Warrior Dash Review- Oregon, 2014

Warrior Dash is an easier mid-level mud run that is a staple in the OCR circuit. I put it at mid-level because the obstacles are actually made out of boards and mud, and not bubbles and inflatables. But, it’s still a relatively accessible race, especially since there are no penalties for passing on an obstacle — actually, this year the race wasn’t even timed.

This race is the race that got me started three years ago when I ran with a small group from one of my gyms. I have always loved Warrior Dash. I like the venue, it always has had the best mud, and some creative challenges. Except this year, I was a little disappointed. If I had never been to a Warrior Dash before, I would have thought it was great. Unfortunately, it was not up to it’s usual standards.

One of the things I loved about this race were the unique obstacles. The first year, we were climbing over cars, sliding down poles, jumping from one purposfully wobbly platform to the next. And the mud, was excellent. Lots of thick, clay mud that would never come out of your clothes! It was the best mud.

This year, most every obstacle was some rendition of climbing over or under something. Mostly walls and nets.

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As opposed to say, last year’s lateral cargo net crossing, or maybe a balance beam or previously mentioned obstacles from earlier years. The exception was Alcatraz and the Pipeline — which was a new unique challenge that I really enjoyed.

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There was only mud in two spots. The aptly named Mud Mounds and the Muddy Mayhem mudpit at the end. There were some more interesting looking obstacles on the course map that didn’t show up in the actual race. The Mud Mounds are actually quite fun. The technique this year was to try to jump from one mound to the next, missing the thick sticky mud at the bottom completely. Because if you landed in it, you were doomed. And, you probably lost a shoe.

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The mud at the end however, was disgusting. Previously, this was always my favorite. If you hadn’t gotten muddy enough, you were guaranteed to come out coated in it after wading through the chest-high trough of icky sticky mud. Until this year. It was black, it was gritty, and it was smelly. It looked and smelled like potting soil. No one wanted to put their hands in it, most people were lamenting over the texture and the smell as they were gingerly making their way through it. This picture says it all.

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That being said, I do want to compliment them on going the extra mile to ensure the fire jump happened even though there was a burn ban in place. They had sprinklers going all around the area to make sure it safe — and I very much appreciate that. The fire jump is a quintessential ending to any good mud run.

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The race unfortunately seemed to be suffering from a lack of funding and volunteers. Many of the obstacles had a sponsor and were branded, including the rinsing pond. It was well organized for the most part, though the flow of registration left a little to be desired, requiring you to push back through the lines of registrants to get to gear check. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a fun, solid, race and you should go if you get the chance. I will definitely go again. It just used to be a little bit better. But, if you’ve never been, you wouldn’t know the difference.

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Overall though, Warrior Dash has well-built obstacles with the perfect amount of challenge for the adequately in-shape, adventurous beginner. A fun atmosphere with a big stage for the live band, that can be viewed from the grassy hill while enjoying your gigantic turkey leg after visiting the beer garden. On the way out be sure the visit the very fairly priced merch tent for some quality take-homes. Just be sure to pay close attention to where you parked. And, if you’re directionally challenged, like me, recruit your friends to help.

*Photos By: Katrina Blackwell and Warrior Dash.

Spartan Review- PAC NW

Having been to three consecutive PNW Spartan Sprint races, it’s interesting to see how they have progressed, though in some areas digressed.

Don’t get me wrong, Spartan will probably always be one of my staple races and remains as one of the smoothest running, well organized events I’ve attended. But, the world of Spartan is growing, and it shows.

First, let’s just recap this year vs last year. The obstacles were nearly all the same, though the course was much longer. Thankfully, they calmed the heck down with the hills this year. The venue is an MX park and has lots of terrain to choose from. The hill climbs were exhausting and mildly dangerous on the decent last year. To the relief of the participants this year, there were simply more, though slightly less grueling hills.

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I do have to say that the obstacles were pretty perfectly spaced and the water stations and water obstacles showed up right when you needed them.

