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What's Up Magazine

I Am a Dashing Warrior

May 26, 2011 06:42PM ● By Anonymous

I never really thought of myself as a warrior. I’ve always been one to stand up for myself, but I never had to complete such activities as scaling cargo nets or jumping over fire. Well, until last Saturday. I arrived at the Warrior Dash in Mechanicsville (pretty far south) Maryland. The parking lot at Budd’s Creek was already packed. I was beginning to feel a bit apprehensive as I made my way toward the course and saw first, the giant tankers full of pool water; second, the incredibly muddy people; and third, the individuals who were about to pass out. I wondered what I was getting myself into.

As my friends and I made our way to the check-in, we ran into a bunch of less muddy people, including a woman in a wedding dress and a fully and completely outfitted Batman, complete with utility belt. That’s when I started to get excited. This was going to be a fun race. At check-in, I received the coveted Warrior Dash t-shirt and the plush Viking helmet. I also received my timing chip, which doubled as a beer coupon.

Then it was time to head to the corral to get ready to start. Though wedding dress didn’t join us, Batman did step in, as well as an inordinate number of individuals – mostly men – wearing pink tutus. The MC led us in a chant of “Warrior Dash; Warrior Dash” and began the world’s longest countdown. And then we were off.

The first part of the 3.1 mile course consisted of running up hills and running through mud. A lot of people tried to dodge the mud, while others bullied through it with full gusto. This was, after all, a mud run, not meant for people that don’t like to get dirty. After about a mile maybe, we make it to the first obstacle – which is some kind of overgrown spiderweb type net thing. I think that is the technical term. It reminded me of a Chinese jump rope. The challenge to this one is that you have to go over or under the ropes, and they are flexible and snap back to their original position. They don’t feel too good when they hit you in the face after the person in front of you lets them go.

After that, more hills – not great on an 80 degree spring day – and then another obstacle, this one called Tunnel of Terror. If you weren’t hot enough, you have to crawl through the mud underneath a black tarp for about 30 feet. If you are hot enough, you still have to do it. And don’t mind the rocks on the ground either.

A little more running, and then the obstacles came fast and furious. There were walls to climb, barbed wire to duck under, tires to dodge, what seemed like the world’s highest cargo net, a slide where it was almost impossible not to run into someone else, and a big pile of hay to volley over. Pretty cool.

The crème de la crème came close to the end of the race. You got to jump over two walls of fire. When I say walls, I mean the fire was about a foot high, starting on the ground. It was a little intimidating, and some people skipped it. I figured, why stop now? But I was glad I had shaved my legs that morning.

After jumping the fire, I took stock of myself and noticed that I was still relatively clean. My shoes were muddy but, otherwise, I had not much to show for my accomplishment. That changed. The final obstacle, Muddy Mayhem, involved crawling through a pit of soggy, wet mud with about 12 inches clearance above you. It was so wet you had to basically swim through it. Some even chose to swan dive and got completely covered. It was a great way to insure you looked good for those finish line pictures.

After grabbing the free beer, my friends and I headed to the pool trucks to rinse off, and realized that it didn’t really do much good. By that time, it had already seeped into our pores. A successful mud run indeed.

Missed it? There are lots more coming up. My next stop is the Run Amuck in Quantico, VA, on June 11. You can find more races – muddy and not – at