Thursday, April 24, 2014

Dirty Dozen 5k Obstacle Race

In my quest to compete in the Warrior Dash Obstacle Race World Championships in October, I headed over to Albany, OR to compete in another training race, the Dirty Dozen 5k.  Appropriately named, this race was all about getting dirty AND muddy.  Now in it's 2nd year, the race attracted over 500 competitors. There were 5 heat waves of 100 people, each wave starting 10 min. apart beginning at 9am.

cargo net climb
photo credit:  Ariel Wasson

When I signed up I was planning to drive over the day of the event, race, and then drive home.  So I opted for the later start time, 9:40am.  As itr turns out i drove over Friday night and spent the night in a hotel near the venue, the Albany Motorcross Park.

The motorcross park made for a great location to have the race as the constant undulating terrain and mud kept you from getting comfortable.  Over the course of 3.1 miles, there were 12 (dirty "dozen") obstacles to navigate.  The obstacles were not very challenging, was definitely hoping for more of a challenge, but combined with the technical section of singletrack mud through the forest, there were enough to challenge even the fittest. Along the course there was the Anytime Fitness "Hill of Hurt", a man-made sand hill each competitor had to navigate while carrying 1 (women) or 2 (men) sandbags up and over 3 times.  Each sandbag weighed roughly 20 lbs.  It was located near the finish so it was the perfect obstacle to separate those close to each other.

Other obstacles included were several water crossings, a couple tight tunnels to crawl through, a monkey bar, cargo net, three 12-foot walls, several barriers to go under (in muddy water of course), and about ten 3-foot concrete walls to hurdle over.

In my wave (9:40am) I was in the front with 3 others for most of the first 1/2 of the race.  Then slowly 2 riders began to fall back and it was now myself and Brian Fahey battling it out.  We kept a good pace going and once we reached the "Hill of Hurt" I passed him and seemed to gain some ground as I noticed he had fallen back a few seconds.  I finished 1st in my heat wave, but finished 4th overall.

There were a couple places were it bottle-necked a little in my wave; as my wave caught up to others that started in the waves before us.  This cost myself and a few others about 20-30 seconds at each spot.  After looking back, i wish I had selected the 9am heat wave as this would not have been an issue.  Looking at the result the top 3 were all in wave 1.

Overall I was very happy with the event and would certainly recommend it to anyone looking for an inexpensive obstacle race that has enough to challenge the fit, but also not too much that most can do and enjoy.

Here are the full RESULTS.

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