This past weekend we went camping…and ran the Warrior Dash! First we got to camp a day before the race and explored a little bit.
We found the river and the one geocache in the park. There are lots of trails and we were a bit sad that there was only one cache to find. (If we lived closer, we’d add some more caches to the park.)
Saturday morning we got up and moving to head over to the race. We were in the second wave (10:30) but wanted to get there early enough to get checked in and get our stuff back to the car. On our drive down it was POURING rain. We got to check in and it started to clear up, but we were already soaked.
We had a little bit of time to just hang out, use the porta potty farm and get ready for the fun. It had stopped raining until just before our wave was going to start and then the clouds opened up again and POURED. The clock counted down and the flames went off and our group started moving towards the starting line. I wasn’t too concerned with the rain…it just seemed like another obstacle. The only problem with the pouring rain was that it just kept making my glasses hard to see out of! We went through a trail in the trees and it was quite tight getting everybody through so we were just crawling along for parts of it. The pouring rain and the loud thunder and bright lightning was an interesting additional mix to the course. People were hollering and running faster because of the lightning. I told the people around me that God was just taking a picture of the event. I think that’s what I was trying to convince myself so I wouldn’t be concerned with being a forest with all that lightning going on!
Once we got through the trail part of the run, things spread out a bit more and we made our way to the obstacles. I had been concerned mostly with the obstacles over the run but it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. When I was about halfway through the race, I missed a section of the run because I was following everyone in front of me…who also missed it. We saw a big arrow and headed the way it said, then we noticed people were joining us and we could see obstacles we hadn’t done. By the time we figured out we had completely missed something it was too far to try and get back to it. Plus we were being told that the obstacles had been closed because a girl broke her ankle going down the fireman pole. (This turned out to be half true. A girl did break her ankle, but they didn’t close the obstacles completely.) I am sad I missed some of the obstacles but hopefully we’ll do the race again sometime and I’ll be sure to get to everything.
When I came down the a-frame cargo net, I noticed my friends D, M and N going up it. Then I really knew I missed a lot…because for me to catch up to them was impossible in the real world. We all finished up by jumping over the fire and going into the mud pit. It was a LOT of fun and I would do it again.
When we finished the race, we grabbed some water and granola and watched for the other people in our group to finish too. Once everybody was done, we got in line to take our picture with the cool set up Warrior Dash had provided for a great photo op.
Part of our group decided to stick around for the party for a bit while the others hung out for a little while before heading back to camp to clean up. Every one (of age) gets a free beer for turning in their timing chip (Great idea to get their timing chips back!) so we turned in our chips for some beer. In addition to our free beer, we all got a medal for finishing, a t-shirt and a fuzzy warrior helmet! We went to the car to put on dry, cleaner clothing and got our chairs so we could hang out and enjoy the event. It was crazy! People watching at its finest level…I cannot even begin to explain it! Big Monkey and I shared a big turkey leg for lunch. The waves were getting close to being done and the awards ceremony and costume and beard contests were going to be starting in a little while when the skies opened up again. We decided that was enough for us and we packed it up and headed back to camp. I wish we had tracked the distance from the car to the event and back. We made that walk at least three times and it was quite a walk!
Once we got back to camp, we got cleaned up and just hung out, enjoying everyone’s company. It was nice that Big Monkey and I didn’t have to worry about dogs or kids like we normally do (Thanks GrandMom for watching all of them!). We just relaxed and had a great time.
Here’s the short of the Warrior Dash Experience-
- The folks who put the event on-Red Frog Events-know what they are doing. I was impressed with how well everything went.
- The only suggestion I have would be to make the waves every 15 minutes with half as many people. That might help with the bottleneck in the trail section and the time spent waiting for the people in front of you to do an obstacle. (I don’t know that my idea would solve those problems though.)
- We had a great time and would do the race again. Even with the rain and lightning!
If you are interested in knowing more about Warrior Dash, check them out here! There are no more Florida races this year but plenty of races in other states and even other countries! (Oh and they don’t know I’m writing this…I’m just letting you know about our experience!)