This past Saturday, my husband, my son and I ran the Warrior Dash in Morristown NJ. If you’ve never heard of the Warrior Dash, it’s a grueling 5K adventure race where you conquer obstacles, leap fire, and crawl through mud beneath barbed wire! Why would anyone risk life and limb doing such a crazy thing? Well first of all…it’s fun! But most importantly the event raises money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Wow what a crazy experience. The first part of the day was spent waiting 1½ hours to get on a bus from the parking lot to the race site a few miles away. There were tons of people there. The first wave of runners started at 9:00 and continued every ½ hour until 4:30. There were 6,960 competitors throughout the course of the day.
The running trail went up and down a mountain, the second mile wound its way through a muddy stream, and the last mile contained the majority of the obstacles like scaling walls, a lake to swim across, cargo nets to climb, fire, and sand and mud pits you had to crawl through beneath barbed wire. Yes it was real barbed wire. I know because I stopped to check at the first obstacle, plus a woman got her hair caught in a barb on the last obstacle and I helped her get it out. (clicking on the pictures enlarges them).
While I was running and climbing ropes, I kept thinking of Max, my gladiator hero in my novel Captive: Book One of the Survival Race Series (coming 2013). He competes against other gladiators in a warrior race. However, not only do the contestants battle the terrain and obstacles, they have to battle ferocious beasts and each other. That’s right, in the Survival Race the last man alive wins. Thank goodness, we didn’t have to wield swords against our fellow warrior dashers on Saturday.
At the end of the race, water trucks were available for hosing off the competitors. You could drink beer and eat turkey legs (I’d been looking forward to a turkey leg days before the race), listen to loud music and have lots of fun watching the other tired and filthy people finish. There was a shoe pile for donating your shoes (if they stayed on). A friend of mine lost her shoe in the muddy stream and couldn’t find it again. She managed to find someone else’s sneaker and wound up finishing the race with two different shoes!
I’m very proud of my son; he did such a great job! And I am extremely proud of my husband who took 2nd in his age group. He was 27th overall out of 6,960 people!
I’m sore, my knees are cut up and bruised (knee pads would have been good), and someone kicked me in the face going over a wall. It was a great time and can’t wait for the next one! I’m going for time at the next race. Who’s with me?
Have you ever competed in a Warrior Dash or similar challenge? What was your experience like?