This past Saturday Jacob and I ran the Warrior Dash in Amity, Arkansas. If you’ve never heard of the Warrior Dash races, they are basically crazy obstacle course races that end in jumping over fire and crawling on your stomach under barbed wire through a mud pit. Seriously.
They have them all over the country, but this was the first one in Arkansas. The Warrior Dash people claim that the race will be “the craziest frickin’ day of your life,’” so when our friends Autumn and Wes asked us to run it with them a few months ago, we jumped at the chance.
Here’s a video of the insanity if you don’t believe me yet.
Aside from the 3.4 mile course and 17 obstacles we had to prepare for, we also had to figure out what we were going to wear. Now, you know I love any chance to make a costume, so we brainstormed until my wrestling-loving nerd of a husband suggested the winner: the Ultimate Warrior.
I mean, c’mon. Who wouldn’t want to dress up like this dude? AND he has ‘Warrior’ in his name.
So after approval from Wes and Autumn, we bought neon shirts, face paint and hand tape and I got to work.
I designed and made shirts and ‘bicep ties’ (cut strips of neon work out shirts) and before we knew it, Saturday was upon us.
We got up at 5:30 I drove to Little Rock to meet up with Wes and Autumn. The race was in Amity which is right outside of Hot Springs, or an hour or so away from Little Rock.
We made good use of our time in the car by painting our faces and mastering the art of bandana folding.
The whole group. Pretty intimidating, right? Ha. Maybe not. But at least we looked…bright.
We parked in a field (after sitting in traffic for what felt like an hour) and took school buses to the race grounds. We had just enough time to grab our bibs and check our bags (a spare change of clothes was necessary!) before it was time to head to the starting corral.
There were waves every 30 minutes from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and we ran at 10:30 which worked out really well. It had rained the entire way there, but luckily the clouds lifted as soon as we got to Amity. It was almost chilly, but I was just thankful that it wasn’t pouring or 90 degrees.
Jacob and I both ran with disposable waterproof cameras so we got some really fun photos. Here are the disposable shots:
We got separated from Wes and Autumn pretty early on, but Jacob and I made a pact to stick together.
This obstacle was by far the hardest for both of us. You had to use the ropes to pull yourself up, but the wall was so muddy that I kept losing my footing. *Note to self, develop some upper-body strength
The only way I could get over these was to jump up and slide over them on my stomach. And then fully submerge my entire body in the muddy water. Mmmmmm.
Apparently my shirt was too intense for the disposable camera because it glows in every shot. No, really.
This photo is titled, “Trying not to lose my shoes in the mud 1/4 of the way into the race.”
The obstacles were definitely more intense than I was expecting and the flat training runs I had completed did NOT prepare me to run up hills and through rocky ditches, but the grounds of the lodge where the race took place were pretty enough to almost make me forget the pain.
Eventually we came to the last two obstacles. Jumping over two fire pits (which was way less scary than it sounds, but still made you feel like a bad-ass) and crawling through the mud pit under barbed wire.
More than an hour after we started, we crossed the finish line side by side. And completely covered in mud.
This year’s Christmas card photo?
We met up with Wes and Autumn and took some group photos
Most Warrior Dashes have trucks that hose you off afterwards, but our ‘shower’ was a dip in the lake.
Don’t mind if I do. Muddy, shallow water had never felt so good.
After we had ‘showered’ and changed clothes we made our way back to the crowds to cash in our free finishers beer and grab some food.
This was by far the craziest post-race area I’ve experienced. There was live music, plenty of beer and turkey legs and general mayhem. Oh, and again, lots of mud.
We drank a few beers and people-watched (there were some really amazing costumes) for a few hours before calling it a day.
I may have been incredibly sore the next day and I may have ruined an entire outfit and covered my thighs with bruises, but I survived the Warrior Dash and I can’t wait to do it again next year!