So this weekend, my wife and I did the Warrior Dash. What can I say about that?
It was a BLAST!!! But lets give you more than that. Some background for you – I have run 5ks off and on for a few years – and was a runner back in highschool. My wife was a sprinter in highschool, and hasn’t really run since. I ask her if she wants to join me – on just about every 5k I THINK about doing, not even just the ones I do run. She always says no. Well, For the Warrior Dash – she said yes. Seriously. I was suprised too!
So, on the day of the dash – my lovely wife and I got up at 6 o’clock, headed out to the car to drive up to Wyndham Mountain NY for the event. The drive was peaceful, and since we arrived around 8:30 – the parking was nice and close as well (although another $10.) We headed up to packet pickup, got our stuff (very smoothly organized I might add) – and headed back to the car (since it was so close, why not leave our valuables there?)
Some of the costumes were GREAT. We saw some Smurfs in tutus, folks in grass skirts and countless matching t-shirts. And we were only in the parking lot! (It got better when we got up to the race!)
We dropped off the sweat pants and excess clothes, pinned our numbers on and headed up to the gear-check. My car keys went into the check under my bib number (this becomes important later – as my wife explains), and off to Races!
We were ready to go – and it was only 9:07. I thought we were registered for 10:00, but after running into Mrs. Fairbanks – our karate teacher – we thought we had registered for the same one she did – turns out that was 10:30. After greeting her, Master Kage and their kids that were running with them – we continued on (they still had to get ready.) The night before, I read on another blog that they didn’t do any checking to ensure that folks were running in the wave they had signed up for – so I convinced the darling Mrs. Once and Future Runner that we should just go – rather than stand around waiting for our time!
We headed up – and started out. The beginning is a long climb. I knew I had been running more than my wife had (for perspective – her blog is about art work, not running,) so I kept a witty banter up – to keep her encouraged and keep her spirits up! I think it worked and definitely helped her. But before I go more into it – Here is the Warrior Dash – from “Mrs. Once and Future Runner’s” own words!
WOW! The Warrior Dash was an incredible experience and I was definitely not wholly prepared for it. Prior to the race, I minimally prepared spending an hour (a week) or so at the gym on the treadmill, elliptical, or lifting weights. The initial uphill trek was tortuous. Running 3 miles on the treadmill was no comparison to the inclined hike. Once the terrain leveled out a bit and I was able to breathe again (and not able to turn back) I started to feel a bit better about the experience. Now, my husband wanted to talk the entire way up the mountain, while I was not interested in carrying on a conversation. I did contemplate pushing him back down the mountain.
The most difficult of the obstacles was definitely the “deadweight drifter.” This was a pit of muddy water with chained logs that were floating and the participant climbed over. The first log, I went over and kept going resulting in my being completely under the muddy water. I came up with a mouthful of mud and not being able to see through my glasses. After the first log, my husband, held my glasses as I went over and I was much more careful about hanging onto the chain as I climbed. Now, we reached the end of this obstacle and the DH realized he had lost his bib. He had checked the car keys under his bib number… So he went back and a helpful contestant found the bib and fished it out of the mud for him. The other obstacles, while challenging, were not nearly as hard for me.
At the end of the race after we had crossed the finish line, we stood in front of the showers and watched the red mud sluice off. After several minutes of standing under the water, I gave up that it was actually going to get all of the mud off and we went to the car to change. I got my “free” beer and drank every drop of the nasty stuff because I had earned it and then we began the trek back home.
I had never participated in a 5 k before and certainly not like this. It was an incredible experience and I certainly came out of it with an enormous sense of accomplishment. Will I do it again? That still remains to be seen. I certainly intend to train much harder if I decide to. It was a great time spent with my husband and was a perfect bonding opportunity.
So that was my wife’s thoughts on it!!!
So my viewpoint (continued) – we headed up the rather steep hill (remember it is on the side of a ski slope), and hit the first obstacle – the “Baracade Breakdown”.
