Category Archives: Workin’ Out

Pacers Four Courts Four Miler

Pacers Four Courts Four Milers Race is a great reason to celebrate St. Patty’s day in an active way before you drink all those green pints. I mean that’s one main reason I run, to not feel guilty about my indulgences.

I was supposed to run this year, but I recently sprained my ankle running trails (I’m prob the clumsiest person you’ll meet), so I played team mom instead. Last year I ran the race in 35:05, this year I prob would’ve walked in a solid 1 hr time with my peeps in the 70-99 age group.

Pacers knows their stuff when it comes to running. Organization, freebies, and festivities are key to a race’s success.  The packet pick up that morning is a little crowded in Four Courts, but organized, and they keep you entertained with some live music.  Your race packet includes a St. Patty’s themed race tee and a beer ticket to redeem after the race. I’ve heard beer has the same positive recovery benefits as chocolate milk (source: some drunk college kid).

four courts four miler

Races centered around holidays bring out the best spirit and fun costumes. I loved seeing the sea of green run down Wilson Boulevard, while listening to the bag pipes play and the Irish dancers tap away.

The course is slightly challenging.  Savor the first mile down hill, cause the last mile is all uphill. After running that mile uphill it surely does feel like you’ve found a pot of gold crossing the finish line. Your bum looks pretty good too.

four courts four miler

Pacers also throws in a fun St. Patty’s day twist. One of Pacer’s sprinters, an Irish lad named Robbie Wade, starts the race 10 minutes after the start gun. He tries his best beat you to the finish line.  If you beat him, you win a prize (this year, a water bottle) but if he beats you Pacers donates a $1 to the Arlington County Police Benevolent Fund.

The race ends with a celebration at Four Courts with some live music and ale drinkin’.

My Four Courts Four Milers Recommendations for you:

  • Sign up early, this race has sold out since 2010 its conception.
  • Duh, wear green. If you’re a lady, I would suggest sparkly green tutus.
  • Train on hills.
  • Hire one of your friends to chase you while you run. You’ll be well prepared for beating the leprechaun.
  • If you want to beat the record, somehow start running 4:56 miles. I suggest strapping a jet pack to your back. Frank Devar set the record in 2011 running the race in 19:44.2…that’s 4:57 miles! Lindsay Ritchings set the record for the ladies  in 2010 running the race in 23:48…that’s 5:47 miles!

Check out the race page, Pacers Four Courts Four Milers.

Here are some action shots of Brian taken by Swim Bike Run Photography.

pacers four courts four miler

Pacers Four Courts Four Miler

Brian finished 52nd out of 1511 runners, 43rd  fastest male, and 17th in this age group!  He ran the race in 27:55, that’s 6:52 miles. He’s reallll fast and kinda a big deal…and he’s my boyfriend 🙂

I actually almost missed him running by because 1. I went and got coffee from Bean Good. 2. I was distracted by a gay couple outside of Bean Good who had an adorable cute and fluffy Shih Tzu (perfectly groomed of course). 3. Did I mention he’s real fast?

pacers four cours

Also one last fun race day give-away for the ladies were Becca Bands. They’re these great hair ties that don’t leave a crease in your hair after you wear them. They’re hand dyed and tied. Check out her website and order a few too, Becca Bands.

becca hair bands

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Maryland Warrior Dash–Ahu, Ahu, Ahu WE. ARE. WARRRIORS!

What ya doing today? Just being a warrior...casual.

Maryland Warrior Dash!

Not many will submit their bodies through this brutal challenge, known as the “Warrior Dash”. What does it take to be a warrior exactly? Well be prepared to run 3.11 hellish miles through hilly trails, crawl through thick, smelly mud, climb over rope walls, run through fire, and most especially prepare your mind, body and soul to get dirty (realllll dirty)!

I have run, many a race in my day, but this was by far the most fun. Why? Well to begin, this country grown girl loved driving out to the middle of nowheresville, surrounded by green rolling hills and fresh air (yes, I will most likely become one of those “Sunday Drivers” when I grow up) but hey, for anyone it’s a nice escape from the city. This course was located about 1.5 hours away from Washington, D.C. in cow country, also known as  Mechanicsville, Maryland.

