We are Warriors
Yesterday Tamara and I ran the Warrior Dash race in Budd’s Creek Maryland (only 15 minutes from our house). This was our second weekend in a row participating in a Red Frog Events Race (this company is definitely on to something – so sorry I didn’t think of it first!). We will get back to normal races soon but these events have been so much fun and a nice change of pace from our competitive races. Tamara participated in a Warrior Dash last year in Pennsylvania so she had some tips/tricks for our dash day.
Our day began by loading the car with just about everything imaginable – multiple changes of clothes, water, bags, flip flops, more bags, money, fake tattoos, camera (I need a new camera btw – ruined this one with Warrior mud!) and more bags. Warrior Dash has a shoe donation and Tamara learned last year that flip flops come in handy so you have something to wear once you donate your muddy shoes. I loved being at the event with a veteran. Warrior Dash runs heats every ½ hour beginning at 8:00am. Our heat was at 12:00 on Saturday. The weather for the day could not have been better – a beautiful sunny day with temps about 80 – just perfect! We left the house around 10:30 arriving at Budd’s Creek around 10:45. The place was already packed with cars but we managed to score a great parking spot really close to the entry gate. We grabbed our waiver form/ID and headed to the registration. This was my first Warrior Dash and I was just amazed at how well organized this event was. They are pushing a bunch of people through (approximately 25,000) and do it with great precision. We picked up our packets and headed back to the car to get ready for our heat. I take my traditional Facebook pic of the bib and t-shirt and we grab our bag and head towards the start line (I realize about ½ way towards the start line that I forgot to put the chip on my shoe so I had to run back to car to pick it up – no biggie though because I’m a runner J). We check our bag and get in line for our 12:00 heat. We weren’t running this for any kind of time but we do inch our way a little closer to the start line. We had to wait about 15 minutes, then the siren sounds and two fire cannons shoot off on each side of the start line (pretty cool). We start our run/jog with our can do Warrior attitudes. The beginning of this course is a type of cross country trail through the woods, a really nice course. About ½ a mile in we start getting into a bit more rugged terrain and then you get dropped in a semi- stream to run about another ¼ mile or so. I liked running through the stream, the water was just deep enough to get your feet wet and the cool water just felt good. Once we get out of the stream we get to our first obstacle – some sort of rubber band crisscross that you have to navigate over and under (Tamara started to go behind me on this obstacle but being a different height she kept getting slapped by the bands as I went through – so she took a different path). We made it through obstacle one and kept running through the woods. The next obstacle was series of walls that you had to hurdle over and then go immediately under a wire and repeat. I heard some people complaining about how hard this was but Tamara and I both thought it was pretty easy. Next up was a covered tunnel that you had to crawl through (nothing but mud here but it was fun – I mentioned seeing a snake in an attempt to freak Tamara out but it didn’t work). Next up was a rope wall – This wall was pretty tall and definitely something you needed to concentrate on (if you fell off this thing it would not be pretty). Then we headed out toward the motocross track some decent hills here both up and down. I was pretty focused the whole time. I didn’t want to do something stupid and injure myself so I played it safe. Next up was a plywood ramp that had ropes you could use to pull yourself up but the ramp wasn’t steep enough so you could just run over it. Next was a tire obstacle and then another hanging tire obstacle. Next up was some sort of water slide down one of the hills. This slide was getting pretty tore up by the time we made it and some holes were now in the plastic. I slid down one side and Tamara took the middle. Glad I picked the side – Tamara went over a few holes in the plastic which slowed her down then some guy behind her ran into her. We are about ¾ of the way through at this point head up a few more up and down hills and then proceed to the finale. The infamous fire jump and mud pit at the end. I was a bit dirty at this point but knew the mud pit would make me a Warrior – he he. So I jumped in the pit and swam my way across. Tamara was right behind me in the pit. The mud actually felt good – a great temperature and very buoyant. You also had to make sure you got muddy (hecklers were all round). As I get out of the mud pit I realize that both of my pockets are full of mud so I run to the finish line holding onto my shorts (not sure I wanted to be naked warrior). Tamara and I finish together, what a great feeling and what great fun we had. We get our medals, I get a banana and we head out to take a few muddy pictures and then get hosed off. Tamara made a comment on the walk in that the showers were better in PA. At Budd’s Creek they had some St. Mary’s County style showers set up – Two pool water semi-trucks with guys standing on top with garden hoses. We head over to get hosed off and are both struggling to get clean. We get cleaned up the best we can and decide to head back to the car (I brought a few gallons of water to help us clean up). On the way back to the car I notice a fence gate slightly open to a building – I look at Tamara and in my new warrior spirit tell her there has to be a hose bib on that building. So we sneak over and wouldn’t you know right there on the side of the build our new personal shower – score! Giggling like school kids who were breaking the law, we take our time, get clean and then head back to the car. We contemplate changing in the car but there were too many people around and we didn’t want to push our luck. So we head to the porta-potty to change (geez that was fun!).
We get cleaned up grab our blanket and head down to participate in some of the fun (music, beer and food) and watch some of our fellow friend Warriors finish their heats. Overall we had a great day. I was impressed by the course and so impressed by how organized and well run the event was. I never waited in a line. If anyone from Red Frog is reading this please have a better shower available next year – the only complaint I have. A great day, a great event – can’t wait until next year!! More pics from the Maryland event can be found here.