New obstacles this year included a bucket carry, typically seen in the Spartan Beast and Super races. The first challenge was to fill your bucket with gravel, then carry is up and down various small hills, over and down a grated ramp, and back around to the starting point when you would then dump out your bucket. This. was. horrible. I had seen tips, indicating that the best way was to hug the bucket high on your chest, which is all fine and dandy, if you have strong back muscles. That lasted about 25 feet for me. Then it was down to the killer forearm workout of holding it from the bottom.

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Racer etiquette tip: ASK another racer IF they want help. Don’t assume a female racer can’t dump her own bucket and tip it for her as you saunter on by… it makes us angry and steals from our experience.

While not necessarily new, they apparently decided that one tire obstacle was enough, so they gave the option of doing either a tire flip, or a tire drag at one point. I felt like that was a little lame. The tire drag was one of my favorites last year, but the tire flip is a staple and not to be passed up. I chose the tire flip, for authenticity purposes.

sandbag

The bucket hoist was turned into a sandbag hoist, and disappointingly, there were no Marines at the station loudly encouraging racers to “DO NOT DROP MY BUCKET!” Oh, well.

They brought back the inverted wall which was great, and of course the horrifically-awesome hill climb under barbed wire. At one point I looked up to see a hill of writhing muddy bodies. It was simultaneously amazing, and disgusting.

wall

Racer etiquette tip: If the masses are not moving, it’s because we have no where to go. DO NOT crawl over other racers to get to the top faster. Instead, try helping your fellow racers, as is the Spartan way. Otherwise you’re just slowing other people down as they are forced to move out of your way on an already precarious perch.

My one big complaint this year was the lines at the obstacles. They were actually sending people around the water slide without a penalty because the wait was over 40 minutes. We lost over an hour standing in line at obstacles and our GoPro died halfway through because it took so long. (It’s never not made it through a race before.) If we cared about our time this year, we would have been quite upset.

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Happily, there was a fire jump. Last year, presumably due to burn bans in the area, there was none. However, true to the rumors I had heard earlier in the year, there was no Spartan gauntlet at the end. I understand it to be due to insurance reasons, but it was still very disappointing.

While the festival area was fun, with a lot of activities and good flow to vendor tents and bag check, the food options left much to be desired and no one seemed too excited by the beer, though I believe it was a step up from the previous year. (I don’t drink beer, so this is hearsay.)

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My last overall impression of Spartan this year is that it’s getting big — really big. And it’s starting to show. It is starting to feel almost like a corporation. They have done so much to promote it and raised it to such a huge level that it’s starting to feel like a thing, rather than an event. I noticed it first when I attended one of the free Spartan training events in my area and received my free shirt, and were basically drilled with Spartan inspiration the entire time. Like a motivational seminar, with exercise. This was one of many across the country. During the registration process they were recruiting gyms to sign up for an SGX (Spartan Group X) certification. I feel like they are taking any avenue to filter people into their races. I’m not saying it’s bad, or they’re bad for doing it. I think it’s brilliant advertising and I don’t disagree with their overall goal. It’s just starting to feel like something scarily large, and I’m not sure how I feel about that. I can’t be mad, their goal is to get people off the couch and that’s admirable. I just get an ominous feeling about it that I can’t put my finger on.

All that being said, it is still one the best races I’ve been to. I always feel like they have their stuff together, and I would love to compete for a Trifecta one day — money, time, and energy permitting.


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*Photos By: Katrina Blackwell

 

Rugged Maniac Review Portland

Rugged Maniac Start

Our Rugged-ready team consisted of two feisty ballerina-ninjas and one intrepid camera man/boyfriend. We met up just north of our venue and rolled in together to save $10 on parking which was a breeze at the convenient, and easily accessible, Portland International Raceway. A slight breeze complimented the warm sun as we began our journey from the car to the registration tent where we received our shirts and race bibs. We were then sent to another tent to collect our timing chips.