Group Shot!

Walking to the register, you can feel the intensity of this event.  Mud covered warrior, after warrior, passing you by with a smile on their face and a medal around their neck (to Brian’s delight). You can feel their sense of pride over course they just conquered.  Immediately you catch a glimpse of this beast of a race course–adrenaline pumps through your timid, not yet warrior veins.  You hear a whisper in your ear, “Prepare yourself for battle.”

Prepare we did with some duct tape around our shoes, tight clothing (no need to show my bootie), and sunscreen slathered on our pale bodies– Ahu Ahu Ahu…we were ready to fight this treacherous beast.

Each new wave of the race starts every half hour with a stampeding line, and thunderous, firing boom (literally there is a huge fire explosion as each new wave begins). After watching waves go by, Brian and I decided to be the first in our heat to avoid the bottlenecks formed at the awaiting obstacles. I became increasingly nervous as I  looked around and realized I was surrounded by lanky, cross country runners and bulky body builders with only a few girls in sight. I thought, “Here goes nothing right?”

Warrior Dash-Rope Wall

The firing boom went off and our stampede trampled on…

We began sprinting up hilly trails, and immediately my little lungs were burning (my cold didn’t help). Our first battle was climbing through a spider web of ropes. I was thankful at this point I wasn’t climbing through this mess with 50 other people. Whew, first obstacle down 32572395 to go.

Muddddddddd…..

What lay ahead? You bet–good ol’ fashioned mud. You know the scene from Forest Gump where he talks about the rain—“We’ve been through every kind of rain there is. Little bitty stinging rain and big ol’ fat rain. Rain that flew in sideways. And sometimes rain even seemed to come straight up from underneath. Shoot, it even rained at night…” well that’s how I felt about this mud.

Well, we ran through:

  • Thick, smelly, almost wet cement type mud–Many a shoe were lost in this mud. May they rest in smelly peace.
  • Soppy, liquified mud–which you had to crawl through under a tarp.
  • Mud so deep at one point it came up to my waist–After climbing over the wall and jumping into the mud, one fellow commented, “Where did she go? “
  • Shoot, even the trails were made out of dried mud.

After the mud, we climbed rope walls, hay covered hills, ran through hanging tires, and jumped through grounded tires. My body was exhausted to the point of wanting to walk away from it all, when I looked up and there was my salvation, a huge water slide!!! Yippeeee!

Ouch, Ouch…My feet feel hot for some reason.

Of course you can’t end this race all sparkling and clean. After the water slide, the last leg of the run involved jumping over inflamed railroad ties and climbing under barbed wire through a huge mud pit. This made for some great photographs and some smelly hugs at the end.

The best part of the finale? Brian was there waiting for me with my muddy medal.

Showering off.

Turkey leg!

After of course snapping a few necessary photos to show everyone how muddy we were, we donated our muddy shoes, and enjoyed being watered down with a power wash hose.

My tips to potential warriors:

  • Duct Tape your shoes if you want to keep them.
  • Actually, keep them until the end of the race and then donate them…it’s for a good cause.
  • Wear spandex pants. The mud has sticks and rocks mixed in and you will be crawling through it. Your knees will thank you.
  • Drink plenty of water, of course. This is a brutal challenge and there is only one water stop.
  • Wear suncreen! Even a warriors skin is susceptible to burn and even worse, skin cancer.
  • Train on hills and/or stairs. The course was a constant up and down hill.
  • Buy a huge turkey leg after the race and dig in!

    If battle is this fun, then this warrior is ready for war.

We got medals!

warrior dash-muddy after shot

Huge pile of donated shoes--warriors have big hearts too!



Sign up for the 2012 Maryland Warrior Dash Race:

warrior dash race, mechanicsville, maryland

 Other Future Warrior Dash Races:

Other Future Mud Runs in the D.C. Area:

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