It wasn’t too bad – over the wooden wall, under the barbed wire, rinse and repeat a few times. Probably the best aspect to it – was that it took the crowd and spread it out, it made it much nicer as we progressed.
From the “Barracade Breakdown” – we headed up toward the next obstacle – “Road Rage.”
This was neat. Valuable object lesson, that a pickup truck is actually quite difficult to climb over the front of! But we made it through the tires and over the vehicles – and.. you guessed it -back up hill! This time was REALLY long, but there was a leveled out point – and on to “the Teetering Traverse!”
Ok, it was a balance beam of sorts, and well built – quite stable. Probably the most annoying aspect was going down – as I kind of had to jam my toes into the wooden blocks that are there to keep you from just falling on your butt! I imagine if you had some balance issues – it could be challenging. Luckily It wasn’t high enough off of the ground to set off any height issues for me.
Brief Jaunt over to the “Dead Weight Drifter.” As you read, this was my wife’s most challenging obstacle – and boy, do I agree with her!
In the photo, you can see the lines going down into the water. There were logs in the water you had to climb over. These logs were held in place by the lines – but not in a way that kept them from spinning. What this meant for us, the “future-warriors” was that you couldn’t just easily climb over them. They spun – and you went swimming in mud-soup! It was definitely the HARDEST challenge – but also a blast! My wife already mentioned that my race-bib went for a swim on its own, but we met up again and got to continue on together – so that part ended up ok. And yes – that water was VERY cold!
Out of the water, quick climb up a wooden ramp, followed by a short little rappel into another shallow mudpit.
This one existed as a photo-op. SportsPhoto – the company that takes the official “Warrior Dash Photos” was here (in raincoats) taking pics as you ran across the shallow mud-pit. We went on to dead-man’s drop, but as my wife was pretty sure her ankle wouldn’t take the landing (she has a bad ankle) we bypassed this one.
The Rubber Ricochet was pretty neat (sorry, couldn’t find a picture of it!) – they had a bunch of hanging tires – you had to barrel your way through it! As long as you weren’t right behind someone – it wasn’t too bad!
After that – on to the “Cargo Climb!” I won’t lie – I was a little nervous about this one. I don’t like heights and while I wasn’t worried about the climb up, or the climb down – that part at the top? You know, where you AREN’T as well secured? THAT part made me nervous.
Yeah… about that.. Didn’t turn out to be much of a big deal at all. I was worried from the time it came into sight, but once my foot was on the net? No problems. Up to the top, waited for the other person to get over, and then over and down. Then on to the “Chaotic Crossover”
This one looks worse than it is. There were people attempting to sit and scoot (slow but safe), crab walk (slow and not all that effective), those that tried to walk on all fours (like the girl in the yellow bandana – effective), and then the easiest way – use the wooden beams to support your hands (like the woman in the pink bandana – quick and easy). One guy did show up and just walk across it. I hated him.
With only a few more obstacles to go, we headed down hill to the “Perilous Plunge”.
The Secret here was to run and dive into it and slide right on through! I would like to say it cleaned off some of the mud – but at this point, it was impossible.
Finally Over the Fire (photo op)
Then on to the last Obstacle! Into the Mudpit and under the Barbed Wire!
We were very fortunate – someone was at the Finish line to snap a shot of us as we approached!
So – I think it was a BLAST!!!!! We did it with no concern for time, just for having a good time. We got muddy, we screamed,laughed and enjoyed ourselves. Probably the single biggest lesson – was don’t do it to early on Sunday in NY. They can’t serve beer until 12, so you end up waiting around! (which wasn’t to bad – great people watching!)
If you are thinking about doing one of these – DO IT!!! Get some friends and GO! I think next year will be more fun, perhaps go on saturday and get a room at the lodge for the night!
When our “SportsPhoto” pictures are posted, I will post them up on the blog!
Did you run the Warrior Dash this year? What was your experience like?
****** Have you entered for your chance to win a Free Road ID in my “100th Post Competition?” (No Purchase Necessary!) *****
This is post Number 90, the winner will be announced in just 10 more posts!