Each Warrior Dash is different, with varying obstacles. This description will only fit for my experience.
Our friends have a membership in a camping community, so we reserved a couple cabins for the crew, planning on spending the night before and after. Friday went up and enjoyed a good evening of fishing, fires and general friendship.
Woke up to Eggs, bacon, sausage and pancakes. Saturday proved to be hot (91 degrees) without a cloud for any relief. The Dash sends off runners every 30 minutes—our time was 2:00 p.m. Had two (2) couples, plus me and my son, who just turned 14; the minimum age to run was 14 and his birthday was in June so he was either the youngest or the next to the youngest. Had about 10,000 runners on Saturday, and 9,750 on Sunday.
There were tents to buy merchandise, tents to get food (primarily huge turkey legs) and tents to get beer. The whole thing was extremely well-organized. Got our numbers, timing chips (which also turned out to be the token for free beer), and walked around for a bit, enjoying the other people in costumes.
Considering a band, beer and some testosterone—you might think this was only one step removed from a Hollywood depiction of a biker bar. It was not. Nothing seemed crazy or out of sorts.
The race itself.
It is a 5k (3.1 miles) that normally, with these types of numbers, one would expect the winners to be in the 16:30 range. Our overall winner was 22:30—giving an idea how much time the obstacles added.
We run for about ½ a mile before the first obstacle. This is good because it stretches out the runners. The first is a series of tires/junk cars. I told my son to be careful, either step within the tires or you might trip by trying to walk on the tires.
I, of course, walked on the tires (faster) and tripped on the very last one. My son found this funny. Another ½ mile run (this is really stretching out the crowd nicely) and our second obstacle. Go though a stretch of water with logs at about waist level. (Chest level for my son.) Now we will run the rest of the race soaked. Makes the shoes heavy.
Had a cargo net stretched horizontally. (Fastest way to do it is roll.) A series of over/unders where you go over a wall, and then under barbed wire. Climb a wall with ropes. This is a video tour of our course, if you interested.
They stretched a series of bungee cords in a number of criss-cross patterns. I found the fastest way was to lift up the bungees, and stoop under all of them. Some of the people stepping over the bungees I was lifting up gave out shouts of “Hey! I’m stepping over that!” I can’t help it if you are doing it the slow way. It is a race…
There were rumors of a “mystery obstacle.” As we run through the woods we hear laughs and shouts ahead. Not sounding good.
Imagine a steep ditch (normally you would go up it, using your hands) Now fill the bottom with about 3 feet of sludge/mud. It was like walking through sewage. Or so I would imagine. Alongside the ditch, there were two mud-covered logs. One would be tempted to go over the logs, to avoid the mud. I watched a number make it about ½ way and then fall in anyway. I told my son to just run through the mud.
(Even though his pace is slower than mine, I ran with him to make sure he could do the obstacles. If I had to do it again, I might not—he was fine.)
Unfortunately, the mud had a number of logs in it, which is why my shins took the beating they did.
The best bit was that at one point the mud dropped to 4 feet deep. My son went in right to his chin.
But now, crawling out, we found the real difficulty. The hill was mud covered and steep. Every step you took forward, you slid back two! There were ropes to use, but too many people, and you still had to crawl up to the rope. This was, by far, the hardest obstacle.
There was a blackout where you crawled for 30 feet in darkness. (HOT!) An up-and-down narrow wooden bridge. Wall climb with rope climb down, and then vertical cargo nets.
Two leaps over fire (small fires, nothing much to worry about.) and the mud pit. The pictures tell the story better than I.
The crowd hung around the mud pit and cheered people on. Generally they liked anything dramatic or unusual. My son came up with a great plan. We went back-to-back, took two steps, did a quick-draw and then fell in as if we shot each other. Hence the way we went in.
Our friends did a leap frog.
Sadly, on Sunday one fellow dove in too deep and became paralyzed from the chest down.
I can’t really tell you how well I did, since I did not run my normal pace. I figured I would normally have run it in about 29:00. (I run 5k in 21:30)
As DoOrDoNot’s husband is doing this, I thought I would give a few suggestions. Take a change of clothes. You will get everything dirty. They had a shoe contribution, we all contributed our shoes. You may not want to keep yours.
Bring flip-flops or sliders for after. Bring a garbage bag to put the clothes you were running in…in. You do not want these to touch anything.
Bring some wipes for your face. They have a rinsing off station, but it is not sufficient. Bring a Q-tip or two. I got dirt out of my ears for the next three days.
Have a blast. You will be addicted. I am already signed up for next year. July 28, 2012 at 1 p.m.