{Double Race Challenge: Best Damn Race & Warrior Dash!}

Some of you may remember when I participated in a “Double Race Challenge” last October with Matt of Matt B Davis Runs and Damion, founder of MudRunFun. We decided it would be fun to see what it was like to run two races in one day, selected two races within a couple of hours from each other (Savage Race & Xtreme Mud Warrior), made up some great shirts, and the “Triangle of Awesomeness” was created!

Well, I believe we’ve started a movement! Since now to many obstacle racers I know, the whole idea of running two races in a day sounds like a pretty fantastic way to spend a Saturday!

Yesterday I had the pleasure of participating in my second Double Race Challenge! The day started bright and early as my friend Stephanie and I headed up to Safety Harbor, Fl (an adorable waterfront community) to run in the inaugural Best Damn Race.

The folks of Best Damn Race have a great race on their hands! Stephanie and I ran the 10K, but they also had a 5K and half marathon to choose from as well. The course was absolutely beautiful! Set along the water as well as winding through a cute little park, the scenery was enjoyable. There were even a few hills to add a bit of a challenge to the run (those are hard to come by in Florida!).

The post race expo, music, and beer garden were really great! Although I did not choose to partake in a 7:30am slice of pizza and beer (many did!), they also offered healthy snacks, free massages, and great music keeping the post race excitement alive. There were also several local running/fitness oriented businesses present selling their products at great discounts.

I also must say that I was very impressed with the pre-race communication from Best Damn Race. I regularly received emails with updates, and felt very informed from sign up till race day.

For a new race, Best Damn Race was (pardon my French) pretty damn good! It’s a road race that I’ll actually have interest in running again!

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We finished up at Best Damn Race, headed back to my place to change, met up with a couple more friends, and hopped in the car to make a two hour drive over to Warrior Dash!

This year was my second go around with Warrior Dash. Last January they hosted their race in the same location, and I went back this year with one goal in mind; to redeem myself for last years performance.

Last year I did well, I pushed myself to the best of my ability at the time, and finished strong. The problem? I got lost mid race and sacrificed several minutes getting back on course. I left that day extremely frustrated! This year my main goal was to leave Warrior Dash feeling confident and happy with my performance.

We arrived in Lake Wales, excited to run! I had decided to run first and then meet up with my friends after to run a lap with them. So while the ladies checked their bags and got situated, I quickly got ready, said hello to a few fellow OCR friends who were present, and hopped into line to run.

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Warrior Dash is fun! Whenever I talk with people who have not yet tried an obstacle race and are interested in giving it a go, Warrior Dash is typically the race I suggest. It’s big, well organized, a challenge but not too hard to scare the beginner away, and they host an after party that can’t be beat! Overall it’s a blast of an event that is guaranteed to hook new obstacle racing fanatics at each event!

The course this year was laid out differently than last year, which added a nice change so repeat runners would not know what to expect. Overall the obstacles were pretty great! There were a few new ones this year, but I was a bit disappointed that by my wave (12pm), one of the water obstacles was broken, so we were just instructed to run through the water, and another obstacle was breaking (a series of chain steps that we had to progress up and back down). There was also an obstacle that had a 30 minute + wait time. Unfortunately those of us running for time all decided to forego this obstacle so we could finish with a competitive time. These are things that are almost expected at a newer race, but not at a race as seasoned as Warrior Dash.

I finished the 3.34 mile course in 31.06 minutes! Overall I placed in the top 5% of finishers, and in the top 2% of my age group!  I am THRILLED with these results!20130203-161237.jpg

Although I hoped to run with my friends after, the Warrior Dash staffer were very strict and had “line bouncers” removing those of us trying to run twice, so unfortunately I was not able to run again. (Which, on a side note, I don’t understand what the big deal is since there are not many of us who want to run multiple times. The staff was pretty rude about it as well). So instead of joining in, I waited on the sidelines and was able to cheer my friends on as they crossed the finish line! They did amazing!

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We then enjoyed our free beer, live music, and celebrated our success! Although there were a few disappointments at Warrior Dash, ultimately we had an awesome time!

So I was able to earn two medals yesterday!! (Did I forget to mention my 10K PR?? 54:50 was my finishing time, almost four whole minutes faster than my last 10K PR!!!). We had a blast, and enjoyed a perfectly awesome Saturday at two great races!

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I’m so excited for my 10K PR, and looking forward to seeing my ending Warrior Dash results as I feel that I did very well! Not only that, but I ended the day feeling great! Not drained, not burnt out, and with gas left in the tank. It’s hard to explain how great it is to walk away from a day that most would view as impossible, feeling like I conquered the world and could keep on going!

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Until next time, happy Super Bowl everyone! Have a great Sunday!
~Holly

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