Metro Dash Austin Recap

Sometimes we get ourselves into trouble. Well maybe not trouble per se, but let ourselves be opened up to punishment. Last week while watching my twitter feed over lunch I saw Austin Fit Magazine launch a contest for an entry into Metro Dash Austin. Being the savvy internets user I am, I found the answer to their question and won! Well crap, that meant I had to actually go and do the Metro Dash. What is the Metro Dash you ask? According to their website it’s the ultimate test of athleticism. Competitors run city streets in search of scattered physical challenge points, power through intense interval workouts, and conquer “The Gauntlet,” an extreme urban obstacle course.

Knowing that a lot of the challenges were Tabata drills, I quickly ramped up my training midweek so I wouldn’t be embarrassed. Then I found this video on youtube and could feel my thighs screaming in agony… what the heck was I getting into? Oh and the course itself is pretty straightforward. They give you 5 points around the city at which the challenges are located, you decide the route you RUN and the order you complete them. Then make it back. Did I mention they had a Navy Seal design this stuff? Probably the most odd component to this race was its high noon start time. In Austin. Texas. In May.

I picked up my packet Friday evening at Lululemon Athletica which gave me time to plan out my route that I would run. On Saturday I arrive at Zilker Park with plenty of time to warm up and get my bearings before the race started. I chatted with a few other runners, some of who were first timers like me and others who had done this race before. Five minutes till the start they announced the final challenge location. Fortunately for my planning it worked out great. The horn sounded and we were off. It was the craziest looking race start I’ve ever seen. A swarm of people heading over to the right down Barton Springs, and another swarm to the left down to the trails. My route was down the trails over to the challenge point at auditorium shores. I arrived to a small group already working on the challenge which was Tabata Star Jumpers. Ouch. I finished, grabbed a cup of water and jogged down the trail to cross over on the 1st street bridge. I started to head up Guadalupe St. when I saw another competitor running the other way. I signaled to him to follow me. He got turned around and thought Guadalupe was another block up. We ran up to 9th where another challenge point awaited us at Wooldridge park, Tabata Push-ups. I started strong, and although there are no pictures to prove it, had to finish in good form, but doing them on my knees. I grabbed some water, ate some sport beans and cruised DOWN 9th to Duncan park where the Gauntlet was punishing competitors. Unlike the other challenges, it was a series of pain. Rope swings, tractor tire flips, slam ball, TRX rows, sled drag, kettle bell swings, box jumps, bear crawl and finally a wall jump. There were several moments where I literally sat on the ground wondering if I would be able to finish. I finally completed and was on my way, slowly. Up on Lamar I headed to Pease Park on 15th. I caught up to a couple of guys and we steadily jogged, walked our way up still recovering from the Gauntlet. At Pease Park our challenge was Tabata Sit-ups. This was one of the few challenges I felt prepared for, minus sitting in the Austin sun at 1pm in the afternoon. We could feel the sun baking our skin as we moved through the eight stations. After finishing there I knew I was on the home stretch. I started running back down Lamar to 6th street where the final challenge was at Lululemon. And yes, it was the Tabata Squats. I was glad the squats were last for me, but they still hurt. I finally finished, hydrated and continued down Lamar. I made it across Lamar and back to the trails on which I started. It was a very slow last mile. When I was walking I couldn’t get my resting heart rate below 160. I exited the trail at Zilker and worked my way towards the finish. I had been watching my time and knew I was close to 1:45. As I was running up the hill I saw the clock and began to sprint and crossed the finish line right on 1:45. Then I wanted to pass out. I found the water jug and a banana quickly. I stumbled over to the recovery area where some blessed souls were operating massage tables. After a few minutes I felt human again and could bask in the fact I finished the race, and with a decent time. I mulled around with the other finishers for a while and ate a Clif Bar. After the final results were posted I placed 6th in the individual ranks and added with the team times, 15th overall. This was a great event and I highly recommend it to my athletic friends when they return to Austin next year. They’ll be in Houston this fall and I’m contemplating going through the pain with a friend 🙂

You can check out some of the pictures from the event here.

    • John Johanis
    • May 25th, 2010

    Sounds like a friggin awesome time. Nothing really makes you feel alive like completing something so challenging.

      • John Domis
      • May 26th, 2010

      If Johanis is impressed then it has to be hard.

  1. Nice stuff! That sounds hardcore! This race reminds me of another particular kind of race that I read about in the NYT recently. Have you heard of Tough Mudder?? It seems pretty…interesting and really fun.

    Anyway, sounds like it was a pretty tough race but you got through it 🙂 Congrats!

    • Chris Nagy
    • May 25th, 2010

    This race was awsome. I placed 2nd on a team run. I would do a metro dash any city any time. Well as long as I could get there.

    • Jackie
    • August 11th, 2010

    Thank you for posting this blog. I’m doing Metro Dash Philadelphia next Saturday, August 21, 2010 for the first time, and had no idea what to expect, come next Saturday. I’ve been working out steadily for the past year or so, attending regular Boot Camp classes twice a week. If you have any tips, please, please, let me know. Thanks again!!

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