Race Report–IGNITE SwimRun Maryland–MAY 12th

logoWHOSE BRIGHT IDEA WAS THIS!! – Oh, yeah, that would be me.

DISCLAIMER: If you are easily offended and don’t like curse words. STOP HERE. If not, carry on…

So…In keeping with the tradition of suckering your friends into doing crazy shit…like Rebecca did 6 years ago with the “LIIIIIIIISSSSAAAA! Do this triathlon with me; your in shape, you can do it, it will be fun." I called up Rebecca and exclaimed – “HEY, Coach Danny is running this new IGNITE SwimRun Series and well, how hard could it be. Do it with me! We’d make a great team!”

SUCKER! She said sure! Let’s do it. Well, that went kinda easy. Maybe it will be a piece of cake. BWAAAAHAAAHAAHAAHAA!

What is SwimRun? IGNITE SwimRun is an endurance race that combines the thrill of endurance racing with the beauty of nature. 

Participants compete as a two-person team. Not a relay. Teams consist of all men, all women and mixed gender. The race begins with a mass wave start. Teams complete numerous swim and run legs ending at the finish line. During the race, teammates must remain within 10 meters of each other at all times. Teammates must complete the entire course and cross the finish line together. Everything we started with, we had to finish with and carry with us. This means we had to swim in our sneakers and carry a first aid kit, tether, GPS, and run with wetsuit, goggles, swim cap, buoy, whistle, etc.

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Pure cray-cray.

I signed us up for the Long Course, but during a pre-race discussion with my teammate we concluded that we were NOT prepared to swim a total of 2.4 miles AND run 14+. Yeah, no. We went down to the Short Course.

Swim - 4 legs: 1.4 mi
Run - 5 legs: 7.8 mi (it was supposed to be 6.2 miles. Course adjustment. SURPRISE!)
Total distance: 9.2

The swim was the same 500-600 (depending on how straight a line you can swim) across the lake. The Run was 5 legs of various distance…THROUGH THE WOODS!. How do you know to stay on course. Each time you get out of the water you run by an aid station and pick up a colored rubberband for the next leg you are on. DON’T FOLLOW the tree markings, FOLLOW the corresponding colored IGNITE signs.


And we are off…
Run 1:  Red - 0.9 miles 
We didn’t get off to a great start. Both Rebecca and I took off and our buoys slid down our legs. Rebecca stopped to take hers off and I stopped to tighten mine up.  {We needed a swim buoy because we had to swim in our sneakers, which would pull our legs down while swimming. The swim buoy helped to keep our feet up while swimming). We were also on uneven grass for the start. We got dropped immediately by EVERYONE except 2 teams. WHATEVER. Let’s get it done. The swim came upon us quickly…

TIP: DIY on your buoy with the small one we all swim at pool with. Drill some holes and use locklaces to tighten up. Ours was bulky and heavy and well…cursing started early.

Swim 1: 0.35 miles:
I was so glad to get to the first swim. We took a min so Rebecca could put on her buoy and I clipped us together with the tether. The plan was for me to lead the swims with Rebecca on my right hand side. I kept feeling the tether pull tight and I would slow or pause – FUGG – It took me to the last swim leg to figure out how to come to a complete stop and tread water with shoes, a wetsuit and a gynormous buoy between my legs. I was thinking…FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY! WHAT DA HELL IS THE PROBLEM BACK THERE! I “stop” and ask Rebecca what’s up? Are you okay. She said she couldn’t keep the buoy between her legs, it kept sliding down around her ankle. I popped off: GIRL, JUST KEEP YOUR LEGS CLOSED!

We started swimming again and I thought, oops, that’s my teammate. We gonna be out here together for a while. I shrugged. My girl knows I’m sassy and curse. She be alright. I started dragging her instead and said nothing.

We finished the first swim and as we approached the aid station we saw our coach and IGNITE race director, Danny standing there. He asked how it was. Rebecca responded, "THAT WAS HARD AS FUCK!". I was like FUCK MY LIFE, HOW MANY MORE? He just laughed and said at some point we will be saying it was fun as fuck. Yeah, that moment didn't come throughout that race.

This picture of us getting out of the water after the first swim speaks a thousand words. I am looking at Rebecca like, "What DA HELL ARE you DOING??!!! Next leg, keep your legs closed on that buoy. LET’S GO!


Run 2:  Green - Almost 2 miles. 
Hmmm…this is steep. This is not a run. This is a hike. I’m not a trail runner and these trails were steep, very rocky and technical. I was kinda cheery on this loop. I was envisioning climbing hills at Alcatraz. I couldn’t run this trail but I could hump up it and I didn’t feel too bad. Rebecca was no in the same happy place as I was on this loop. I coaxed her up with telling her to just take 10 steps and rest, then 10 more. Soon we would be up an over. We made it down to the water again.

Swim 2: 0.35 miles
Uneventful. Just a swim across the lake. Nothing to report.

Run 3: Blue  - Closer to 1.5 miles
We were getting a little tired now. Another short but steep climb up and over. Rebecca started talking about how she felt totally unfit and telling me how her mother told her that her legs were getting big and added how she though her arms and belly were too. She said she hated it all, and blamed herself because she hadn't done a pushup or situp in months..... In the words of M’baku – I WAS NOT HAVING IT. I nipped that shit in the bud telling her that I refuse to hate anything about my body anymore. God gave me this body and it is my job to do everything I can to make it the best that I can. I told her to love her body, because God gave it to her. Just take the time to appreciate and be thankful for what she can do in the body she has and if she wants it to be better, do better. We had a little praise and worship up on the mountain and before we knew it, we are back in the water.

