The Warrior Dash.

I felt pretty defeated after that so-called “decom”.

So I took a break from the haunt scene for the year, and wanted to focus on having fun. A few trips to California, and the Warrior Dash would meet those needs for… well, I’d say “normal”, but that doesn’t necessarily apply for my events.

Before all the soul sucking goo.

Before all the soul sucking goo.

Getting warriored up.

Getting warriored up.

So it was over to Lake Las Vegas, which felt wonderful as far as days go for a run. I did the whole check in, grabbed my race stuff, get prepped for my run schtick (Me? Train beforehand? Don’t be ridiculous.) And just before the race began, I was reunited with Gina, Alex, and their friend Ingrid.

So we were off. Ingrid did her own pace while the remaining three of us kept together. There reaches a point in the race very early one where you give up being dry, or clean, as we waded through some waist deep water very early on. Among the other obstacles included a wonderful crawl under some barbed wire on this extremely rocky ground, climbing some various obstacles,

And then the first mud pit.

Actually, it was thick, black sludgy clay that worked overtime to suck you down with every step. The race people encouraged us to go barefoot, which was wise considering every step became harder to pull off. This was some straight up, Neverending Story Artax sucking “Swamp of Sadness” level goo.

“You know what I hate about today’s politics”, Gina asked me as I had just lost my left arm to the muck. “All the mudslinging!” *SLAP* A huge chunk of black sludge decorated my right side, courtesy of Gina. To which I clumsily returned a volley of fire. At that point, Gina’s pants began to get swallowed by the glop. I started to go back to help, but it freeing my right foot, I lost balance and came down hard on a thorn bush. The blood was immediately cauterized by the black clay, but I was immobile. Strangers helped Gina out as she sunk deeper and deeper. By the end, she escaped, and became a legend of the course: “No Pants Girl”. The clay was so thick that it formed a second skin around our legs, and honestly, you couldn’t tell the difference that she had become a runner in her skivvies. “This is like Burning Man all over again”, I mused to myself. Finally, the three of us were reunited, and had to take a moment to recover.

One of the many obstacles.

One of the many obstacles.

A lot of water....

A lot of water….

And mud.

And mud.

Our group climbed sheer walls, teetered over balance beams, crawled over cargo nets and tires, each obstacle presenting a new challenge. In between obstacles, we volleyed the “Pants Baby” around for amusement, the muddy mess feeling like 30 pounds of ridiculousness. I lost my race number in the fray. The “Legend of No Pants Girl” grew with each passing group. We sloshed through a few more tiny pools of water, giving up all pretense of staying clean. I actually felt good doing all of this, despite my back and foot injury from the Summer. It was like my childhood at my old home had prepared me for this moment, as this was completely the sort of thing I would have done any given Summer’s day. This sort of activity was very much “old times” for me. And then finally….

We reached the fire hurdles.

All those years of Super Mario Bros. finally paid off.

All those years of Super Mario Bros. finally paid off.

Going as a team, Alex, Gina and I hopped over the flames in unison before the final challenge to cross the finish line: Crawl belly deep through a mud pit. And now we were face deep, crawling through, trying to keep from sinking, as we rose to cross the finish line, and claim our medals.

Winner's circle.

Winner’s circle.

I'm the best around!  Nothing's ever gonna take me down!

I’m the best around! Nothing’s ever gonna take me down!

After finishing the race, I went to get hosed down and lose about 75 pounds worth of mud.

A winner is me.

A winner is me.

Later that night, Gina, Alex and I ziplined down Fremont Street to keep riding the adrenaline high, and like any good athlete, when asked what I was going to do now that I finished the big race….

I went to Disneyland.

Yes, indeed. It was a mighty fine time there in getting ready for Halloween:

Day of the Dead (or Dias de las Muertas).

Day of the Dead (or Dias de las Muertas).

Got to hang out with a few new friends:

"I'm gonna wreck it!"

“I’m gonna wreck it!”

Have a few fruity-fruity drinks:

It tastes just like candy.  Don't disappoint me, Ray!

It tastes just like candy. Don’t disappoint me, Ray!

And even got to check out Cars Land at California Adventure:

I get my kicks....

I get my kicks….

Much needed, let me tell you.

Back at home, I was commissioned to check out a preview show of the Blue Man Group, since they moved over to the Monte Carlo (where that one print job went, I’ll never know):

More a green man than blue....

More a green man than blue….

I even found a little time for karaoke:

And as for my first Halloween at home, where I got to hand out candy to a billion Freddy Kruegers and Batmen:

A long night of ghosts and witches.

A long night of ghosts and witches.