Jeremy and my brother Blair and I ran the Warrior Dash on Saturday. Instead of spending a lot of time explaining what the Warrior Dash is, I will direct you to their website. Ignore the impression you get that this event is a beer-soaked party. When we were there, in the early heats, it was a fairly wholesome, buoyant, race-centered atmosphere (with the occasional dude in gold spandex, as shown below).
What I will spend time explaining is how I was throwing up for the entire day before the race. Jeremy got the stomach flu on Wednesday night and was throwing up into Thursday. He felt well enough to go camping later that day, so we headed to the beach. That night, I had to bolt from the tent to get to the campground bathroom in time to start my own bout of throwing up. I spent the night on a bench in one of the shower stalls in the bathroom. Good times. When I got back to the tent on Friday morning, still very ill, I found out that Miriam had puked all night, too.
Anyway, we made it back home after camping but Friday night at bedtime I still wasn't sure I'd be able to do the race. I hadn't eaten anything in over 24 hours and my insides were still feeling a bit...shredded. But on Saturday morning - the day of the race - I woke up feeling ok, I guess, so we all headed out to the race site. The only food I'd had for a few days was some ginger ale and four saltine crackers. Breakfast of champions.
The Warrior Dash was AWESOME. I'm going to admit here that I wasn't even sure I'd be able to complete some of the obstacles. And when I saw the size of the fire the course was having us jump over I got even more nervous.
The first obstacle I remember was a waist-deep pond with rolling logs in it. It was crazy. I got tossed off the logs a few times but I managed to never get completely submerged in the freezing water. This ended up being my favorite obstacle because it was just so insane.
Then came a bridge you had to climb up and rappel (or navigate really carefully) down. Then a cargo net apparatus. Then a stringy web wound through the trees and across the trail. Then a horizontal cargo net climb (that one was hard). There were more steep hills and an abandoned car yard to navigate through and over. Then came the weirdest obstacle - a pitch-black tunnel you had to crawl through. Once inside, I really couldn't see anything, not even the shoes of the runner in front of me. I followed the voices ahead as best as I could and eventually we made it out on the other side.
I didn't realize the barbed wire was there first so I thought I could get through the mud standing up. Not so. I caught my shirt on one of the barbs and then realized I had to get down.
To rinse off, they directed us to a roped-off corner of a lake. The water was cold but it worked well to wash off the mud.
Final word: the Warrior Dash was great fun and a nice change-up to your average road race 5k. The challenges were doable yet difficult, and the atmosphere (in the morning, at least) was jovial and friendly. There are Warrior Dash races all over the country - check their website to see if there is one near you!