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.