Warrior Dash in Minnesota this year. 

It seemed so far away at the time, but I've been training like an Olympian, hoping to improve on last year's time.  Every day on the elliptical machine, I ask the person next to me to swing a bag of frozen oranges at me every fifteen seconds to keep my reflexes sharp.  After my workouts, I have the trainers break pool cues over my abs for fifteen minutes to toughen me up.  And for almost a year now, I've been sleeping in the oven to prepare for the intense summer heat.  Nothing could stop me from a spectacular finish in this year's race...except maybe my memory.

Two weeks ago, Red Frog sent an email saying that there was still time to register for the Warrior Dash on June 30 or July 1. I had already signed up many months ago, so I deleted the email.  And as I recalled, I signed up for the race in September, so I assumed this was a reminder for the second race that Red Frog added to the schedule after that first weekend filled up.  But you know what they say happens when you assume...

On July 2, a "Warrior Dash Results" email showed up.  Once again, I didn't think much of it...until I opened it and the first line said, "Thank you for participating in Warrior Dash Minnesota last weekend."  Needless to say, I hadn't competed in a Warrior Dash last weekend.  I started to panic.  I looked back through months of old emails and found my registration confirmation from last year.  Sure enough, I had registered for the June 30th race. Somehow, McLovin, Ted, and I had all completely forgotten about the race and missed it.

I'm still trying to figure out how this happened.  All these months, I'd been thinking that I had registred for the September race.  For whatever reason, I guess that date stuck in my head after I read that the second race that Red Frog added to the calendar was in September.  But I'm not taking all the blame for this--why didn't Red Frog send me an email saying, "REMBMER TO SHOW UP TO THE RACE ON JUNE 30!"?  Instead, all I got was a useless message saying that there was still time to register...all the while forgetting that I was already registered for that date!

After eleven months of training, preparation, and anticipation, it turns out that the only thing that could stop me from a strong showing at the Warrior Dash was forgetting to show up for the Warrior Dash.  Early this year, I'd hoped that my summer would have two race-related events.  But last month, I had to skip the Urban Assault bike race that I'd done with McLovin the past two years because it fell on a day when I was out of town on vacation.  Then, of course, my other event for the summer, the Warrior Dash, went undashed. Needless to say, the summer is going to be a lot less eventful than I'd hoped...and I mean that quite literally. 

To rub a little salt in this still-fresh wound, I received yet another email today.  This one was from Sport Photo, Inc., a company that takes pictures on race day.  Apparently my official Warrior Dash proofs are ready to view.  And, in case I was wondering, my bib number was 75875.  If only they knew...

Where do I go from here? This was a tragic and embarassing error, but true warriors don't use calendars or Outlook reminders.  I could always register for the September Warrior Dash, but I'm not too crazy about that idea, given that I already spent $50 and got absolutely nothing in return.  No obstacles, no T-shirt, no medal, no mud pit, and no glory.  Instead of the traditional "I Survived The Warrior Dash" T-shirt, I'm going to have to make one for myself.  My slogan might say something like, "I Registered for the Warrior Dash and All I Got Was This Lousy Blog Post."

Warrior Dash 2012: The year of the unleapt flames...

1 comment:

  1. Wow! I made a double showing! I'm famous!!