Last weekend, myself and some friends ventured into the backwoods of Pennsylvania to run the Warrior Dash.
And it was awesome! And harder than I thought.
The gist is this: 3.5 miles of rugged terrain full of various obstacles like climbing a cargo net, trudging through waist deep water (it was part of a river or lake), and jumping over fire.
It had been a rainy weekend, so by the 3:30 heat on Sunday afternoon the entire course was nothing but 3-inch thick mud. And that’s only where it wasn’t 8-inch deep mud. I’m amazed no one broke their ankle — or rather, am amazed I didn’t hear that anyone broke their ankle, surely someone must have.
I hadn’t been running in the past few weeks, so I was nervous about the race. Thankfully, my buds – D and R – stuck with me for nearly all of it. (R was the surprise force who ran through that forest like a gazelle on steroids, who knew?!)
My favorite obstacle? The Barricade Breakdown – a series of 4-5 foot walls that you have to get over. I was so proud I could do it and felt like a bad ass, except by the last one, there’s maybe 6 of them, my arms were killing me! Good to know I could outrun the cops if I ever needed to.
I also liked the water obstacles. It was nice to let some of the water do the work, and for whatever reason I was pretty good at making up loss time in these parts.
The jumping over fire, the stampeding across junkyard cars (I totally ran across a BMW!) were also pretty fun.
Least favorite obstacle? Scaling the wall, which is also partially my favorite one because I conquered it. I literally turned a corner in the forest towards the end of the run and just went Ooooh fuck! It’s a 2-story wall with a rope that you have to scale, turn around at the top and climb back down ladder-style. As you may know, I have a fear of heights. So when I got to the top and was straddling the wall, all of a sudden it was like Oooh shit. Mainly, I was worried I would slip climbing back down because everything was so muddy. But I didn’t! I made it down safe and sound and went on with the race.
My official time: 48:38.70 (which isn’t bad considering there were times I was just standing around waiting for my chance to get at the obstacle.) And I did run the whole thing, no walking!
For my gender/age group I was 84 out of 816 = 10%, and overall 1607 out of 6499 = 25%. Not bad for the second foot race of my life. Super cool? The top female finisher came in 26th and was a 15 year old. Damn. Fearless no doubt.
The Warrior Dash is super amazing and everyone should do it at least once. Even though certain things about it are a total rip off — like SportPhoto trying to charge $20 for a ONE digital image or WarriorDash not having any medals to give out to the Sunday afternoon participants (really, I paid $60 to do this race and you can’t give me a cheesy piece of plastic?)