Chips laced in, and bibs pinned on, we took a stroll around the festival area. The race utilized a great space with tables and lots of space for meandering racers and vendors. We watched mildly inebriated men and medium sized children being thrown from the mechanical bull into an inflatable corral, and friends battling it out in a jousting pit. They even had a fun inflatable slide and tunnel bounce house for the little ones. The music was lively and the DJ was sassy — a great atmosphere.

About 5 minutes before our heat we dropped our stuff off at the free gear check and jumped the wall into the starting chute and chatted with the bright green group in front of us. The announcer did a good job of working up the crowd before sending us off with a countdown.

We started the race by sloshing through a couple of waist-deep muddy water trenches. Then, hopped over some short walls, up and over the A-frames and then a cattywompus pile of tires. The next was just as it sounded on the map – a “surprise pit”. One minute you’re just happily wading through knee-deep water then, boom, you’ve just plummeted into chest-deep water!

Next, a couple more minor obstacles then an honest to goodness fire jump! No fire-logs here. Real wood — you could smell it. Two bounds over toasty flames and we were reminiscing about doubling back for s’mores later.

Rugged Fire

Trenches were up next. Just wide enough to make you second guess your hop-skills, but at the same time requiring you to keep going to maintain momentum. We made it over without taking a tumble, despite the long-legged man in front of me hitting the brakes at a very inopportune moment.

A quick sprint up, across and down some bleachers and a dirt hill, then we breezed across the balance beam to end with an overly graceful landing.

Another set of bleachers stood in our path, but this time there was an added challenge of carrying a 25lb sandbag across our shoulders. We were wishing that they had two lanes available for the surer-footed to pass.

Next, we picked a path across a few dozen yards of uneven terrain. A fun challenge as long as you didn’t zig where another runner was planning to zag.

I would like to thank my minimal parkour training for my rhythmic execution of the next obstacle — a set of staggered short A-frames that which we bounded across back-and-forth as if we were playing a hot lava game. Directly after that, it was up and over a giant teeter-totter.

Somehow I missed the long, dark, enclosed, claustrophia-enducing tunnel on the course map. As I watched multiple racers skip, or attempt and then back out of the tunnel, I asked one important question. “Does it get smaller?” The volunteer answered, “No.” So, deciding that I couldn’t get stuck, I jumped in, closed my eyes and crawled the hot, pitch black, zig zagging tunnel as fast as I could.

After another water pit and a hill we splashed into a small pond with the goal to climb over several floating 6in diameter pipes, under the advisement of the volunteer to, “Keep [our] mouths closed!” because, “Diarrhea is real!” Things suddenly got serious.

Rugged Maniac Muddy Pipes

Under some barbed wire and through a couple tubes, we emerged and ran on to an easy cargo net climb followed by a run across a tall bridge on the venue.

Finally, we had come to the tall walls that we saw earlier from the festival area and were excited to tackle. Before we had a chance to come up with a strategy, a random helpful racer reached his hand down and all but lifted the both of us over! Thankful, but determined to tackle the second one on our own, we used the leg-up method to get me over then I reached a hand down to help my partner. Once at the top, we breezed over and down the other side and shared a triumphant high-five.

Rugged Maniac Wall

Next, we gave our best attempt at the ring crossing, then we breezed over the ladder walls.

The culmination of the race was a run through a gauntlet of bubbles, a scramble up a slanted wall, then down a short but steep water slide.

Rugged Maniac Soap Wall

I really liked the variety of obstacles in this race and the fact that they crammed 30 of them into the 5k distance. This is a great beginner race for someone who’s looking for the physical challenge of climbing ladders and hills but still working on strength and stamina.

I recommend Rugged Maniac to anyone looking for an accessible entry into OCR’s or just a messy good time with some fun physical challenges.

