Ah the Warrior Dash. I’ve heard it called a lot of things. I even heard a guy call it “weak sauce” once. Some people just don’t take this race serious. Well, I have a different view on the matter. I’ll explain…
My opinion, I LOVE running this race. You can have fun with it, or get serious since it is chip timed. Tons of people come out all dressed up in costumes for a good time. They always have a rocking band & DJ, plus the fairground is set up so people can enjoy themselves. I know this because my wife and kids always do.
One of the main reasons I like this race is because you get to RUN! I love running trails. For me, this gives me the opportunity to run some trails. It’s the right distance, too. If you want to open it up and sprint through it, go for it. It’s the perfect race for that. Running with some friends for a good time? Yeah, it’s great for that too.
This year I ran 2 different heats. The 1st with a team, the next solo. The 1st wave I ran with my friends Adam, Danielle, and Elena. Adam has some experience with this. He ran the race with me last year. He knew what he was in for. He’s also an avid runner. He’s run races like the Portugal ½ marathon, the Vegas ½ marathon, the New Orleans ½ marathon, and too many 5k’s to mention. Danielle and Elena both do CrossFit a few days a week. This was their 1st mud run, but I’m pretty sure they knew what they signed up for too.
I was pleasantly surprised. They changed the course this year. I thought it was much more difficult. It seemed like the sections of trail they chose were more technical. There were rocks and roots everywhere. It seemed like most of the race was uphill. The trails were marked perfectly so you knew exactly which way the course went.
The obstacles consisted of various walls, crawls, and even a swim to climb over a barge in a lake. I liked the traverse wall they added this year. It seemed like it was a good challenge for most of the competitors. Also, I enjoyed the way Barricade Breakdown was set up. It was fun to get over and through it. The added mud from the rain was awesome! We helped each other through the 1st wave. All 4 of us had a blast!
I ate a Gu, then got back to the starting line. This was my competitive heat. My goal was to beat my time from last year, 40 minutes, and to see how I would rank in my age division, 40 to 49 year olds. I started up front with a bunch of young guys. They were in really good shape so I paced them for most of the race. Since I ran it once I knew the layout of the course, which helped. Warrior Dash did a really good job of releasing each wave 15 minutes apart this year to avoid bottlenecks. I didn’t hit any major ones starting up front in my second wave.
Long story short I didn’t beat my time from last year. I was a minute slower. I attribute that to the fact they made the course more difficult this year. I did place 10th in my age group, and 77th overall. That gave me reason to smile.
In my opinion the Warrior Dash is exactly what you make it. Come dressed up ready to party, with a team, or ready to run to beat your PR. It’s a great race for newcomers to an obstacle course race, or someone who’s got some experience under their belt. The best part about it? If you like beer, you’ll never lose one of their chip timers. It’s what gets you a free beer!