Do you find that normal 5ks are lacking something? Would you prefer a 3 mile race that subjects you to long hills, waist deep mud pits, cargo nets, barbed wire and fire? If you answered yes then Warrior Dash is your kind of race. I completed the New York Warrior Dash, have finally washed all the mud off and thought you might want to hear what I thought about it.
Obstacle strewn races like Warrior Dash have been sweeping the nation. In just a few short years Warrior Dash has gone from 1 event to 33 events across the country; some of which attract over 20,000 runners. Races like Warrior Dash provide an experience and challenge that you just won’t find at your typical 5k. As a matter of fact, Warrior Dash claims to be the “craziest firkin day of your life”.
I arrived at the Windham Ski Area, aka Warrior Dash Battle Ground, to find thousands of fellow warriors clad to battle gear that ranged from Speedos to Spartan costumes. It was sunny and 80ish degrees; a perfect day for battle. The course is too small for everyone to run at once so runners go in waves of a few hundred every 30 minutes from morning to night. This creates a party atmosphere of people waiting for their time slot and muddy warriors who completed the course. There are plenty of bands, food, and beer to keep the party going. At the end of the day there is also a prize ceremony followed by a best beard contest.
Finally my turn to run came and I lined up with a few hundred fellow warriors. The race starts was signaled by a plume of fire and we took on our first unofficial obstacle; a 1.5 mile long ski slope. Many racers tried to run but were soon slowed to a crawl by the sustained steep climb. We faced the first of the course’s official obstacles as we neared the mountain’s summit. These included wooden walls, mud pits, cargo nets, and junk cars which were fun but not as devastating as the first hill. From there the course felt like a rollercoaster as it headed down a ski slope towards the finish line.
I saw many people running together as teams and having a great time as we defeated each obstacle and pressed onward. Finally the finish line came into view and the race finished with a slip and slide followed by a leap over fire and a crawl through mud under barbed wire. I crossed the finish line happy and muddy. The event organizers had bananas, water, finishing medals and ice cold showers waiting for runners at the finish line. My timing chip was also redeemable for a free beer; you won’t see that at most races!
|Post race muddy|
The Warrior Dash obstacles might not be as crazy as they seem but that is not the point of this race. This race is about having a great time, getting really muddy and sharing battle stories with your friends over beer and Turkey legs. What could be more fun than that?