 

Run n’ Gun 5K to Benefit Veterans – Hosted by Home with Heroes

We had little confidence in the sunny forecast displayed on my weather app as we barreled down the freeway under dark drizzly skies, trying to make up time from a late start. A two and a half hour drive awaited us on our way to Horseshoe Bend Ranch in central Washington for the 5K Run N’ Gun, hosted by Home with Heroes — an organization who’s mission is to bring outdoor activities to veterans.

Eventually, we outran the rain clouds and the sun poured across fields of enormous wind turbines, sprouting from hilltop to hilltop. Conversation turned to how we were going to find our way once we lost cell reception. Eventually, we tangled our way down the gravel back-roads to the gates of the ranch, parked our car and stepped out to realize that though the sun was beaming its glorious happy rays down upon us, it was also windy. And it was cold!

Glad to have found an extra hoodie in the back seat, we geared up and trotted excitedly to the check-in table. I recognized my contact by his impressive red beard, but didn’t get a chance until later to say “Hi.” We got our blue racer bracelets and generous stash of swag and headed to the congregation area.

Brandon, my intrepid husband and race partner, was hovering around the raffle table for the Colt competition rifle, eagerly looking for someone to take his money and drooling happily at the other vendor tables. I patted him on the back, left him in his candy store and went to set up my GoPro. I just downloaded the app for it on my phone. That turned out to be the best and worst thing I could have done.

Mid Run Battery Swap

This is what a mid-race battery replacement looks like.

After a little milling around, and one trip back to the car to stash our unneeded things, the event was kicked off with some announcements and introductions by a host from our local Country radio station 98.7 the Bull, who was running the race with his co-host and country music singer Samantha Landrum. Miss Landrum also graced us with her talent to sing the Nation Anthem. Then, we were all given a safety presentation. First and foremost the goal of the day was safety. I feel they did an excellent job of not only instilling that message in all the participants but also demonstrating it. There were as many friendly, attentive volunteers and range safety officers as runners and it made the day go smoothly and positively for everyone. I have never been to race where every single volunteer seemed to be happy, smiling and genuinely glad to be there.

THE RACE

We moved into line for the first station. We ended up standing in this line a little longer than was comfortable, but that was partially due to the wind which, while terrible then, would be welcomed a couple miles of running later. The racers started in, two at a time in two minute intervals to keep there from being backups at the shooting stations. This was actually one of my concerns before the race, but  we didn’t end up waiting more than 30 seconds at any station.

I stepped onto the platform for the first shooting station: 2 clay pigeons with a Benelli 20 gauge shotgun. I missed both shots. Having only fired a shotgun on one occasion, into a dirt hill, I was expecting that result.

Shotgun

The next station was a one mile run away. My cold muscles were yelling at me, and telling me “we need to train more” as I heard the most disappointing sound of the day. BEEP BEEP BEEEEP from overhead. My Go-Pro battery had died already. The wifi from the camera sync had drained it in less than 40 minutes.

Not wanting to let it ruin my spirit, I hustled through the first workout station, 25 air squats and 25 situps, then on to the second shooting station: 6 shots at MGM targets with a 9mm Glock at 12 yards. I had mildly high hopes for my skills here. The last time at the range my husband had me shoot his .380 and I had quite hilariously (to me) shot the target off the stand, so I knew I was capable of hitting something. Alas, I did not.

[Side story: the RSO at this station is my new favorite person, and completely saved the day. Upon arriving at the station I had mentioned the sad story of my premature battery death. In response, he offered to switch batteries with me from his fully charged GoPro he just happened to have with him. Dear Mr. Volunteer, If you happen to be reading this THANK YOU! My recap video and most of these photos would not have been possible without you.]

A quick jaunt down the road we came to a sledge hammer vs. tire, and fireman’s carry with ammo cans challenge. Boom, zip and we were off.

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Sledgehammer and Fireman’s carry station.

