Monday, September 26, 2011

Warrior Dash '11

Saturday I ran the Oklahoma Warrior Dash and it was an absolute blast! I learned a lot and gained a whole new level of appreciation for trail runners, but let's back up and start from the beginning.

The race was my sister Ashley's first race ever, so I forced lovingly encouraged her to get to the race extra early, take a lot of pics, and soak in the race atmosphere on her big day. Mom also came to be our personal paparazzi (thanks again mom!) since she wasn't running. We got there about three hours early and wandered around taking pre-race pics in our camo tutus.

After our snapshots, we headed to packet pick-up and got all of our goodies. With registration you get a furry viking helmet and cute tee (plus a medal at the finish line). We got our bibs put on and then had to take another goofy picture.
My bib
Viking Helmets!
After that we explored the area. The atmosphere was amazing. There were live bands playing, live video of the mud pit broadcasted on a jumbotron, beer and turkey leg tents, and tons of fun. You also could see a glimpse of the course and we, especially me, started getting really nervous. Those are some major hills!!

The food tents

They're joking right?!
Soon after that, we were lining up at the start line! The warrior dash has their own version of pyrotechnics to start the race (like disney's fireworks) and they shoot off giant balls of fire. We took of and headed out for an awesome race.
running right along
I don't have very many pics from the actual course because the photographers were only at the last couple of obstacles and a camera wouldn't have done well in that mess. The course was definitely a trail race. I don't know why, but I expected it to be more of a road race with random obstacles built it (how would that even work?!) but the terrain was very rough and you had to be careful where you stepped. I'd say the most dangerous part of the race, was the possibility of twisting your ankle in a whole rather than any of the crazy obstacles! It was also incredibly steep, so we ended up walking a good chunk of it. My asthma has never done well with hills and munchkin was new to running, so we didn't want to push ourselves to injury. Instead our goal was to just have fun and finish.

The first obstacle didn't come until about .75 miles in, and when we could finally see it, everyone cheered. There were tons of obstacles and I wish I could remember them all. There were tires to hop through, hanging tires to dodge, junkyard cars to climb over, walls to climb, nets to climb, muddy ditches to crawl through, low walls to jump over, tons of walls/nets/barbed wire to climb under, ponds to swim through with logs to throw yourself over, and of course the infamous fire to leap through. All of the obstacles were spread throughout the course. I thought that they would make the race much harder, but actually they made it go faster because we had something fun to look forward to. I didn't feel like any of the obstacles were too physically demanding, so if you're worried you can't do one of them don't be. They also had a way around each one if you felt like you couldn't complete that obstacle for some reason, but Ashley and I wanted to do everything!

Awkwardly leaving the mud pit
While the obstacles we're physically demanding, some were very nerve-racking. The walls that you had to climb were very tall and the tops were narrow (about 3 inches wide) so it made it difficult to get over the wall without feeling like you were about to fall big time. There were also some walls that you had a sort of ladder on the opposite side to get down, but the rungs were so far apart you were basically jumping from rung to rung. Because of this, while they weren't too hard on your muscles, it was pretty hard to go through them fast. The last wall you climbed was only about 10ft tall and you had to just jump off the top! But the obstacle I feared the most (for weeks before!) was the fire jump!

In case you haven't noticed, I'm an awkward and klutzy, born without any grace, complete white girl. I CAN'T jump to save my life. Like for real, I can get about 3 inches off the ground on a good day. If there was going to be one person at that race to not make it over the fire, fall, and go up in a flaming ball of tulle, it was going to be me. I was terrified, but I really wanted to do it. Ashley on the other hand is a pyromaniac and couldn't wait for the fire leap, so she offered to hold my hand help me face my fears. (I know I'm like 5). As we rounded the corner and saw the fire I was petrified, but Ashley just grabbed my hand and said, "Here we go!". 
Here we go!
And then I took the world's best race pic. This should keep you laughing for a while. Enjoy!

But at least we made it!

After that it was time for some post-race celebratory pics of course!

my signature pose

love the bling!
One of the nice things about the race was that they had showers after the race so that you didn't have to go home completely disgusting. Near the showers they also have a giant pile where you can donate your used shoes to charity. We both showered off and added our shoes to the pile. 

All in all it was a great race! I loved the atmosphere, the support from other runners, race staff, and spectators, and the fun obstacles of the course. You can't help but leave feeling a little more B.A. after a race like that. I also learned how hard trail running is! I knew it was harder and never had a desire to run trail runs, but it is sooo much harder. You have to constantly watch the ground to keep yourself from tripping. It was challenging, but it was also a blast. I'm so glad I did this race and highly recommend the Warrior Dash series to runners of all abilities! 

Sorry about the picture overload, but I'm obviously pumped about this race :)

Have you ever run a trail race before? What did you thing? What about a mud run?


  1. It looks completely awesome! I love the pics you got - the one over the fire is so great! I would love to try this race out - I've never been able to climb over a wall before, though. Might have to skip that one. Where do you get your tutus - do you make them? Tell your sister she is awesome for completing that as her first race - amazing!

  2. I love the pictures! I am hoping to do this race one day if I can find one close enough! I can not wait to run my mud run in November!!

  3. Great pics!!! I really want to do one of these one day. It always looks like such a blast :)

  4. I enjoyed reading your blog and looking at the photos. You ladies look muddy fabulous!

  5. Thanks guys it was a blast!
    Morgan: I made them myself. it's pretty easy once you get the hang of it! And that's what I thought about the walls, but all of them have ropes etc. so it isn't too bad I promise!

    Alecia: I know right?! The whole race felt like that except uphill until that one at the end :/

    Kayla: I hope they have one in your area, because it was a blast. Can't wait to hear about yours!!

    One Crazy Penguin: You should! You would love it!

    Petite: Thanks! I'll post links more on DM

  6. Did the Ohio 2 in early Sept 2011. It was alittle tough at first very humid making my asthma go crazy but finished in 1 hour. The race pushed my to start running so I turned to c25k program and have since November 2011 did 5 5ks. Cold and hills really get the wheezing going but I preserve and walk sometimes as needed. Not bad for a beginning 50 yr old and I am proud to say all my times have been under 36 minutes even with walking and a major asthma attack.

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