Well I completed the course over in Forney, TX and am now a warrior! Rawr… (cough). What? I have the hat to prove it! The results were just uploaded. Here’s how I did!
I placed 3345 out of 6998 for the day. So about the middle of the pack. #483 in the 30-34 age bracket. Total time: 37:01.45 at 11:56/M.
The Warrior Dash is definitely a event more than just a race. There was a stage with a band playing the entire time I was there. There was, of course, beer and turkey legs to be had. There was an axe throwing booth and a “Warrior Gear” booth (gift shop).
It didn’t seem to me that my wave actually had 500 people in it, though maybe I was just to short to see or bad with the maths. The site claimed that there were “up to” 500 people per wave and that the event was sold out long ago. Maybe a bunch just chickened out?
After the count-down and rather unexpected and quite hot blasts of fire from each side of the start gate, we were off.
The course was pretty narrow for the amount of people that were running and those people who were trying to win quickly jostled themselves up to the front. As for myself, I was content to plod along in the pack (preferably behind a nice pair of running shorts!).
The first obstacle was the Texas Tornado. Which is just a huge fan blowing into the crowd. There wasn’t all of the dust like you see in the race description, which is good, but that wind was remarkable strong! It only lasted a few seconds and then I was past. The horror!
The second obstacle was obviously designed just you get you ready to get messy. It’s not displayed on the course map, perhaps due to the changes that had to be made at the last minute due to legal issues, so I’m going to call it the umm… Bog of Endless Sorrow! Yeah, that’s nice. I like that. Basically it was a huge puddle that got deep quickly and put a bunch of people on their face.
Now keep in mind that I’m on the second to last wave on the last day of the race. the course is pretty well beaten in with 20,000 runners. So right after that sorrow puddle thingy, the course is slicker than snot on a doorknob! Lots more people eat mud after that. I’m plodding along at an elderly pace to keep my feet and regular hear the SLAP of a new butt in the mud. I stayed up!
Next up was Walk the Plank which I was actually a little concerned with going into the race as I didn’t have pleasant images of 500 people trying to cross a few planks of boards, regardless of how deep the… hmm… Chasm of Eternal Peril was. Say, that’s fun! It turned out to be a non-issue. I didn’t see any broken legs. The planks were about 6 inches wide and quite sturdy.
Now comes the Mud Slide and the first … wait in line obstacle. This is where it starts to pay to be those guys that jump out in front early. There are only 3 slides to go down. I don’t know if it started off that way on day one, but by this time there are 3 specific grooves in the mud with water going down like a mudslide, only very bumpy. The worst injury from the whole event could very well be from someone biting their tongue in half on the way down. Ouch!
After landing in a deep divot full of water at the bottom I was up and running down the Strait Rush which was pretty simple. Running along a shallow river bed. The bed was mostly small rocks so the footing was fine.
Then it was time for line #2, the Bunker Blitz. This was a pretty steep wall of mud that was probably 7 feet tall in all. It was also very well grooved and had some well-worn places for footholds. Until the top, that is. At least on the path that I chose, the last few feet was just flat and slick. The girl in front of my was having a hell of a time, so I had to wait. Once she was up and make quick work out of it basically jumping the rest of the way (then falling on my face at the top, nice).
A bit more running brings you to the most relaxing part of the race, the Breathless Bog! The line wasn’t bad at this point. The pack had started to thin out and most of them were behind me now. This obstacles course consisted of a jump or a slide into a body of water with 4 logs fastened to float across your path. I saw some team work on this one. When someone goes over the log, the log naturally rolls with them and then to rope that it’s fastened to makes it roll back the other way. If you didn’t time your attempt correctly, you ended up with the log rolling back towards you as you go up, not making much progress. So what I say was 3 or 4 people timing the mounting together and all flipping over at once, head first, into the water. This is where a lot of people were getting kicked in the head. Well I was wearing my sunglasses and didn’t really want to lose them during a head first plunge, so I managed to vault over sideways on each log, keeping my head above water. Some of the water was so deep for my awesome 5’6″ self, that I had to tread water before going over. Getting out of that pool was one of the tougher challenges as it was just really really slick! Good thing there were some branches to hang on to.
Next on the agenda was the Splintering Spools. This obstacle consisted of 3 sizes of spools, pappa bear, mamma bear, and baby bear. The big one was taller than I was. I chose the baby bear. This IS a race, right? Well I was able to put my hands on both sides of the spool at a run and vault it by just lifting my legs up and through. I don’t think that’s something I could have pulled off before I started P90X.
At this point, the end is in sight across a large field. There are plenty of people in front of my that have already passed the finish line as I approached Hay Fever. A pyramid of square hay bails stacked 3-high. Meh.
Then was the Cargo Climb. More meh. It was a lot shorter than I expected. Maybe 6 feet tall. I went up once side and onto a wooden platform before jogging to the other side and down more net. The only thing that made that difficult was that every bit of the rope was covered in mud by now. Regardless, this was one of the only places that I saw staff standing around as spotters. The other was the Breathless Bog.
The home stretch consisted of the Warrior Roast and the Muddy Mayhem. These are the obstacles you see in the videos and on TV. Probably because it’s at the end where the news channel can spectate. The Warrior Roast was two rows of fire about a foot tall each time. It was warm, and you surely didn’t want to fall. Oh yeah, more spotters there, sorry. It was here that you’re finally running past spectators and other than have finished the race and are on their 5th beer. So there was a lot of cheering and screaming for those about to dive into the mud pit. The Muddy Mayhem was that. With barbed wire in place to keep you down in the mud. My only injury came from this part of the race. That mud had rocks in it! I gots boo boos on my knees.
It was no coincidence that the muddiest obstacle was right at the end. So by the time you’re at the finish line, you’re COVERED in mud. Good times! From there it was grab your medal, get in line for the water truck that was hosing people off while chatting up your neighbor about the race. Then it was back to the party. I ended up with 3 free beer tickets somehow, I thought we were only getting one, but I’m not complaining.
All in all, I had a blast! The parking situation left something to be desired. I followed the signs and parked at a school which ended up being 20 minutes away. During the whole ride there, we were passing other lots left and right. Oh well.
I’ll be there next year for sure! Hopefully with a couple more races under my belt.