Down a hill and over a mud puddle we came to the third shooting station: 6 shots at MGM targets with a Colt Comptition CRX-16 rifle at 50 yards. I have the most “experience” with this. That experience being one day at the range “helping” to site-in my husband’s AR. After the RSO pointed me at my targets, instead of my husband’s, I had the most successful round of the day. POP. “HIT!” POP. “HIT!” POP. “HIT!” POP. “HIT!” POP. “HIT!” POP. “HIT!”

Running low-fives were shared as we ran on to pushups and bear crawls, culminating with high-fives from volunteers as they handed us our ear muffs for the next shooting station: 2 clay pigeons with the Benelli 20 gauge shotgun. I think I ended up hitting one clay pigeon this time.

[Another side note: I know next to nothing about, and have very little personal interest in guns but I can tell you… these shotguns were beautiful!]

On to the next physical station. There were various-sized fallen logs which we could choose from. I picked a middle-sized log that looked to a fair challenge for me. Turned out to weigh almost nothing. Lunges down to the marker, and 25 over head presses, then carry it back to the beginning. Easy peasy, on to the next one!

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Overhead log presses after walking lunges with the logs.

The next-to-last shooting station was combo: 5 shots at MGM pistol targets with a Glock at 15 yards and 6 shots with the Colt Competition CRX-16 rifle at 100 yards. The RSO was very patient and helpful guiding me through how to site with the hand gun and helping to steady it. I think I got about half of the targets for both weapons on this one.

One long hill stood between that and the next shooting station – one last pair of clay pigeons with a Benelli 20 gauge shotgun. I think the shotgun stations might have been my favorite. I think I’ve always wanted to yell, “PULL!” and shoot at something, just for the experience of it.

Finally, we goofed our way down the last stretch of trail and crossed the finish line. With smiling faces we shook hands with the race organizers and chatted while we waited for the shuttle to take us the mile back to the starting point where there was a delicious lunch from Slick’s Big Time BBQ waiting for us.

Check out the 2 minute GoPro footage recap video!

POST RACE

There was a SOG tomahawk throwing station set up for bonus points that I really wanted to try, but we were distracted by food and didn’t get to it before it was shut down. Darn.

While devouring our pulled pork and brisket sandwiches, we chatted with a fellow racer who we had started in line with and passed once or twice on the track. Come to find out it was Mitch Ernshaw of 750 The Game. We hung out with him for the rest of the event, and he even gave my husband his raffle ticket. Many new friends were made this day.

In addition to the great race, and wonderful people, there were a host of stellar raffle prizes from the vendors, including: the previously mentioned Colt Competition Rifle, SOG throwing tomahawks, wine, a fishing pole, and other cool gear.

I was also impressed that they took the time to recognize the veterans who were in attendance – runners and volunteers. This event truly was dedicated to the veterans, with companies offering sponsorships to make attendance possible for some. While most races are attached to a charity of some kind, the recognition is usually boiled down to a mention in the registration form or a logo on a banner. But the Run N’ Gun event focused on their mission, the race, the runners, and the volunteers.

My husband and I were so impressed with the people and the event that we’ve already decided to come back next year, and already have a growing group of our friends who are anxious to join us.

BACKGROUND AND FUTURE

It all started from a YouTube video of a similar idea on a smaller scale. The race organizers, who are all friends decided that they wanted to do something like that and had just the place to do it. Originally it was just supposed to be for a group of their friends, but after getting into insurance and liability, it was determined that they might as well open it to be a larger, public event. Then, they decided that while they were at it, they could turn it into something beneficial and used an affiliation with Home with Heroes to officially plan and execute the 5K Run N’ Gun in just three months.

Next year they hope to find a venue more central to Vancouver and Portland. They want to add a concert and camping and opportunities to interact with the weapons the day before. As of right now, the thought is to possibly combine it with their pre-existing annual fundraiser concert to add camping and have the race the following day.

I. Can’t. Wait. 

HOME WITH HEROES

To learn more about Home with Heroes visit their Website and Facebook page

7 Summits Adventure Race Has High Hopes, but Hasn’t Peaked

Basecamp at dawn.

