competition · running

A few words about the Warrior Dash

Well, that was a blast. Fun, fun, fun.

I just finished the Warrior Dash a combo mud run and obstacle course. I went with my active and adventurous cousin who’d done it the year before and guessed right that I’d love it.

It was 3.51 miles of hills, mud, and challenging obstacles.

Here’s a few brief post race thoughts:

  • When a race is held on a ski hill, one should realize that there would be hills, lots of them. Up and down, up and down. Wowsa. Reminded me of why I didn’t run much in New Zealand but maybe I should have, the hills were actually fun. Yes, I walked up the steepest bits but I think my running speed and walking speed would be the same at that gradient. Also, note to self, 3.51 miles of hills is much harder than 3.51 miles of flat though I love running through the woods.
  • What an incredible party atmosphere. There were thousands of people there, mostly young, in their twenties and there to have fun. Lots of teams in fancy costumes, including tutus, bow ties, glitter, bridal paraphernalia and body paint. There was live music, a beer tent, and some hooting and hollering and dancing. So many people…waves of up to 500 people started every half hour from 730 am to 530 pm, Saturday and Sunday. The people were very friendly and though I didn’t run with cousin (she’s a speedster) I quickly fell in with some fun women about my speed.
  • I discovered that I’m okay with slithering on my belly under barbed wire through mud. I got covered in mud and that was all just fine.
  • I also discovered less happily that my fear of heights gets in my way of climbing over very high obstacles. Yikes. That was where being a part of a team would have helped. Teams helped one another up and over the worst of the obstacles. I’m not ashamed to say I skipped two of them, one because it was busy being rebuilt because someone fell and broke her ankle. The presence of paramedics made running around it seem like the wise choice.
  • Like Tracy, I’m glad I got a medal even though I felt incredibly slow. I also like my fuzzy warrior helmet, see photo below!
  • It takes a long time to get mud off you even with a high powered hose and friends helping! I might be muddy still for days.
  • It was okay doing the race in glasses. I was worried about that. But not seeing would have been worse and they only got too muddy to see through a couple of times.
  • So in summary, hills, mud and people were great but the obstacles were a mixed bag. I’m good with rope, mud, barbed wire, slithering, sliding, and military crawling, much less good with heights and clambouring over high walls not knowing what’s on the other side. I think if I could more confidently do a pull up, that would be easier and less terrifying.
  • And yes, I’d do it again!
  • Update: Results just posted. At one hour and seven minutes I was 355th of 947 women in my age group. (We weren’t in waves according to age but results were posted that way.) On the one hand, I’m at the older end of my age group. Even my speedster cousin snuck in! On the other, I did skip two of the obstacles. But really it was hard to take that seriously as a race. I had to wait to scale over or slither through some of the obstacles. And some people were having so much fun with some obstacles they did them twice. Hello slip and slide!

    Chatting with friends who’ve done the Spartan or the Tough Mudder, the Warrior Dash seems different. How? Well, more party less boot camp. Certainly it takes itself much less seriously. The costumed people helped maintain the light hearted party atmosphere. And no one screamed at me to run faster or climb higher. Live music helped too!

9 thoughts on “A few words about the Warrior Dash

  1. Thanks for the post, I’ve been wondering about these “races”.

    I didn’t know warriors wore fuzzy helmets, but I like it! 🙂

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    1. Oh, and your quotation marks make sense. It was hard to feel like you were racing at times when you were waiting to do an obstacle. I waited five minutes I think at the “slip and slide” because some people were running back up to do it again. Definitely more of a “fun” ethos than a “race” ethos. I see though that they had two “competitive” waves early in the morning. My guess is those were the serious racers.

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