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Author Topic: My Warrior Dash experience  (Read 1857 times)
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Jeepman
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« on: August 13, 2011, 10:10:36 PM »

On Saturday August 13th I ran my first Warrior Dash race. I kind of knew what to expect from their web site and write-ups on the internet. The location was at Tom’s Marine in Crawfordsville Indiana.
Getting there: Apparently there was a systemic address problem with MapQuest. I followed the directions and the place was nowhere to be found. I saw several vehicles going back and forth around the locatation the directions had taken us. Unlike other members of the male species, I stopped at a gas station and asked for directions! The clerk had a stack of hand drawn directions sitting on the countertop. This told me others had problems too. MapQuest had sent us to the wrong end of U.S. HWY 200. With the correct directions in hand we made our way and parked only giving up about 15 minutes.

Packet pickup: The first thing I noticed is everything was very well marked with very tall flags. Sure enough, I saw the huge flag marked “Packet Pickup” and grabbed my warrior hat, t-shirt, and timing chip. You have to show photo ID at the time of packet pickup. I chose to wear my Flows because all the water we would be in. I slipped my timing chip on the Velcro strap of my Flow and I was set.
Preparing for the race: I had about 40 minutes to kill before my start time of 4PM so I just walked around to take in all the sights. Near the exit was an enormous pile of muddy waterlogged shoes. This was a shoe donation pile that Warrior Dash takes and cleans, then gives them to those in need. What a great charitable cause! I continued to see all kinds of crazy outfits. I saw the following getups: TMNT, Business suits, Fairies, Mexican wrestlers, Vampires, Clowns, Batman, Superman, Catwoman, The Joker, The Hulk, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Hula dancers, Capt Jack Sparrow, and many more. It was a real hoot to see all the crazy things people were running in.

The race itself:  Once we got within 10 minutes of the start time the MC kept us informed with a countdown. They played great music that got everyone hyped up for the race. They had some classics like Eye of the Tiger and also some 180BPM techno. We did the wave several times and did a bunch of warrior yells. It was a fun, yet a fast 10 minutes.

Finally the race started and the pyrotechnics fired off and I could feel it from 30 feet away! We took off and it became clear, or less clear depending on how you want to look at, that dust from the leaders was going to be a problem. Wow! It was dry and the amount of dust kicked up was pretty significant. This became less of a problem once things spread out about half a mile in.

I can’t remember all the obstacles in order, but let’s just say who ever designed this course was a SOB. There were many more obstacles than what was pictured on the Warrior Dash website. There were four really steep uphills that were every bit of 80 feet high. Three of them were so steep they had ropes to assist the runners up. They would then follow that up with a 20 foot high wall – what a cardio buster! While waiting at the start I overheard people saying something about “Vomit Hill”. Well, I found out what that was at around mile 2. There was a nasty creek run followed by a cargo net obstacle, then a steep uphill. This proved to be too much for many. As I approached the top of the hill (walking mind you) you could smell it! People leaning over the course boundary tape and tossing their cookies. I can’t blame them, I felt just like them, but sucked it up and pushed on.

The car graveyard in our case ended up being an empty boat graveyard. We had to climb over multiple boats and jump down to be met by a tire obstacle between each one! As I neared the finish I could see the smoke from the fire pits. I doubled down and started to push my pace again. I jumped over the fire and knew only the Muddy Mayhem remained.

Muddy Mayhem is a three foot deep mud hole that had to be around 25 yards long. This was not just any mud; it was thick soupy mud that looked just like chocolate pudding. I softly hopped into it and was surprised to find myself waist deep! I lunged forward to start my progress and all a sudden got hammered in the head by a huge splat of mud. The jackass two runners behind me had decided to do a full speed cannonball into the mud pit. He went completely under and got a mouth full of mud – served him right! The one thing I was unprepared for how difficult it is to move through mud like this. I had to claw the bottom of the pit with my hands to move forward. This stuff was so thick and sticky! I emerged from the mud pit only to slip and slide all the way to the finish 20 feet ahead. My goodness, this mud is heavy!

