I Am the Warrior

I ran the Warrior Dash in Logan, Ohio today.

I am still in shock. I run 5Ks, slowly.  But trail running is something completely new for me. And so much of this trail was uphill that it would have been a challenging walk.

Downhill was, shockingly, worse.  Downhill was slipping on thin, mobile mud.  Some people opted to slide down on their bottoms to save their strength.  There were far too many tree roots and stones for me to try that. And the hills didn’t even count as obstacles.

The true obstacles were somewhat different than shown on the site.  The first obstacle was actually the Barricade Breakdown.  Here is the picture from the site.

Image

It was 3 or 4 plywood barriers and in between barriers were barbed wire things to crawl under.  I actually saw people skip this obstacle.  It was really easy, and more importantly  ….. it was the first obstacle! Why did those people sign up?!?!

Next up, I think was the Teetering Traverse.  It reminded me of those dog agility A frames only it was an M, although it didn’t return all the way to the ground in the middle.

Then was the Capsized Catamaran.  This was actually cited as the most difficult obstacle by a couple who I spoke to on the way to the start line.  They’d run in an earlier wave than me.   You jumped in this water that was chest high.  The couple had said that the water was really cold, so cold it gave one pause.  By the time I was there, I was so hot and thirsty and sweaty, I very much appreciated the water. 

It was actually almost impossible to get up on these blocks.  It was completely different than it appears here.  It was this big flat board of plastic boxes but there was nowhere to grab on.  Everyone pushed the person in front of them up and pulled the person behind them up.  I had no choice, when I was ready to go, the lady in front of me started pulling and the lady behind me was pushing.  Scraped up my knees a bit, but I am very grateful for the help.

Next was Hard Rain.  It was absolutely nothing like what it appears here.

It was a plywood A frame structure.  5 or 6 feet above the middle of the A was a PVC pipe with loads of holes poked in it.  The picture looks like one is climbing up a waterfall.

The climb up was a plywood grid.  The downward part was solid plywood with 1″ wood trim in horizontal rows every 3-4 feet.  It gave you just enough of a lip to climb down.

These obstacles were all in the first mile and a half.

At some point, there was Storming Normandy.  It was crawling under a bunch of barbed wire and then a cargo net that was strung over the course.  Really, really lame.

Then there was Mortimer’s Crossing.  Rope bridge that, for the most part, was never more than about 2 feet off the ground.

After some more running, the course made it’s way over to a spectator viewing area.  Two obstacles were done in clear view.  The first was the Giant Cliffhanger.

This was another plywood A  frame.  On the way up there were, again, 1″ wood trim strips in rows every 3-4 feet and ropes with a couple of knots in them. I could hear my loud mouth kids, 50 yards away, yelling my name from the top.  The way down was another plywood grid.

After this obstacle, the course went right in front of spectator fence.  The next obstacle was one that isn’t shown on the site.  It was a trench crawl.  There were several (5? 6?) narrow trenches dug in the ground that participants had to crawl through.  To make it seem dangerous, far overhead was more, yawn, barbed wire. Unless one stood up, there was no way anyone could have gotten injured on this.

There was more running and another unlisted obstacle.  This was a run through a very muddy stream.  Initially, the water was waist deep or more.  The bottom was very slippery and covered in giant rocks that you just couldn’t see.  Randomly, there was a big step up and then the water was shin height, but the bottom was no less treacherous.

There was a little more than a half mile left at this point.  The next obstacle was the Great Warrior Wall.

This was another plywood wall, but completely vertical now.  1″ vertical trim rows were on each side and ropes with no knots were used on the ascent and descent.

Then there was a run through a field and around to the final 3 obstacles.  All three were within view of the spectators.

First up was the Cargo Climb.  I loved this.  No plywood, no barbed wire.

Then was the Warrior Roast.  By this time I was tired.  I am  quite positive I have the lamest fire leaping ever.  But I did leap it.

And finally was the Muddy Mayhem.  Crawling through muddy, muddy mud under barbed wire.   It was so hard to stand up at the end of this.  The course was so completely slippery.  There was just no resistance, no friction, nothing to grip onto.

Actually, this is me in the middle making sure the stranger on my left can stand up.

And here’s me again.

Sometimes, success is covered in mud!

I am so amazed that I did this.  I just did the Cleveland Half Marathon in 80 + degrees.  This made me more tired.

I’m a little disappointed with the course.  Last year, you got to run through junked cars and had more obstacles that didn’t involve barbed wire and plywood A frames.

I was disappointed that the “warrior wash” was a really smelly, muddy pond? water retention basin? hog manure pit?  I came out muddier and much, much smellier than I went in.  I was told that last year there were hoses and you could opt to just be hosed down with the high-pressure hoses.  Even though I used the “warrior wash”, stripped to my underthings in the women’s changing tent, washed down as much as possible with baby wipes and changed everything but my bra and panties, I still had mud everywhere.  We stopped at Chipotle on the long, long ride home.  When I dropped my panties, loads of dried mud came falling out.

When I finally stripped naked at home, there was half a pound of mud in each bra cup.  I should do that every day, made my boobs look bigger.  I am so glad to be clean.  I can’t wait to do this again next year.

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