Swim 3: 0.35 miles
Now it was my turn to have issues. My swim buoy was sliding down and YES! I WAS CRUSHING THAT DAMN BUOY between my legs. It would loosen up, slide down some and twist around. I kept stopping to try and fix it and looked like I was drowning as I thrashed the water to get upright. Rebecca tried to tell me to just stay horizontal but for some reason I couldn’t get the hang of it until near the end and I came out of the water EXHAUSTED.

Run 4: Orange - about 4 miles - elevation was almost 9% grade
We were told by a team THAT FUGGING LAPPED us that the orange course to very challenging and technical. Be careful. This is probably the beginning of the “FUCK EVERYONE” fest that Rebecca and I went on. We descended into the sunken place. We thanked them for the info and trudged along. When we approached the first climb, I came to a halt and said “This rocky trail, mountain goat bullshit is some definite #wyppo shit RIGHT HERE!  What THE HELL were we doing out here in these woods?!! As we kept climbing and climbing AND CLIMBING over rocks and boulders and roots and just woods shit…I WAS OVER IT and kept asking, WHEN WILL THIS CLIMB END THIS ENNNNDDDDDD?!!???. And Rebecca managed to find her cheer and quip, "I don't know girl, let's go find out. BITCH WHAT??!! Mmmm hmmm. We gon find out alright and when I catch up to your happy ass…you’ll see.

I knew I needed her cheer and happy thoughs because I was DONE. OVER IT. Rebecca reminded me about all we have done before - finished 100 mile bike rides, marathons, 70.3 races and Ironman competitions,  jumped off boats and swam to shore then hopped on our bikes followed by a run. We were BADASSES. DAMN RIGHT. This is why you need to have a TEAMMATE for those ebbs and flows. Neither of you can be negative at the same time. You have to know each other and how to support the other when things go dark.

We came up on an aide station. They told us that we just have 2 more miles to "run", then swim again and then it's just a 0.5 mile run to the finish line. There was beer and Chik-Fil-A at the finish. I CAN DO ALL THINGS FOR A COLD ASS BEER. Yet just as we were about to move out with a purpose, this muthafugger can RUNNING past on the trail. We asked were his gear was and he said he was FINISHED and just wanted to get some more miles in.

This is when the melt down occurred. NO one was saved! Rebecca threw out her cup and cussed me out:  "You know what? Fuck you, Lisa. This shit was all your idea! Lisa chuckled and said, "come on girl, let's finish this race.

It looked like we didn’t have anymore to climb, but oh, WE DID. BOY DID WE HAVE ONE LAST CLIMB and that was when the FUCK FEST began and what could have been a pitty party turned out to be pretty damn funny. We cursed and laughed our way to the last swim… (copied from Rebecca’s race report)

  • "Yeah, fuck Danny and his lil' friends that planned this fucking course. Yeah, girl, Fuck Danny!.....{Haaaaa! We were OVER IT and the word FUCK just some how made us feel better. We even used the F word when we saw some people out in the woods. They just laughed at us. We weren't angry, for those that don't understand. It was just a way to get through it. Rebecca and I can cuss each other out one second and be 10000% okay the next second. Not angry at all. It's a survival technique. Fuck is a stress relieving word in difficult situations. You should try it! lol}
  • ME: who the fuck put all these fucking rocks out here?! Rebecca: Mother Nature. ME: Yeah, Fuck that bitch too!". :
  • Fuck all these mofo’s out here running on the rocks with vibrams…RUNNING!
  • When we get back to the athlete tent, we gonna walk in there and say – FUCK ALL OF YOU!
  • FUCK All the people back at home tracking us and wondering what was taking us so long. "Yeah, fuck them. They need to get off the couch and come out here and see how HARD this shit is"
  • FUCK all the people that already finished. They better had not eaten up all the Chick-fil-A and drank up all the beer. They know Danny and them ordered that chicken for us!!!
  • FUCK all the people who will think that instead of using the vulgarity in our race reports we should "use our words". Fuck them. FUCK is the only appropriate word to describe our thoughts and feelings during this difficult time. The shit was tough, bruh!

We made it to the last swim. THANK YOU SWEET BABY JESUS. And suddenly I had my game face on. I could see across the lake to the finish. In my mind, I could taste those chicken tenders washed down by a cold beer. I stood at the waters edge waiting for Rebecca to get her buoy on with the tether in my hand to clip her in. I WAS ON A MISSION. I didn’t say a word, I just started swimming. HARD. FAST.

I felt the tether tighten and I didn’t care. I just kept swimming. Pulling harder. I literally was thinking that I will just pull Rebecca to the finish, just hang on. All of a sudden a kayak pulled up beside me and he tagged me with his paddle. I was like – WHAT!!!??? He said I had to stop and let my teammate get herself together. Rebecca was trying to adjust her buoy and I was dragging her along. Damn. I tried to drown my teammate. FUCK. I stopped. She got it together and I said we are almost there, just hold on.



I crawled up on the sand and thanked GOD. We made it. Just .5 more to go to the finish chute. I was huffing and puffing, slight incline up to the last bit to the finish. I looked at Rebecca and said, when we get to the cone at the top, let’s run it in TOGETHER!

The Ignite SwimRun Series motto is to IGNITE YOUR INNER ATHLETE and we most certainly did. Would I do it again? At first, I said HELL TO THE NAW! but I had a blast. It was definitely HARD AS FUGG, but I had a great time.

Here is a link to check out the Ignite SwimRun Series. There is still time to get one in this year.

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