Basecamp at dawn.

In the nearly frigid 6am October air, after warm waffles and new friends were made, we found our way to the Straddleline ORV park in McCleary, Washington. This was a new race for us; this was a new race for everyone. This time, unlike many of the races before it, the participants were not Spartans, or warriors, or toughies, or supernatural beings of any kind – we were simply mountaineers – about to embark on a quest to conquer the highest peaks from the seven continents, all in one single 7-mile race.

[Read more…]

Warrior Women

Warrior Dash Oregon race review

After collecting our intrepid posse of mud-goers and purchasing some last minute snacks and supplies, we wound our way down the hilly parade of cars to Horning’s Hideout in Tualatin, Oregon to run the approximately 5k Warrior Dash. Whilst parking on an absurd sideways angle, making it nearly impossible to open the heavy sedan door on the uphill side, my hubby/camera man yells out to the parking attendant, “Hey Mr. Horning!”, “Oh hey there!” he replies and waves. Fun fact of the day, my husband used to teach Mr. Horning, of Hornings Hideout, ballroom dance. How’s that for a small world. But I digress…

The one and only thing I don’t like about this venue is that the parking lot is so very far away from the race area. It’s quite the trek and it wasn’t well delineated which way to go. We generally assumed we would make like lemmings and follow the masses and we’d probably find our way. It was a bit like swimming upstream while playing Frogger with previously muddied participants making their way back down to the “rinsing pond” and back to their cars to change.

Registration was a breeze, they had the tents separated by men and women for ease of t-shirt distribution. I had failed as intrepid leader and forgotten to print my “I promise not to sue you if I get eaten by a bear” waiver, so we all split up to take care of business and agreed to meet back up “over there by the big blue dumpster”.

Next on the pre-race agenda – take a bunch of silly photos before we get covered in slime. But first, we had to find the porta-potty village. It was not where it was last time and took some searching to discover it was on the far side of the grounds past the finish line and muddy finishers. Insider tip: there are two more rows in the back, go around, don’t bother standing in line!

Oregon Warrior Dash girls

Now that the obligatory clean pics and light calisthenics had been completed we made our way to the starting chute. From experience, we made sure to be in the front of the line. We may not be the fastest, but there is nothing worse than getting stuck behind walkers on a steep hill! Momentum is the name of the game, a comfortable steady pace will get you up the first bump, but if you have to stop in traffic you’re pretty much doomed to walking the rest of it.

Camera activated, secured and adjusted, new line-friends made, emergency hair-tie replacement procured, some hootin’ and hollerin’, and we were off!

Warrior Dash Oregon runner girl

Recent rain, while calming the dust, had made the trails slippery and mildly treacherous. The side-angle foot-hold-technique was quickly implemented to gain maximum traction under our disposable-quality footwear. Par for the OCR-course, the first three-quarters of a mile was running, designed to thin the crowd before the first obstacle.

Warrior Dash Oregon runners

Around the first turn we found a pond containing Alcatraz – a floating barge of lashed-together container jugs covered in cargo nets. The signs warned of 5ft deep water requiring the ability to swim. I’m pretty sure we didn’t encounter anything over four, at the most. Though, there were steep surprise drop-offs. We made a girl-warrior train and waded our way to the “island” where we were “helped” by an overly-friendly stranger who apparently decided that: 1. We needed help and 2. our rear ends were an appropriate leverage point. I call shenanigans on our overly-gratuitous helper. Bringing up the end of our line, I made it quite obvious that I didn’t need a helping grope, er… hand, by launching myself in one pull, far clear of the water. The short jog across the top was surprisingly stable and after a hop and swim/paddle/wade we climbed out the other side.

