Team ANGRY PANDAS! Savage Race Recap!

by Her Happy Balance on September 17, 2013

Running in the Savage Race was definitely one of the craziest things I have ever done. I know you frequently hear me say that I love to shop, get manicures, and drink wine with my girlfriends on this blog, but I also have a crazy and intense competitive spirit and I hate to turn down a challenge. I’ll be upfront and say that my main drives for running this race were peer pressure (boyfriend) and the bling. I wanted that medal. I wanted to be able to say I did it…and even though it was ridiculously tough, I am so proud of myself for stepping out of my comfort zone and just doing it.

Savage Race

The first thing I realized when I got to the race was that I was probably underdressed. I’m still somewhat of a race newbie – this was only my 5th race ever – and all of my races were ran in the Spring and Summer. Although it is still technically summer, the race was out in bumble PA up in the mountains and it was 45 degrees outside with 15 knot wins. AKA you think you’re in the arctic tundra when you’re wearing a cut up t-shirt and just some capris. My team, the Angry Pandas (you can probably guess who got to name the team), and I hit up the bathrooms first and then headed over to check our bags. We got in a few quick stretches, took our pre-workout shakes, and then headed into the race corral. We were the 12:20pm wave and I think there were maybe 100 or so people total in the wave. At the starting line, an announcer tried to pump us up with chants and loud music. Everyone was moving around and bumping elbows trying to keep warm. And then we started!

The "Before" shot

The “Before” shot

The first obstacle was called “shriveled Richard.” We climbed up ladders then plunged into a ~15 foot long pool of ice. I will let you deduce how the obstacle got it’s name. Holy hell. But as if wading to the other side of the pool wasn’t enough, they put barricades in the water that required you to put your whole body under the water to clear them, thus soaking us from head to toe in ice water. Totally an activity that sane people would engage in. I could not get out of that water fast enough! From there the running portion of the race began. I’m fairly certain my body was in shock and my fingers couldn’t move, but I had to keep up with my team and I knew that running would warm me up!

My feelings exactly, sir. (source)

My feelings exactly, sir.

This race was my first taste of trail racing. Most of the racing was done in a single file line through the forest jumping over tree roots (they were EVERYWHERE!) lots of rocks and ducking under tree branches. Portions of the race required us to wade through streams, and long stretches were run through mud that came up mid calf. Quite pleasant. I almost rolled my ankle a good 12-15 times and took a spill a little after mile 1 and caught myself on a pile of rocks. It was practically a walk in the park!

Savage Race Battle Wound

One of my greatest fears is heights, and I feel like I definitely gained some head way on conquering that during this race. Lots of the obstacles required us to climb over wooden walls, or up big roped ladders and we even had to jump off a little man-made cliff. It was probably about 2 or 3 stories high and you plummet into a 15 foot deep pool of muddy water. SO MANY WATER OBSTACLES!

The "After" Shot. Please excuse all of my "angry panda" faces as I was delirious and potentially on the verge of pneumonia, let's just say I kept in character...

The “After” Shot. Please excuse all of my “angry panda” faces as I was delirious and potentially on the verge of pneumonia, let’s just say I kept in character…

Some other memorable obstacles were the numerous sections of crawling under barbed wire (shout out to the cuts on my back, hey-yo!), jumping over coals, crawling under wires that shocked/tasered you, walking across a long balance beam over a pit of muddy water, crawling through pipes, carrying heavy logs/wooden planks over a distance, swimming in mud pools with barricades, jumping over walls, and every other crazy obstacle you can think of that would require the use of random muscles and would lead to a mud covered body.

Guys Flexing

When I saw the last obstacle in sight, I was doing mental backflips! We ended on a high note going down this crazy water slide into yet another pool of mud. I think one of the happiest moments of my life was when I got that metal put around my neck at the finish line.

Angry Panda!

Okay so I am being overly dramatic here, but seriously, it was an AMAZING feeling knowing that I finished. The whole time when I looked around the majority of the race was men. Really, really RIPPED men. Men with bleeding cuts on their foreheads who looked like they ate this type of race up for breakfast. I’d say it was probably about 75% men to 25% female. I’m happy I held my own 🙂 I finished in the top 30% overall. And out of the group of women, I kicked some massive butt.

