Maryland Warrior Dash!
Not many will submit their bodies through this brutal challenge, known as the “Warrior Dash”. What does it take to be a warrior exactly? Well be prepared to run 3.11 hellish miles through hilly trails, crawl through thick, smelly mud, climb over rope walls, run through fire, and most especially prepare your mind, body and soul to get dirty (realllll dirty)!
I have run, many a race in my day, but this was by far the most fun. Why? Well to begin, this country grown girl loved driving out to the middle of nowheresville, surrounded by green rolling hills and fresh air (yes, I will most likely become one of those “Sunday Drivers” when I grow up) but hey, for anyone it’s a nice escape from the city. This course was located about 1.5 hours away from Washington, D.C. in cow country, also known as Mechanicsville, Maryland.
Walking to the register, you can feel the intensity of this event. Mud covered warrior, after warrior, passing you by with a smile on their face and a medal around their neck (to Brian’s delight). You can feel their sense of pride over course they just conquered. Immediately you catch a glimpse of this beast of a race course–adrenaline pumps through your timid, not yet warrior veins. You hear a whisper in your ear, “Prepare yourself for battle.”
Prepare we did with some duct tape around our shoes, tight clothing (no need to show my bootie), and sunscreen slathered on our pale bodies– Ahu Ahu Ahu…we were ready to fight this treacherous beast.
Each new wave of the race starts every half hour with a stampeding line, and thunderous, firing boom (literally there is a huge fire explosion as each new wave begins). After watching waves go by, Brian and I decided to be the first in our heat to avoid the bottlenecks formed at the awaiting obstacles. I became increasingly nervous as I looked around and realized I was surrounded by lanky, cross country runners and bulky body builders with only a few girls in sight. I thought, “Here goes nothing right?”
The firing boom went off and our stampede trampled on…
We began sprinting up hilly trails, and immediately my little lungs were burning (my cold didn’t help). Our first battle was climbing through a spider web of ropes. I was thankful at this point I wasn’t climbing through this mess with 50 other people. Whew, first obstacle down 32572395 to go.
What lay ahead? You bet–good ol’ fashioned mud. You know the scene from Forest Gump where he talks about the rain—“We’ve been through every kind of rain there is. Little bitty stinging rain and big ol’ fat rain. Rain that flew in sideways. And sometimes rain even seemed to come straight up from underneath. Shoot, it even rained at night…” well that’s how I felt about this mud.
Well, we ran through:
- Thick, smelly, almost wet cement type mud–Many a shoe were lost in this mud. May they rest in smelly peace.
- Soppy, liquified mud–which you had to crawl through under a tarp.
- Mud so deep at one point it came up to my waist–After climbing over the wall and jumping into the mud, one fellow commented, “Where did she go? “
- Shoot, even the trails were made out of dried mud.
After the mud, we climbed rope walls, hay covered hills, ran through hanging tires, and jumped through grounded tires. My body was exhausted to the point of wanting to walk away from it all, when I looked up and there was my salvation, a huge water slide!!! Yippeeee!
Ouch, Ouch…My feet feel hot for some reason.
Of course you can’t end this race all sparkling and clean. After the water slide, the last leg of the run involved jumping over inflamed railroad ties and climbing under barbed wire through a huge mud pit. This made for some great photographs and some smelly hugs at the end.
The best part of the finale? Brian was there waiting for me with my muddy medal.
After of course snapping a few necessary photos to show everyone how muddy we were, we donated our muddy shoes, and enjoyed being watered down with a power wash hose.
My tips to potential warriors:
- Duct Tape your shoes if you want to keep them.
- Actually, keep them until the end of the race and then donate them…it’s for a good cause.
- Wear spandex pants. The mud has sticks and rocks mixed in and you will be crawling through it. Your knees will thank you.
- Drink plenty of water, of course. This is a brutal challenge and there is only one water stop.
- Wear suncreen! Even a warriors skin is susceptible to burn and even worse, skin cancer.
- Train on hills and/or stairs. The course was a constant up and down hill.
- Buy a huge turkey leg after the race and dig in!
If battle is this fun, then this warrior is ready for war.
Sign up for the 2012 Maryland Warrior Dash Race:
Other Future Warrior Dash Races:
- Warrior Dash Midwest
- Warrior Dash Ontario
- Warrior Dash Minnesota
- Warrior Dash Michigan
- Warrior Dash Indiana
- Warrior Dash Rockies
- Warrior Dash Ohio
- Warrior Dash Tennessee
- Warrior Dash Oklahoma
- Warrior Dash Missouri
- Warrior Dash Central Texas
- Warrior Dash North Florida-2012
- Warrior Dash Georgia-2012