Posted by: noadventure | March 13, 2011

Warrior Dash – the experience

Finally, last weekend, WARRIOR DASH became a reality. Although the weather looked glum with a 100% chance of rain and a Tornado Warning, we still got there early, determined to race and have a fun. I couldn’t believe the turnout – thousands of people(mostly from New Orleans and Baton Rouge metro areas) had paid money to participate in a hellish muddy run through deep water, tunnels, 20′ high cargo nets, barbed wire, and of course… the fire leap.

The sky looked grey, the wind was kicking, but everyone there was gung ho to dash. From stars & stripes Speedo dude to this colorful stretching team, everyone was gearing up for a nasty race.

After checking in, we were informed that the weather situation was “no fucking joke” and the whole Warrior Dash was threatened to be canceled for participant and worker safety. With tornados and a huge storm approaching, the race officials had begun sending groups of racers through every 10 minutes instead of the originally planned 30 minute waves. Not wanting to get left out, we scrambled to the start gate and awaited the pyrotechnic explosion that would signify the start of our race. Inside the starting gate, I saw there were plenty of “team” entrants who all dressed in a theme with identical or similar outfits. These guys’ theme was the word “awesome.”

Before starting the race, I stuffed my ID in my shoe and a waterproof digital camera in my Speedo. During the race, I was tempted to pull out the camera and snap some shots, but I resisted because I wanted to remain competitive(and it was a huge pain in the sack to pull the camera out). I did pull it out during the race for one special occasion though – I spotted cheap beer legend KEITH STONE. He was slowly and cooly ambling through the mud and obstacles at a walking pace with a case of Keystone Light in tow.

Thousands of footprints had whipped the mud into cake frosting. It was so slippery in parts that people just started skating around on the slop and hitting the deck face first. Here’s a photo of me I stole from Warrior Dash’s official photography website. Notice how my right foot is completely submerged in mud.

Some of the water obstacles were tricky too. You’d start running into a puddle and would suddenly drop off into head-high water with a SPLOOSH!

The cargo net and tunnels were fun, but the fire leap at the end of the race was unique to Warrior Dash. After I finished the race, I went back and took a few photos of people crossing the flames like this retarded dude(who had duct tape underwear).

After the race, before hitting up the beer tent, everyone had their own strategy for cleaning up. Some of us waded out into a pond that no person would normally swim in, but under the mud-covered circumstances, it seemed a logical choice.

After a hasty cleanup, we moved on to the music stage and beer serving area. We ran into this nice couple on the way who expressed their spirit animals through the medium of t-shirts.

Roofies anyone?

About 2 seconds after we had our beers in hand, an unceremonious announcement came over the PA:

“The Tornado Watch has been upgraded to a Tornado Warning. We have canceled all future race waves. Warrior Dash is officially over for the day. We suggest that you return to your vehicles.”

Then, the plug was pulled on the music and people started shuffling to the buses in the rain. The weather was indeed picking up. After looking at the immense crowd waiting for buses, we opted(as did many) to walk the 2 miles to parking in the rain with our giant beers. Those of us who walked enjoyed a post-race glow and we entertained each other through stories and song. It was still Mardi Gras weekend; weather does not inhibit people with giant beers who run in mud.

Once at the vehicle, I dropped my race clothes into a garbage bag and nursed a 40 ounce beer mug while riding back home through the hellish storm. I consider myself lucky to have beat out the weather, raced, AND got the giant beer I so richly deserved.

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Responses

  1. Wow – seeing all these trim, young bodies in you pix makes me wonder if I – a 50-something year old in questionable condition – made a mistake by signing up for this in Michigan. Ah, well, I have a few more months to prepare. Guess I better get the clothes off of the treadmill.


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