Savage Race Finishers

My team was AMAZING! I ran the race with two really fit guys, the boyfriend and a friend of ours. They were awesome. After every obstacle, we waited and made sure that we all had made it through. And there were plenty of high fives and phrases of encouragement thrown my way throughout the race. Also, at one point there was a 10 or 12 foot wall that we had to get over, and there was no way I could’ve done it without my team helping to lift me over it. Even though I look like a human bruise (and chipped a tooth), doing this race was a great experience and I’m glad I did it. Whether or not I will complete another one of these is another story, but I hate to turn down a good challenge!

Free Beer Ticket


Savage Race Beer

Have you ever competed in a race like this? Would you?
What’s the longest distance you have raced? This was my longest at 6 or 7 miles.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Nicole @ Simply Nicole September 17, 2013 at 7:29 am

You are nuts!! Congrats tho! Can’t believe you chipped a tooth!

Chelsea @ A Fit LittleOne September 17, 2013 at 8:30 am

Love this!!! My boyfriend and I are thinking about doing race like that, this is one called Tough Mudder. They just look like so much fun, and after seeing/hearing(reading?) about it here, I will defiantly be doing this next summer!! Love your team name 😉 Great job!!!

Rachel @ Undercover Diva: A Sitcom September 17, 2013 at 8:59 am

Is Savage Race similar to Tough Mudder? I wanna do a regular mud run before I try anything like this, but I think it would be so fun! You rocked it! I can’t believe your panda makeup stayed on throughout the entire race! Was it eye black like football players use? So proud of you. You’re awesome!

Rachel @ Undercover Diva: A Sitcom September 17, 2013 at 8:59 am

OH, and my longest race is 13.1 miles 🙂

Charlotte @ Commitness to Fitness September 17, 2013 at 9:29 am

hahaha omg i love your panda war paint!!! wow what an awesome race recap!congrats on coming in in the top 30%! thats such a WIN! and lol i agree with Nicole’s comment, you’re totally nuts 🙂 and yet, now i kinda want to give one a try…

Caitlin September 17, 2013 at 9:48 am

Good grief, girl! I think I’d take my marathon experience again over this thing! Haha, it’s a good thing Joe has never challenged me to something like this, though. I’m too proud and competitive to turn it down, but I don’t know that this is something I’d ever enjoy (esp if it involves ice, electricity and trail racing). Major kudos to you for agreeing to do this ANd finishing!! You rock, love 🙂

Christine @ Gotta Eat Green September 17, 2013 at 10:32 am

Haha that race looked like so much fun! I could never do that.. I would get hurt FOR SURE!

Katie @ Live Half Full September 17, 2013 at 11:11 am

This race looks like so much fun- love the makeup!!!

Meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles September 17, 2013 at 11:39 am

I see that races/events like this are all the rage now – my cousin is loving them but she can’t get me to join in the fun lol. It is so not me to do these things but I think it is great for everyone that does because it looks like they really enjoy themselves. Such a great feeling to accomplish something you set out to do!

Ja @Ja on the RUN September 17, 2013 at 3:59 pm

This is crazy! You definitely look bad ass!
I’ve done Mudstash before! It’s fun! It definitely pushed me beyond my comfort zone! 🙂

Alex @ therunwithin September 17, 2013 at 8:23 pm

this is so freaking awesome!

Meghan @ fitnesscrEATures September 18, 2013 at 9:59 am

Oh my goodness!!!! I cannot believe you did so well in this (not because of you, but because of all the BS you dealt with, hello, a chipped tooth?!?!)!!
I am so proud of you, first of all, for doing this as one of your first few races in life as a human being. That’s some serious stuff my friend. I am a pansy and wouldn’t ever consider this unless I was as hardcore as could be. Apparently you are hardcore.
I would have been super miserable in that freezing weather and would have complained the entire time. Did you complain at all?
I think the biggest redeeming factor is the beer. A close second is that sweet medal they gave you/you earned! I am so proud of you! Haha your initial response to my text was the best… UM! 🙂
Of course, I love the team name the most and your make up is perfect for the team name! I hope you didn’t use your lovely Asics for this race… 🙂
GOOD JOB again for doing such a badass race and kicking butt in doing it! Proud bloggy besty right here. <3

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