The 2016 Indiana Warrior Dash was a hit for many. I must hand it to Warrior Dash, they put on a great show, and had some incredible sponsors, as well as offering a fun race for all abilities. This year’s race took place on September 10, 2016, right outside of Crawfordsville, Indiana. Racers were met by a friendly staff of volunteers into a FREE parking area, as well as FREE bag check, and a FREE beer from Shock Top. Check in was smooth and easy, and races started off on time with the classic Warrior Torches!
The first heat was the competitive heat where racers, took off for a chance to earn a podium place as well as a spot at the OCR World Championships.
Despite the rainy, sometimes downpour at times, people showed up and filled the festival area and course with smiles and a great, friendly atmosphere. The obstacles were not too difficult and they were spaced out over the 3.9 mile course, several water stations were also set up.
The first obstacle encountered was the Shocktop Unfiltered. It was a series of over-under walls, as well as a crawl under a tarp. The walls weren’t too high and the crawl was pretty easy, especially for the vertically challenged crowd. Next, was the Diesel Dome, which was a 30x50ft dome, which racers climbed over, definitely a challenge for those afraid of heights! This was followed by Trenches, another tarp crawl through mud, then Risky Business, a balance beam placed in water. Finally, Warrior Summit, which was a slip wall with ropes at a much easier angle than most OCR races.
After the Warrior Summit, racers approached the Mud Mounds, Pipeline, Fisherman’s Catch, and then the Warrior Roast. The Fisherman’s Catch was definitely the most difficult of all the obstacles using entire upper body, swinging from ring to ring. Many open heat racers, just crawled over the cargo net, rather than using the rings.
The final 3 obstacles in the last 400 meters of the race, were Alcatraz, Goliath, and Muddy Mayhem. Alcatraz was a nice swim to rafts in the middle of a lake, followed by Goliath, an epic giant slide. Goliath got racers all nice and cleaned off, but of course it’s not a true Warrior Dash if you come out clean! So the race finished with its last obstacle, Muddy Mayhem, where racers were doused in thick clay-like mud, before receiving their medals at the finish line.
Overall, it was a great race, people enjoyed themselves, and all levels were present. I talked to many people who had never done obstacle course racing before, and they were satisfied with their experience. I believe the Indiana Warrior Dash recruited some new racers into the world of OCR at this particular race.
I must highlight that Warrior Dash is one of the few races that offer a charity option in partnership with St. Jude. For racers that choose to run for this charity, they had to raise donations, which based on the amount they raised, were given some awesome incentive prizes. For example, those who raised at least $300 gained access to the St. Jude tent at the race. The tent included private showers, complimentary gear check, non-alcoholic beverages, and their own hangout area within the festival. There were also incentive prizes for those who hit the $100 mark as well as $500 and $1000.
Several top sponsors also included Shock Top Beer, which racers 21 and over enjoyed a free beer following the race, and only $5 a beer after. Delta Faucets was another sponsor and they provided a whole stage equipped with their shower heads for clean up after the race. There was also a karaoke set up on that same stage where people were showering! What a party in the shower!!! The other sponsor that stood out was Rockin Fuel, which provided protein shakes at the finish that nobody could open with muddy hands. But it’s all good, lots of clean people to help racers out.
Overall, excellent show, great sponsors, staff was friendly, and racers were happy. With that being said, Warrior Dash is not up to par with more competitive race companies in terms of true obstacle course racing such as Spartan Race and Savage Race. However, I don’t think it needs to be. Warrior Dash is a fun way to get new people introduced to the sport in a non-competitive, not heavily difficult nature. I would recommend this race for anyone, all levels! Bring the family for a day of fun!
Photo Credit: Luis Salamanca