We did it! We conquered the Warrior Dash and every obstacle in it! We had perfect weather for it too–not too sunny, not too warm or cold, with rain the night before so we got the full muddy experience, but didn’t get rained on while we were Dashing. It was a great experience, and I’m so glad we put in the training time beforehand.
For future Warriors, here’s what I remember most clearly about the obstacles (not in order):
This was one of the last obstacles for us, and before you get to the plank, you have to climb a rope ladder/wall. After you’ve walked the plank, water shooting at you from both sides, you get to slide down an enormous slide. and then launch towards the last few obstacles. I imagine on a hot day, the water would be extremely welcome, but even on a more overcast day, I was thrilled to rinse off a little of the mud that was all over my face by that point. This was an extremely tough one for Warriors who were scared of heights, so several people took a long time gearing themselves up to cross over.
- Deadman’s Drop
One of the many obstacles that made me glad I’d done solid upper-body strength training in the months leading up to the dash!
- Diesel Dome
The trickiest part of this was trying to descend, and one of the women on the Dome with me was clearly scared of heights and needed her teammates to help her navigate down.
- Giant Cliffhanger
This is the obstacle that gave me the most difficulty–I used the rope to climb up the first side, but on the descent, I just couldn’t raise myself up to a standing position again and ended up sliding all the way down–my belly did not thank me for that! I think my calves are stronger than my thighs at this point, so maybe increased overall leg strength would have helped me here. Fingerless gloves would be a good aid here too.
- Muddy Mayhem
Mud + barbed-wire=Warrior! This is one of the obstacles that looked more frightening in the pictures than it was in person, for me–just stay low and accept the mud, and you should probably be fine.
My sister’s genius idea here was that instead of going through this rope-tunnel on your hands and knees (which might already be scraped and sore at this point like mine were), turn yourself around, put your butt on the rope, and use your hands overhead to pull you along, pushing with your feet too. It’s much quicker and saves your skin!
- Shocktop Unfiltered
If you’re at all claustrophobic, this will be tricky, but the tubes are not very long, if that helps. Again, a little rough on your hands and knees.
Another crawl through a dark enclosed space! I saw some people managing a forward bear crawl through some of these kinds of obstacles, so that’s something to consider if you’re concerned about pacing or think you’re up to it
- Warrior Roast
This is the obstacle my children thought was the craziest when I showed it to them! By this point in the race, I was pretty tired, but out of nowhere, two energetic guys approached my sister and I, got us pumped up, and then we all joined hands and took the flames at a running leap–a great moment, for sure!
- Mud Mounds
Here’s where I ate my first mud–because of the rain the night before, these were really thick, wet mud pits by the time we hit them, and the mounds themselves were so slick, we did a lot of sliding down into them. But I think having a later wave in the day helped us here, because there plenty of feet/handholds, so the climbing wasn’t too bad.
Apart from raising money for a wonderful cause, an advantage of being a warrior for St. Jude’s was the special tent for us, which included food, water and Gatorade, tables and chairs, and private showers. I inhaled a cheeseburger and sucked down a bottle of water here right after the race, and I was so glad to not have to think about money at that moment! Rinsing off and changing helped me recover too–the showers are little cubicles, so definitely not luxurious, and we both took longer showers when we got home, but it was still a great feeling to rinse off that first layer of grime. If you’re planning on bringing children, you won’t be alone–my girls were definitely not the only or youngest kids there, and there’s plenty of loud music and mud-covered people to make for a fun atmosphere.
There’s a real community feel for the race, cheering everyone one, and very little pressure to outpace each other, in my experience. It really felt like we were all there to push ourselves, flirt with danger, get muddy and have a great time.