Monday, May 23, 2011

Warrior Dash

Last Sunday, during our trip to Georgia, we laced up our old running shoes to run through the woods and play in the mud.  sort of. 
Somehow I was talked into running the Warrior Dash with Hubs and my brother.  The 5k trail run part sounded like fun and I figured to obstacles wouldn't kill me.  Apparently this thing is quite popular.  When we tried to sign up a few months out, all of the Saturday waves (at 500 people per wave and a wave starting every 30 minutes from morning to evening) were full.  We selected one of the two remaining Sunday options.

team orange.
the start.
Unfortunately, they have you running the first section on something about as wide as a sidewalk.  Unless you are one of the testosterone-filled, shirtless guys at the beginning who thinks you are a true warrior, you will likely be stuck behind lots of people walking (it's supposed to be a run, people!).

The first obstacle was a "walk" across a lake.  The water was actually a lot deeper than expected and a few parts required swimming. 
making it out of the water.
Once drenched from head to toe, we ran through some serious mud and entered the scrap yard stampede.

This obstacle consisted of mud-filled tires and climbing over and through muddy junk cars.  It was pretty fun.
can you spot us?
Next up was a section of alternating chest-high barricades to hoist yourself over and low barbed wire walls to crawl under.  All completely covered in mud, of course.  The crowds were still thick at this part so this was a pretty slow moving section.

We met back up with our awesome photographer (thanks T!) at this point for the giant climbing wall.  This was the scariest part of the whole thing for me.  The vertical wall had a rope to help get you up the front, however, getting over the top was terrifying.  You are covered in slippery mud and realize, once at the top, that there is no padding or anything on the other side.  I think many of us were convinced we were going to crash onto our heads as we tried to transfer from the front to back of the wall. 
Next, we headed into the mountains for some trail running and more obstacles.  The trails were tough but fun.  The obstacles included things like a tire crawl up and down, a vertical rope net wall, a horizontal cargo net crawl (surprisingly awkward and hard), and a "blackout".  The blackout area was a long, low wood structure covered in black tarps.  You have to crawl through a series of pitch black sections along the ground.  This is really freaky if you are terrified of spiders as you can't see anything.  Mike decided not to crawl at first and kept smashing his head into the wood beams.  Not a good plan. 

We finally made it out of the woods and to the slide from hell (my name for it, not theirs ;) ).  It's basically like a vertical slip and slide.  Seems super fun until you realize you are going 100 miles an hour out of control and backwards.  The end of the slide is essentially a combination of rock and pine needles.  I ended up with this battle wound and cut open hand.
From the slide, you jump into waist deep mud and crawl under more barbed wire.  Finally, you enter a lake to climb over several floating logs.  {Note to future participants, wait until the log stops spinning from the person in front of you or you will slice your other hand open.}  Luckily, this water section washes most of the mud off of you.

After exiting the water, you run to the finish over the fire logs.   The flames are scary and you will be so glad you are soaked with water!!
love the face!

please notice how terrified I am!

i jump like a girl.

I was very glad when the obstacles were over and I could stop being beat up.  Overall, it was pretty entertaining.  I think the guys would definitely do it again.  I might join the photographer crew next time as I am a wuss and didn't enjoy being scraped up all week.  The trail running part was really a lot of fun.  I only wish there had been more running and that the walkers would be more aware and move over.  It was definitely more like 2 miles of running max than 3.1.


complimentary warrior hats.  gotta love em. 

with our awesome photographer.

free beer post race: when we asked which beer was which they said "oh, they're pretty much the same."  The choices? Mich Ultra and Shock Top.  NOT the same thing. lol. 
My advice for those of you signed up for one soon: Start closer to the front.  Behind the crazies of course, but not behind all of the walkers.  Stay with your friends.  This is not a race you try to do for time so just enjoy doing it together.  I think that's the best part.  Beware of the deadly slide.  Coordinate bright clothes if you have a photographer looking for you.  It makes it easier to spot you.  But, make sure it's dri-fit.  I think Alex was pretty miserable in his 7 pound t-shirt.   Our particular race was lucky in that you end in water and not mud.  Photos I've seen of other races, participants are seriously muddy at the end.  I'd read to bring jugs of water just in case.  Wear some old sneakers so you can ditch them immediately.
Shoe donation pile. 
Oh, and if you hear banjo music, keep running...


  1. these pics are awesome. im not sure i could do this- it look way too extreme :) glad you werent a mudball at the end though!

  2. OMG the face jumping over the fire is so classic... I love it. :) Wish I could have done it with you guys.

  3. Just got another big smile for that pictures. :) LOL

  4. warrior shoes Co., LTD founded in 1927 , it has 80 years of history."Warrior" trademark registered in 1935, identified as in 1997 Famous brand;1999 is recognized for Chinese well-known trademark."Warrior" footwear cheap warrior shoes by the national quality calendar silver, chemical ministry and Shanghai, high-quality product award for years Shanghai brand products "and Shanghai export inspection-exempt certificates, and won the 21st annual Spain.International quality.