Warrior Dash girls in the mud

Next stop Mud Mounds – These felt more like mud trenches but, none-the-less, the object was to climb up a series short of hills and slide down into 6 foot pits with knee to thigh-high gooey-thick mud. All were achievable, though the course-sanded clay was a bit abrasive on short-clad heinys on the slide down. The last hill seemed easy, until my first push whence I quickly came to discover the suction from the mud required the assistance of my compadres to overcome.

Warrior Dash mud climbers

Thoroughly coated, we slid down a hill that I am still not sure was actually an obstacle. If it was, it was poorly planned as most sliders were careening under the path-delineating safety ribbon into parked cars and other out-of-control slidees. This scene did, however, provide much amusement for us when we had later returned to our car to change. We provided helpful commentary such as, “Coming in hot!” and “Look out!” to the smiling, screaming, wave of tushy-sliding Warriors.

At the bottom of this inadvertent slip-n-slide was an inclining and declining balance beam known as Two X Fall. We each executed our own modus operandi on this one. Genessa chose the traditional walking balance technique. I had previously trained this in a practice session at a gym using the bear walk method. Meanwhile, Jaimee decided that sitting and scooting was the safest route. All equally successful as we breezed through unscathed.

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Up and over a steep bridge, we spent our time waiting at the top chatting with folks about the procedure of switching the GoPro without getting mud on the lense.

Next was a short version of the “slippery wall” seen in other OCR races but it did not have a rope. It was tall enough, and slippery enough, however, to require some strategy. In the end, a running start and two large, well-placed steps was the best method. Immediately following this was a series of 4 ft walls. Easy enough for anyone of a moderate fitness level. This was followed directly by what I can only describe as a backwards ramp. We climbed up the bracing to the top of a slick ramp. The challenge here is not so much the climb or descent, but in the landing at the bottom gracefully – a feat not accomplished by all participants. I managed to come out of it in an over-exaggerated hop that I hopefully pulled off as gracefully as my three years of ballerina school could affect.

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We next ran, crouched under some netting – Storming Normandy. Perhaps the intention was to crawl. I would have rolled. But with things like this it’s sometimes best to go with the status quo.

ww-stronggirl

After repelling down a steep slippery hill, we came across the Giant Cliff Hanger – a large angled wall with a rope and intermittent footholds. It’s interesting to see the different techniques implemented to ascend this obstacle which are telling of the experience level of the participant. To easily pass this gatekeeper, though, one must trust in physics over body strength.

ww-strongclimb

Another variant of an up-and-over wall, a horizontal cargo traverse, and a vertical cargo climb led to another OCR staple, the fire jump. Hand-in-hand we leapt the dual set of Durolog flames, the last step before a dunk in the mud. Just in case you hadn’t yet been thoroughly coated, a quick dip in the hip deep, thiiick clay mud should do the trick. Then it’s just a quick belly slide to the finish line!

Warrior Dash female heads to the finish

 

ww-finish

Now that we had completed our muddy adventure we took a quick dip in the pond to rinse off, attempting to ignore the fact that the lukewarm water wasn’t much more clean or sanitary than the mud we were trying to remove. It was, however, much quicker and less painful than spraying down with freezing cold hose water. We then hiked back to the car to change and heckle jestfully the previously mention bottom-sliders.

Returning to the lower festival area we sat on the grassy hillside and proudly mowed down our Turkey legs and rocked out to the live band on the big stage before hitting the swag tent and making our way, proudly, tiredly, and triumphantly back to the car to return home sporting fuzzy horned Warrior helmets and still-muddy finisher medals which conveniently double as bottle openers.

ww-shazam

I like this race a lot. The first time I ran it, three years ago, it gave me the OCR bug. It’s a great starter race for those who those who want more challenge than pink inflatable slides and bubbles, but who aren’t quite brave enough or prepared for a Spartan or electrocution. As a seasoned short-OCRer this was a quick and fun race with just enough challenge to keep it interesting. I enjoyed taking my first-timer friends through and seeing them take on the challenges, and the pride and excitement they had for rest of the day after conquering the beast they had been so nervous to face in the weeks leading up to the race.