Here’s one of my favorite pictures from 2011 Warrior Dash…
This “race” is a blast. It’s muddy, tough, scary, dirty, fiery… what else do you need? Being my 4th year I love that instead of it being packed with hardbodies (year 1) there are now people of every shape and size. Quite a few who cannot run 3 runs, but try. It’s a lot about confronting your fears.
The course is never the same. That’s fun too. Last year was tons of climbing. This year, tons of mud.
Like the last couple years, I brought the boys. This year, Liz came too. We met (2) of my fraternity brothers from college. One brought his boy (again, so this is an annual things for the boys!) and another brought his youngest daughter Allie (who is DYING to Age Up and be able to smoke us old guys on the course!) and his wife. Good stuff, mini reunion in the midst of a workout and a great excuse to drink some beer, throw some axes, and eat some turkey legs!
So it takes longer to get there than the GPS and we thought and the parking line was HUGE (about 3/4 mile?) so it took a while to get in, walk about a mile to registration, get everyone settled. I literally had enough time to get my chip on, attach my bib, stretch for a minute and go to the start!
We got to the start, nothing special really, and we were off! VERY crowded. Rich darted up front, which was smart because Dave and I were just buried in a sea of people. Soon enough Dave pushed on ahead and I plodded along at a nice comfortable pace. Lots of chit-chat here as the first 1.25 miles or so was just running and designed to spread us out so there would not be a backlog at the obstacles. Some very funny outfits out there. These girls had socks which read, on the back, F!@#$ off and another one said S!@#$ It. I told the first girl she wouldn’t be getting any date with socks like that and she about tripped laughing so hard. She said as soon as she dumped her boyfriend then she’d take them off! ha! Another group of girls dressed a cheerleaders, many with “Team” shirts, and several guys in kilts. All in all, quite the festive crowd.
Ok, finally, on to the obstacles!!!
this one looked innocent… but not so much. First you had to get down LOW to clear the barb wires, about down on your chest. Having a sword on your back made that tricky. Then get up and hop over a 4ft or so barricade. No problem right? Repeat it 6x and see you your heart rate is! I had no problem and passed a lot of people on this obstacle, however, my HR was screaming high.
This one included a 4in board that went UP about 5ft, then down, then up, then down. The boards were flimsy, so really only one person could walk the plank at a time. 4in is plenty… but when you’re climbing and descending? Suddenly… not so easy! I didn’t have too much trouble but it was slow going.
Ahhhh I remember this well from last year. This is a pain. 25ft or so of HORIZONTAL climbing on a cargo net with other people on it makes it incredibly unstable. Last year I scurried, rolled, and crawled. Very hard. This year I got smart and went to the left side and allowed ONE side to be semi-stable and only the other side was crazy and erratic. Worked much better and I flew by tons of people flopping around like a fish out of water in the middle of the uneven netting.
I was nervous at first on these.. it was DOWN into the trench, barb wire above, so hands and knees crawling. Thankfully, the ground was squishy but not sloppy, so it really wasn’t too bad. Can’t say I was fast, but I got through it easily.
Oh boy. I remember this one. This is always a bit scary as it’s about 20ft straight up. You have a rope and some foot holds and that is it. LOTS of ladies having problems with this. I yelled some encouragement and reminders to push with your LEGS and not pull with your arms. I got up quick enough but getting over is still dicey for me. Once over, no sweat.
This is new. A mud-bath in the middle 3 (or was it 4?) mud pits. I slid down on my butt into the murky muck. You’re COVERED at that point and now you have to climb out. It’s like 6ft up and almost vertical. So you use the rope and PULL yourself up… if the person ahead threw it back down that is… After the first one several people walked around. WHIMPS! I hopped right back into the muckery and the second pit was THICK so it was like moving in quicksand. The girl in front of me wiped out and landed right in front of me, spraying me with a wall of muck. We had to partially push her up the hill so she could get the rope and then we could go. This one was tough because the holes were wearing out. I can’t remember if there was another one or not, but the last one had no ropes but wasn’t as steep. Was tricky getting out. And at this point I have a big glop of mud on my right sunglass. Great! So I was Pirate-Warrior for a while until I got to the rest stop and tried to clear it. Several lame attempts and I just carried on.
There was not much running at this point, with another 50lbs of mud, my shoes were sliding all over and it was slow going. I had to stop to tie down my shoes much tighter because otherwise they were going to leave me!
This was nice – we had to jump in a lake! Since we were head to toe in mud, this was perfect! there was a floating rectangle. You had to get into the water (waist deep) and get onto the floating rectangle, run around to the other side and then hop off and get out of the lake. So I flopped in, not being at all concerned about water, and I managed to get right up to the platform. Knowing how adept I am at pulling myself up and getting onto an unstable surface (remember, I’m surrounded by other people trying to get onto the platform and run on the platform) I decided to take another tact. I jumped, grabbed the platform, and launched myself – beached whale style – right ACROSS it and into the watery center part. A few others had this idea (or fell off into it). Only problem, for them, was the water got REAL deep REAL fast. No biggy, I started swimming until I saw a rope – which I just grabbed and pulled myself across to the other platform. PROBLEM… I can’t touch the bottom so my beach-whale-fling won’t work… After a super quick second I decided to just…. go UNDER! Popped right out the other side to the shriek of one of the cheerleader girls! Apparently she was sitting on the ledge and about to hop into the water gracefully and I popped up between her legs! ROFL! He friends were bowled over with laughter. They thanked me for making their Warrior Dash! It was awesome.
Yeah. It’s a hill. I ran. Meh.
This was one I enjoy, it’s all mental. Basically a 50ft section you have to crawl low REAL low to avoid the barbwire. Then you get to the nets. They made the nets have weights so you THINK there might be barb wire. Completely FREAKED this girl next to me, she flattened and wouldn’t get up until her boy friend convinced her she would not be shredded! No problem even with sword had no problem.
This was tough. About a 20ft climb up the netting, even on the side it wasn’t hugely stable – although it helped. My biggest problem was the girl ahead of me. She freaked out at the top and started screaming “I CAN’T DO IT I CAN’T DO IT!” I told her she better, because I was coming through! I pushed her foot up which gave her enough “umph” to get over the top. Phew! I had no idea who I’d manage with her in the way! And it was a long way down…. Flipping over the top was tough as it was very wet and muddy. Coming down not too bad.
Oh yeah FIRE BABY FIRE! Love this one! I have some of my best race pictures from warrior dash. Can’t wait to see what they snapped of me… we’ll see! I went nice a low. My right leg was HOT HOT HOT!
Another mud pit. Right before I got there my fraternity buddy Rich was there and he took my sunglasses and I hopped in (no dive this year, people have gotten hurt so that’s verboten) it was very soupy and I basically SWAM the entire mud pit.
Up and out to the finish!
Met up with Rich and Dave and got our “after” photo
Then we went and hopped in a lake to wash off, got some beer and turkey legs, threw axes and enjoyed the great summer weather!
Good times! Spent a few hours at a local eatery after with Dave and family before they had to go back to Minnesota.
After the 2+ hour drive home we went out for a family bike ride until after dark.
So… today was a good day.