Warrior Dash…. I have a lot to say about this day – but let me start off by saying that if you have the opportunity to, SIGN UP!
The day started pretty early for a race that didn’t go off until 12:30. I hadn’t originally realized Mechanicsville is over 2 hours away, I was just so excited when I saw the words “Warrior Dash” and “Maryland” on the screen. Oh well, no big deal. Got up around 8 & were on the road by 9.
The drive in was a breeze, and just as I expected – we came to a dead hult as soon as we turned onto the road the event was being held. We were in line to park for easily 35-40 minutes. It was the most frustrating part of the entire day… When we got in it was smooth sailing from there.
We parked, made our way into the festival area, stopped at the port-a-john and had me checked in within 10 minutes of paying the once we got through the ‘gate’
Everything about this event was well organized and efficient. The volunteers were incredibly helpful and kind. Despite the intense sun and heat, they had smiles on their faces. Huge props to everyone involved in today’s Warrior Dash in Maryland! You made what could have easily been a chaotic day run great!
The atmosphere was wild. Everyone was full of energy, but unlike most races it wasn’t nervous energy. Shirtless, shoeless, muddy people laughing and dancing and singing all around with huge turkey legs and pints of beer. Not to mention the viking hats
& before I knew it, it was 12:30 and we were off!
This is where I have the ONLY gripe about the race itself and it isn’t on WD by any means. If you’re afraid to get dirty, this isn’t the event for you. That’s fine! Not everything is for everyone. I do understand trying something new (hey this was my first mud run too) and not really being sure of what to expect.. But the entire first 1/2 mile I wasn’t even walking. I was walking, being brought to a hult. The course launches you right into some mud – I of course expected this but apparently not many did because everyone ahead of me seemed to be stopped because they were all trying to climb the side to get away from the mud that was MAYBE 2 inches deep… Finally a buff, BIG guy right ahead of me just JUMPED into the mud puddle and splashed it everywhere. THANK YOU WHOEVER YOU WERE, now we’re all muddy, get used to it and let’s carry on, shall we?
Sorry, my rant is over now
The first obstacle we approached was the “Barricade Breakdown” where you had to hurdle over a wall and then crawl under barbed wire. Easiest obstacle of the whole race — except that the last one seemed to be hanging lower than it should have. I’m assuming someone got caught at one point and it came loose. Thanks to an awesome warrior (and a hunk to look at. What? I can look ) stayed and held it up for everyone and was cheering us on.
Here came the running. UPHILL. Any and all running in this race was either uphill, what seriously felt like at a 90 degree angle, or down hill, equally steep. Neither of which are exactly easy on the legs. My right hip, which has been giving me issues the past few days (more on that later) started saying “yo, knock that sh*t off” Of course I just scoffed back at it and carried on, trying not to face plant in the mud.
The next obstacles might be a little out of order. I am never very good at remember at which point in a race something happened. Only if it was the first half or second half of it. haha. I’m too in the zone or something? I’m not sure.
Next up was the Cargo Climb, where you had to climb up cargo net turn around at the top and climb back down. Now, let me just say that I have no fear of heights, at all. I love heights in fact. But – turning around at the top in shoes that were now caked in soaking wet mud, made me a little nervous… The next few were similar variations. Each one got a little harder. The Deadmans Drop, The Warrior Wall… A little repetitive, but still fun! & Definitely a great upper body workout!
If I remember correctly, after a hellacious uphill power walk came the WATER SLIDE!!! I so so so badly wish I could have gotten a picture of this! It was by far the best part of the whole event. & only 30% because I was dying of heat in the 80 degree sun at this point. (& only 10% because the wind felt incredible waiting in line at the top of the hill) It was so fun!!! There were two guys at the top of this huge hill with giant firemen size hoses spraying down the giant hill… I went FLYING down that slide, threw my hands up and pretended I was at Disney World for a second I even nearly lost my shorts in the process.. No, I’m not joking.. I grabbed them just in time haha.
It was so refreshing… But now I had 1.5 miles to run soaking, sloshing, dripping wet… But it was alright, the next few obstacles were pretty easy and right in the open field so the sun started to dry me off pretty quickly. The first obstacle I came across in the field was the trenches… Big logs with trenches under to climb in and out of… Next up was a cargo net you had to climb straight across. Then there was a little bit more running, and then we had to walk across little beams up, across, down. This was easy for me. I can balance really well. Perk of being a gymnast growing up….. The means were followed by the most pathetic, 2 tires just laying there.. lame. I was a little disappointed it wasn’t more difficult than that.
After the tires was a downhill sprint. Again with what felt like a 90 degree angle. Only, I much prefer the downhill! WEEEEEEEEEEE
Immediately after the downhill sprint were two fire pits to jump over. They weren’t very big but they were radiating intense heat.
And just when I started sprinting ahead because I thought it was over….
The real mud came. I was starting to wonder… everyone was SO muddy and THIS is why…
As you can see I nearly DID faceplant. I slipped hardcore trying to save my shoe from getting stuck.. At that point I got on my knees…. I’m not even going to lie, that mud STANK. I can’t tell you for the life of me WHAT it smelled like, but it smelled bad. After wearing it for about 15 minutes, I was gagging by the time I got to the hose to be “showered” off. It was thick!!!
THIS was the last obstacle. I had finished my first Warrior Dash! & It was every bit as fun as I anticipated it to be. Over all the obstacles were fun but not extremely difficult. The insane hills were what got to me. I need to definitely add some hill work to my training!! YIKES.
But. I IZ A WARRIOR
This is where I started chasing Zack trying to give him the muddiest hug ever. I was determined to catch him until he realized I was serious and no longer found it funny. He’s lucky I love him….
I had one mission, and that was to be COVERED in mud, and I successfully accomplished that! I’m also really pleased I didn’t eat any mud. I saw a few girls in front of me eagerly dive into the mud bath of doom at the end, and drink it up like a milk shake! GROSS! I probably would have tossed my cookies. Just smelling it was making my stomach turn!
All in all, the entire day was a blast. I’m not sure why mud runs get such a bad rep. What is so bad about wanting to get dirty and have some fun? I’ve said it time and time again that I believe incorporating fun into our training will enhance our performance significantly. If you’re 100% serious 100% of the time something somewhere is going to snap. LIVE AND LET LIVE.
I am now committing myself to do a Tough Mudder event. With marathon training and the wedding taking up 2013 I’m going to be realistic and say 2014 I will be a tough mudder. I think it will be the ultimate test. Today was SUCH a workout and it was SUCH fun. I think we thrive when we’re having the most fun, and I definitely felt like I thrived today (other than my stinkin hip)
I will be back for Warrior Dash Maryland take 2 in 2013! It’s going to be a long year waiting for it!
Have you ever done a Mud run or Adventure Race?
Would you ever consider it?