Friday, May 27, 2011

The Warrior Dash (or, Would you like mud with your run?)

So last Saturday I womaned-up and made the 2hr trek to the Eastern Shore to take place in the 2011 Maryland Warrior Dash.

The Dash is essentially a 5K bred with a butt-busting obstacle course. The result is 3.1 miles of organized chaos. Mud and fire are main components of the course. You have to agree to things on the consent form like:
  • I understand that the Warrior Dash is a hazardous activity.

  • I assume the risk of wild animals and insects that may be present on the course.

  • I understand the Dash presents extreme obstacles including, but not limited to fire, mud pits, cargo climbs, junk cars, and steep hills.
So, of course, I talked about 4 of my friends into it- Two of whom I missed on the course entirely (Lauren, Muffie - I'll see you in Frederick!) and another who wasn't spotted until the post-race hose off and was greeted with a big muddy bear hug.

I spent the race with my buddy, Carla, who graciously walked the course with me after I gave my ankle a slight turn coming down from the hay bale tower. Which was fine, really, since it took the focus off the mud-covered gash on my leg (which happened either during the wooded trail run or during the wall climb).

The mud itself came courtesy of the course designers and Mother Nature, who poured inches of rain on the area in the days leading up to the race. This made the trail run portion of the course a little more interesting since (1) the mud was deep enough that a few people (myself included) lost shoes on the course, and (2) given the smell of the mud, which we had to crawl through for one the obstacles, I'm pretty sure there were considerably less pleasant things than dirt and water in the mix. The rain also flooded parts of the trail, eliciting "Parkour!" proclamations while runners tried to bob and weave through the woods.

Still, I had a great time! And while it looks like I'm the only one out of my friends who would run it again, I'm sure we can all agree that with the free beer and crazy Flintstones Order of the Water Buffalo-like hat it was totally worth it.

I managed to snag pics of some of the course obstacles:

Damn hay bale tower. It looks so innocuous, but hay is deceptively tall. I turned my ankle a bit when I jumped down the second half.

The scene post-race. The inflatable warrior hat tent housed race results. Beer and giant turkey legs were available in the back.

Ah, the rope tower. This one wasn't too bad, really!

The super slide. I was really looking forward to this until I started down and realized the rock pile underneath the plastic basically made the thing into giant cheese grater and my ass was cheddar. I lost a bit of my hand trying to slow down.

The warning before the last obstacle.

The final obstacle: The mud pit! It was actually quite cozy and didn't smell as bad as the mud on the wooded trail.

The fire hurdle!

A (slightly less than legal) screenshot of my taking down the fire hurdle!

This is how you clean up post-race. Volunteers hose you down with freezing cold water.

A happy camper.

See you in 2012?

Here's hoping you all have a kick-butt holiday weekend! I'll be driving down to South Carolina with BHE and Donald to attend a family wedding and to work on my tan poolside. Until next time, Enjoy!


Adrienne said...

OMG! That is so cool.

Adrienne said...

OMG! That is so cool

Adj said...

Thanks! I recommend running it at least once per lifetime.