The ladies at the finish placed my metal around my neck and I headed off to the pond to wash off. This was very refreshing and fun. People were helping each other get cleaned off and pouring water over their heads. Others were dunking their friends. Another group had started a game of Chicken in the pond. After cleaning up as best as I could I headed over to get my free and relaxed. Wow, what an experience! I was exhausted and on the verge of puking, but somehow I wanted to do it all over again. Yeah, there’s definitely something wrong with me. Grin
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« on: August 13, 2011, 10:10:36 PM »

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« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2011, 10:36:08 PM »

Great job!  How did the Flows hold up?
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« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2011, 12:24:28 AM »

Great job!  How did the Flows hold up?

Worked great! They gave me that little bit more sole thickness I needed on the rope nets, yet had enough ground feel to keep my form solid through the whole race. I found it funny that people in normal running shoes had way more traction problems than I did. I believe this goes back to proper form. You could really see people’s reliance on traction and their imbalance to propel their selves. However, not having much traction to begin with, I maintained better balance and form which prevented me from wiping out like the others. There were some serious wipeouts especially coming out of the creek. One guy busted his chin open after he face planted.
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« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2011, 01:12:02 AM »


I'm doing the WD in Colorado on the 21st ... You make it sound tougher than it looks from videos I've seen.  How many miles are you use to running?

My brother did the Tough Mudder and he said that his biggest issue was the mileage and not the obstacles. (Granted, Tough Mudder is 8 miles - not 3.)
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« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2011, 01:12:02 AM »

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« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2011, 02:12:57 AM »

Great job!  How did the Flows hold up?

I found it funny that people in normal running shoes had way more traction problems than I did. I believe this goes back to proper form. You could really see people’s reliance on traction and their imbalance to propel their selves. However, not having much traction to begin with, I maintained better balance and form which prevented me from wiping out like the others. There were some serious wipeouts especially coming out of the creek. One guy busted his chin open after he face planted.

I noticed that when I did a half marathon trail run in June. It was the day after a really bad rain storm and there were patches of mud everywhere.  The longest section was over 100 ft.  I nearly glided across the mud in my Bikilas but folks in regular running shoes were slip-slidin' away.
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« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2011, 12:19:12 PM »


I'm doing the WD in Colorado on the 21st ... You make it sound tougher than it looks from videos I've seen.  How many miles are you use to running?

My brother did the Tough Mudder and he said that his biggest issue was the mileage and not the obstacles. (Granted, Tough Mudder is 8 miles - not 3.)

I routinely run a 3.3 mile trail three times a week. I also try to get in a longer street run of 5 miles in on Saturdays. I average an 8:15 mile. I think the thing that was killing most people were the uphills. There was a section that was 80 feet up, 80 feet down, and then it switched back for another up and down. This is where most people got dropped from the pack. It was merciless. By the time you hit the obstacles your lungs are on fire and your throat burns from the acid it. All the other WD I've seen on the web do not have this much change in elevation. Yours might be easier due to the terrain difference. Ours just happen to be a real ball buster.
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« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2011, 03:59:43 PM »


I routinely run a 3.3 mile trail three times a week. I also try to get in a longer street run of 5 miles in on Saturdays. I average an 8:15 mile. I think the thing that was killing most people were the uphills. There was a section that was 80 feet up, 80 feet down, and then it switched back for another up and down. This is where most people got dropped from the pack. It was merciless. By the time you hit the obstacles your lungs are on fire and your throat burns from the acid it. All the other WD I've seen on the web do not have this much change in elevation. Yours might be easier due to the terrain difference. Ours just happen to be a real ball buster.

Well ... since ours is in the mountains, I think I can expect it to be pretty hilly.  We'll also have to contend with the altitude difference.  Copper Mountain is about 4,000 feet higher than Denver.  I wanted to be running 5 miles regularly by this week, but due to a tendonitis set-back a couple months ago I'm only just hitting 4 miles.  Could be a struggle ... but it'll be fun Smiley  I'll report after the race.

