Warrior Dash is a race that hadn’t been on my radar in the past. It was either the date or the location in North Jersey that made it a bit inconvenient to attend when so many obstacle races in NJ are located in raceway park so close to home. However, my brother and his girlfriend, both being new to mud runs, wanted to give this a try as their first race, so of course Brian and I signed up with them!They also recruited 2 friends, and on race day a team of 6 rolled into Warwick NY for the event.
We had to park at a school and be shuttled to the event. Let me admit - I HATE when races do a shuttle service. Brian and I usually like to leave our stuff in the car rather than check bags, and after the race we usually change there as well. And of course the most annoying part of shuttles is that you can’t leave your garbage bag filled with dirty clothes in the car and go back to the festival!
I will say however, that Warrior Dash had the shuttle situation under control. We waited a short time for the shuttle, our bus driver was entertaining, and in no time we were on event grounds. The festival area had a little set up with a ring obstacle where you could take fun before photos, which was a nice bonus I hadn’t seen at a previous event.
We did the usual checking of bags, getting our bibs and t-shirts, etc, and then made our way to the starting line for the 10:30 preferred wave. The Emcee spoke for a few minutes, the starting line spewed some fire, and we were off!
The terrain for the first 3/4 of a mile was perhaps the hardest obstacle of the event. It was legit trail running straight uphill over rocks, roots, and loose dirt, there were even some stream crossings for added effect. If you’ve read my blog before you may remember from my beat the bleach recap that I am so NOT a trail runner. I admit that about 5 minutes into this run, I was getting a bit winded, cursing myself for my lackadaisical 10 mile a week road running training schedule I’ve been doing lately. Note to self: MORE RUNNING NEEDED IN MY LIFE.
I breathed a sigh of relief when we finally reached the first obstacle. A barbed wire crawl. It was over dry dirt and the wires were high enough that my short self could basically bend over and walk underneath, so it was a piece of cake. We pressed onward and made it to the second obstacle, and what I deemed the hardest obstacle of the event, Fisherman’s catch. At first glance this looks to be just a ring/hanging rope traverse, but upon closer look many of the rings/ropes were missing from each traverse area, which I’m not so sure was intentional.
Adding to the difficulty was the cargo net over water underneath the obstacle. I believe the intention was to help people so they could walk on the net rather than use pure upper body strength to swing across, but it was really tricky as if you swung and fell you would then be tangled in that cargo net rather than just landing in the water. If all that wasn’t enough, there was water shooting out onto the obstacle, making everything slippery, and the rings were high enough where my 5 foot self couldn’t even reach the first one. With Brian’s assistance i grabbed the first ring and got about halfway across before a ring was missing and the gap was too wide for my reach, and ended up having to crawl the rest of the way on the cargo net…
|If only I were an inch taller!|
After this obstacles were appearing a bit closer together, and many were things I had seen before at other races. There were balance beams, mud mounds, trenches, an Aframe climbing structure, over and under walls, an incline wall with a rope, etc, and of course the signature jump over fire.
Brian got what I have deemed as the best race photo ever taken on his fire jump. What do you think?
The final obstacle was a climb followed by a slide called Goliath, which was closed off by the time we got there. Rumor has it that the water below was too shallow and 4 people had broken their ankle on this obstacle, but I can’t confirm as I wasn’t there to witness this.
Once at the finish line we were given our finisher medal, which doubles as a bottle opener, and were offered a chocolate milk recovery drink with 20 grams of protein, which was a nice touch. We then made our way to the hoses, which were located downhill from the festival and in mud themselves - interesting placement….
We all changed into our warrior dash T-shirts and fuzzy red hats, then proceeded to the Shock Top beer tent.
I will say, this is the 8th obstacle race I have done, and I’m still having a great time doing them! This one was especially fun as it’s usually just Brian and I when it comes to mud runs, so it was nice to have a whole team to share the experience this time. The number of obstacles, 12 total, left me wanting a little more, but I think was the perfect amount for the first time racers. I also found most of them fairly easy, but again perfect level of difficulty for a first timer.
I’m already trying to convince the team to sign up for Rugged Maniac in July! Are you doing an obstacle race this summer?