Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Warrior Dash 2013 - Ohio 1

Butler, Ohio - June 1, 2013

There is a common theme this Spring in the midwest --- RAIN!!  I love to go play and roll around in the mud that all this rain creates but I don't want to live in it and we camped in it all weekend.  The one good thing about all this rain is it makes for a muddy course.  AROO!!!

Warrior Dash will always have a special place in my heart because it's where it all began for me one year ago.  Over the last year I have experienced so many different events that this years Warrior Dash was a HUGE disappointment.  In typical WD fashion, they release waves of a couple hundred people at a time but they always seem to layout the course with a bottleneck from the start.  This year, at about 50 yards from the start line, all runners get necked down to an uphill trail through the woods that's about 8 feet wide.  This does not make for a good start.  Since this was on a ski slope, the hill continued for at least 1/4 to 1/2 mile.  I don't remember when we hit the first obstacle but it was a very long time into the race.  There were only about 14 obstacles in the entire course and several of those were back-to-back.  There were several 'new' obstacle designs that just did not work well.  There was an obstacle with chains that you had to cross and another similar to a traverse wall but with cargo net roping that just wasn't big enough.  There was a backlog of people at every obstacle except the new barbed wire army crawl, similar to the Spartan but a baby version with no mud.  This is my new favorite kind of obstacle ever since the Spartan Sprint.  It makes me appreciate all the mountain climbers, planks, core and yoga I do at the gym.  More disappointment was the fact that there was no real water on the course and if it weren't for Mother Nature, I really don't think there would have been much mud.  The one thing about the course that was difficult was the hills, simply brutal.

Warrior Dash really is a beginners race.  My fondest memory of the day is when we were running through the woods on a fairly flat part of the trail, there was quite a bit of water and large puddles from all the rain down the middle of the trail.  To the sides of the trail and along the treeline there was about 12" of semi-dry land.  There were 3 or 4 people on each side of the trail in this dry part, trying to stay out of the mud and water.  I saw this as an opportunity ;) and went right down the middle, through the water between them, stomping as high as I could.  They all started yelling as I turned around and said with a chuckle "Why the hell are you here?".  Embrace the suck!  All in good fun!

The best part about the Warrior Dash was getting to run it with a group of people from different levels.  We had first-time runners, first-time MUD runners, runners on the recovery trail and experienced runners.  We started off as a group and split into 3 smaller groups of varying levels and everyone helped and pushed each other through; learning, growing and conquering as we went.

WD disappoints but we made the best of it and helped each other through it.

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