My friend Kathryn and I have consistently been supporting each other in striving for healthy goals for more years that either of us would probably want me to put into print. We've been together through many ups and downs. I am so proud of her for kicking major ass at her first Warrior Dash this weekend. (Yes, I fully expect there will be a second). I asked her to share the story of this daunting and dirty challenge...
It was on the list. I'm not really sure how it got there, but there it was: Do a Warrior Dash.
I don't define myself as a runner. I'd much rather walk. I may on occasion skip, but run? Not so much. So why a warrior dash? Maybe it's because mud runs and obstacle courses are gaining in popularity and I wanted in on the fun? Each course differs in terms of length (typically a 5k but some are longer), the obstacles presented (easy to difficult), the participants (women only or co-ed), etc. But they're all alike in that you must at some point be okay with being drenched in mud. Turns out, I'm okay with that.
I'm not a fussy woman. I enjoy playing in the dirt. Even when I garden, I can't stand to wear gloves. I need to feel the earth on my fingers. I felt the earth in many, many places (some unmentionable) on May 10, 2014 when I ran the Warrior Dash in Mechanicsville, MD.
It wasn't my first mud run. My first mud run was two weeks earlier--the Dirty Girl Mud Run in Chesapeake, Virginia. It was good preparation for the Warrior Dash. The course was flat, muddy and surprisingly easy. My takeaways:
- It's much easier to jog/run through the mud then it is to walk.
- Tie your shoes tighter than normal and double knot your laces.
- You will get dirty...very, very dirty.
- To get clean, you will need more than one shower.
I enjoyed the Dirty Girl Mud Run, but knew the Warrior Dash would be a bit more challenging. I was worried about the obstacles. (I'll get to those in a minute.) I should have been worried about the hills. The course was described as moderately hilly. They lied. Part of the course is run on Budds Creek Motocross Park. The course is hilly, very hilly. Fortunately, you don't have to run if you don't want to (or can't). Walking is always an option. Some races are über competitive, and the Warrior Dash has competitive heats if that's your thing. If it isn't, then just enjoy the course and walk (or crawl) when you need to.
The obstacles had names that instilled a bit of trepidation in me, names like Goliath, Dead Man's Drop, Storming Normandy and Vicious Valleys. Truth be told, I was mostly worried about the Great Warrior Wall. It's a rope climb and I don't have a lot of upper body strength, but I watched the folks who went in front of me. The trick is to lean back, not forward, and to take smaller steps. I was up and over that wall in a flash. I avoided the barbed wire in the Muddy Mayhem, but managed to scrape my knees a bit crawling through Shocktop Unfiltered. And the fire hop at the end--the Warrior Roast? That's just a silly photo op. But fun. So. Much. Fun.
And yes, I got dirty...very, very dirty.
P.S. Registration is open for next year’s Warrior Dash on May 16. The course is moderately hilly J