Sunday, May 15, 2011

Race Report: Warrior Dash Georgia 2011

***Blogger had some issues the last couple of days and I know some people lost posts. Unfortunately, I've been so crazy busy that I can't remember if I posted anything else and lost it. LOL I guess if I did, then it wasn't all that important!***

Yesterday I participated in my first Warrior Dash! I had registered for this race way back at the end up September so I had a lot of time to look forward to it! But as the event grew nearer, I started to get worried about the obstacles, and about getting injured and not being able to participate in the triathlon. Mental note to self: do NOT google "Warrior Dash reports" because most people who report tend to do so to show off their massive injuries! LOL This will not set your mind at ease.

Because this is the busiest time in our family's calendars, we had to make our Warrior Dash experience a one-day event. My BFF and I left her house at 6:30 AM to make the 90 minute drive up to Clayton and Mountain City, Georgia. It was actually nice because we hadn't had too much girl time lately due to the aforementioned busy family calendars. We hadn't even had time to work out together in the last week, so this was a nice time to catch up. And we both prefer to be early and hang out and relax before the event so that works out well.

I've never been up to this part of the state and I thought the town of Clayton was very pretty. They were certainly ready for the Warriors! The Walgreens had lots of cute sayings on their signs.

We got there to park and they shuttled us to the race site via tour bus. I was having Disney Princess Half Marathon flashbacks! That only increased when the bus didn't drop us off at the start line, but we still had to walk a distance! LOL

I decided to put my game face on and at least try to look the part, despite being quite nervous!

This was the source of my anxiety. I was not expecting this big wall. When I came home yesterday I looked at the Warrior Dash website, and it was NOT shown in the pictures. It may have been described, but it wasn't shown. I double-checked ALL the pictures! This monster was nowhere to be found. I'd been worried about my lack of upper-body strength, but now I was near panic. I was having flashbacks of PE in school where you have to climb the rope that is attached to the ceiling, and how I could never do that.

Since we were several hours early, and nobody seemed to be checking the start waves, BFF and I jumped into the 10:00 wave instead of the 10:30 wave we had registered for. I really just needed to get the whole thing over with before I panicked any further.

The first obstacle was crossing the lake, which was supposed to be shoulder deep. I wasn't worried about this but my BFF is in the process of overcoming a significant fear of the water to participate in the triathlon in 3 weeks. She was OK with shoulder-deep water, but the problem was that this water was over both of our heads. They should have let people know when they were getting in. If there was a place where it was shallow, they should have told people!

The next obstacle was climbing over the cars and that was pretty fun! They were slippery but not very overwhelming!

Then it was time to climb over the walls. Now, these walls I had judged from the pics on the website to be about 6 inches shorter than they were. They were just tall enough for me that I really struggled to climb over them.

In between each of the walls, you had to climb under the barbed wire (which wasn't as dangerous as it sounds because you can see through the pictures that there is a piece of wood underneath so if you came up too high you would hit the wood). But after this obstacle of climbing and crawling so quickly over and over, I was really spent.

It was some point after this obstacle that my BFF exclaimed, "There's blood running down your leg!!" I looked down and sure enough, I have managed to cut or scrape my right knee. It wasn't anything major though and it stopped bleeding before I could get a cool picture of it! LOL

And then we came to the big wall. I pulled myself up with the rope and really thought I wasn't going to be able to do it. The places to put your feet were very small and wet and slippery, and I just don't have the upper body strength to pull all of my weight using the rope. I have to admit I was really scared that I was going to fall off. I got to the top of the wall and realized there was no rope to hold on to coming down. There were just slats like on the other side, but these were even more narrow. But, as you can see from the picture, I made it. But after this, my heart was racing with fear and it was really hard to run.

This obstacle wasn't as intimidating because I've climbed these sorts of things at the playground with the kids. The hardest part was the number of people climbing next to you making it move around a lot.

There were a couple of other obstacles in between here that we didn't get pictures of. And the trail running back through that section was unreal. I've never done any trail running and this was practically straight up and muddy. I slipped a couple of times and ended up walking in the middle of the muddiest part of the trail because I had better traction in the puddles than I had on the sides. We crawled on the ground in the pitch black, climbed through "spider webs" (bungee cords tangled across the trail) where thankfully people grabbed me to keep me from falling over as I got tangled in the mess, and walking/balancing on a board 5 feet off the ground.

