This past weekend I participated in the latest phenomenon to swept the country - an Extreme Running race called the Warrior Dash. Essentially it was a hilly ass 5K run with a few obstacles thrown in to good measure. Some of the obstacles that we had to navigate were barricades, stacks of hay, rope ladders, tire fields, small creek crossings, slightly muddy trial, logs of fire and a mud pit. Some of the advertised obstacles were not included which is a shame. Maybe it would have changed my view of the event.
The event starts by corralling 500 wave starters together like cattle. You stand there for 30 minutes in xtreme heat listening to bad loud music. Finally we enter the course and escape the music only to find it is just a long stretch of endless sun baked hills. After about a mile you come upon the first obstacle. A few jumps and crawls later and you past the barricades. More endless hills but now finally we get to some double track. A short balancing beam section and a field of tires follow. It is really hot and the shallow water crossing, while not hard were very welcomed. I almost just sat down in them to take a break, but I proceed to one of three rope ladders. For some reason they put in multiple sets instead of some of the advertised mud slides. Plenty of hills and some muddy trail sections followed. We ended with a jump over some fire and a short crawl through the mud pit. Then it was off to wait in line for an hour to try and get rinsed off.
After participating in this event I am really asking myself why the sudden interest in these races. Are runners that bored of a normal 5k run? Do they like standing for hour just to get stinking mud hosed off them? Have they ever tried one of the local Trail Nerds events? Because the Warrior Dash was just a pimped up trail run. It was diffidently not "The Craziest Frickin' Day Of Your Life" like they advertised. Maybe the other events like the Tough Mudder, which is more extreme, would make them more fun and more of a challenge. Maybe the "average Joe" coming off the couch would consider this an extreme event, but a good muddy off-road triathlon/duathlon or cyclocross race is way more extreme and fun than this event.
Some pictures (more coming...)