Thanks Jeepman!
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« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2011, 04:15:26 PM »

Don't be surprised if you minute per mile time nearly doubles for this race. I finished 347/592 in my age group. I ended up with a 15:30 per mile time  Tongue
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« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2011, 12:24:27 AM »

Somebody posted up some video of the event I ran in. A few observations - Notice how you almost see nobody running and just walking??? That's from the up and down hills killing everyone. In the mud pit at the end you can see one of the guys dressed up like TMNT. I finished a solid 5 minutes ahead of those guys. I was already washing off in the pond when they crossed the finish line. The race organizers already said they would be back next year. HOTDOG! Can't wait to do it again.

Warrior Dash 2011 - Crawfordsville, Indiana






And also the TMNT video I just found.

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« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2011, 12:59:58 PM »


I'm doing the WD in Colorado on the 21st ... You make it sound tougher than it looks from videos I've seen.  How many miles are you use to running?

My brother did the Tough Mudder and he said that his biggest issue was the mileage and not the obstacles. (Granted, Tough Mudder is 8 miles - not 3.)

Which heat are you in? I'm running at 3:30. This will be my 3rd race this summer- 1st was the BeachPalooza 5k @ Boulder reservoir (joke) then Tough Mudder at Beaver Creek (not a joke) and now Warrior Dash @ Copper. I ran the first 2 in VFFs -KSOs for BeachPalooza, and Komodo sports for Tough Mudder. I am seriously considering running in my traditional Adidas for WD. I'm interested to see the difference as far as handling the obstacles.

Out of curiosity does your brother remember running past the 9 mile marker @ Tough Mudder? It was a Tough Mudder trail sign above the Super G and it said "Mile 9 (ha ha)" My friend wore GPS tracking and after logging her run the course was just under 10 miles- not 8.


Nice write-up Jeepman! Glad you enjoyed yourself. These things are addictive.
P

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« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2011, 06:07:18 PM »

I totally agree with Cheese, nice write-up Jeepman! That sounds brutal, and great fun at the same time! I hope some day they have a WD event in Alberta. I'll definitely try and get involved. Again, thanks for sharing!
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« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2011, 07:27:05 PM »

The event pics are up for my race. I'm too cheap to purchase ($54.95 - are you kidding me!) them so the copyright print is on them, but at least it is something to share. Enjoy!







P.S. I noticed that my eyes are scanning the ground in every one of the pics. VFFs do make you use your eyes - LoL!
« Last Edit: August 16, 2011, 06:20:46 AM by Jeepman » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2011, 10:41:25 AM »

I ran the first 2 in VFFs -KSOs for BeachPalooza, and Komodo sports for Tough Mudder. I am seriously considering running in my traditional Adidas for WD. I'm interested to see the difference as far as handling the obstacles.

Nice write-up Jeepman! Glad you enjoyed yourself. These things are addictive.
P

Thanks Cheese! I ran in my Flows. I made this decision based on the slightly thicker sole providing more arch protection for my feet on the obstacles, and I knew I'd be in water and mud. I almost went with my NB Minimus Trail, but just couldn't do it - I had to do in VFFs!  Cheesy

I think the Komodo would work just fine for your WD. The only obstacle that made me notice I had VFFs on was the rope cargo net climb. Instead of placing my feet to where my archs supported my weight on the ropes, I placed them so it was more across the ball of my foot.

As regards to traction, people in normal shoes slipped and fell much more than those of us wearing VFFs. I think the reason behind this is we are used to having better balance because we can't rely on lots of traction to cover up poor posture. Better posture and balance over your feet helps prevent slipping and falling. Good luck on your WD, and give us a full report when you get the chance. I'd love to hear about your experence.

Rgs, Jeepman
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« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2011, 05:53:46 PM »

Totally Awesome!! Great post!!
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