We finally got to the slide, which was a relief because I didn't think I could have trouble with this one. But I did! LOL I only made it about 3/4 of the way down before I came to a grinding stop! The staff member called out that I must not weigh enough to carry me all the way down the hill. Ha ha... unlikely! ;)

There was some tire climbing somewhere in there that I forgot to mention, but that was also easy enough since I've done that at the playground, too! LOL

I think my favorite of the obstacles was the mud pit!!

But I did have a rather rough time getting OUT of the mud pit. I kept sliding back in!

And then I couldn't get UP! LOL

The next obstacle was climbing over "logs" in thigh-waist deep water, but that wasn't too hard, either. Then it was time to sprint for the finish line and jump over the fire pit. I was planning to smile really pretty and get a great picture like Heather at Run Faster, Mommy!, but the fire was higher than I was expecting and I had to concentrate on making the jump! LOL I hope the pictures turn out anyway!

I got my medal and took a victory picture! I couldn't believe how dirty and muddy I was, but it didn't really bother me too much!

I brought some neosporin spray to coat any scrapes and cuts! LOL I'm glad I did! ;)

Here I am in the traditional "race shirt" picture!

And here I am in my Viking Helmet (which is more like a Santa Hat than a helmet @@)!
The verdict is still out on this one. I can't help but feeling like I "failed" even though I completed all of the obstacles. I'm really not sure why I feel so bad about it all. Maybe that it was so hard? That I felt like such a wimp compared to others who sailed over and through the obstacles? I know better than to compare myself to others. Maybe I feel like I failed myself? I've been working so hard with triathlon training, and I've always been doing some simple weights, so I know my upper body is getting stronger. And that is what matters. I wish I could get rid of this nagging "fail" feeling.

As for the atmosphere of the Warrior Dash, it was a lot of fun, at least during the time we were there! We arrived very early on the first day and we left around noon. There were a lot of fun costumes, but some were risque. And some people wore shirts that had some interesting phrases on them. And there was a LOT of drinking. I saw some people bringing their children but I'm not sure I would agree this is a family-friendly event. Perhaps if you came early and left around lunch time like we did? We didn't see any rowdy behavior during the time we were there, but I could see if becoming that way into the evening. The band that played while we were there was excellent and I enjoyed sitting around and listening to them! I wish they had served something besides beer, because I truly can't stand beer. We got a free beer for participating, but I took one sip and tossed it. I'm sure it's too expensive, but this would have been a great venue for Mike's Hard Lemonade! ;) The food options were limited to turkey legs and BBQ (and veggie burgers), and you weren't allowed to bring in outside food or drinks. I could have sat and listened to the bands for a long time, but not with that sort of food and drink.

Overall, I'm glad I did the Warrior Dash. I'm not sure I'll be back next year, though.


  1. good job. I feel like you do about the wall. I found your post when searching google to see if I could find a post about how tall the wall was. I did the dash today. I'll do it again next year but that wall....
    good luck in Disney!!

  2. Thanks for stopping by DonaC! I've been reading that the wall was 10-12 feet high! If I find out for sure, I'll let you know! Congrats on being a Warrior! :)

  3. Nice job! Your course looks SO much different than the one I did last year!

  4. Jenn, I heard from folks who ran this course last year that they changed it up quite a bit, including adding a lot more running up the mountain - and the wall, of course! Do you have pics and stuff from your Warrior Dash up on your blog? I'd love to know how it was different! I figured they were all basically the same.

  5. Ignore that comment, Jenn. I just searched your blog and found your post... including where I commented and asked how you took pictures. @@ This is what happens when you get old. You can't remember anything! LOL I think some of the obstacles that you had last year have been changed up for this year. Are you going to do it again?

  6. Ahh! I remember how overwhelming it is when you have finaly reach the goal. Surviving all those obstacle course! What a fun and great experience!

  7. If you want to watch a video taped at the Warrior Dash in Georgia, go here:
    or directly on YouTube: