This past weekend my friends and I did the Warrior Dash in Florence, Arizona. This is my type of race – 3.4 miles with 12 obstacles along the way. It requires endurance, strength, and strategy to be successful.
There are two types of people who do this race – the serious athletic types who are focused on getting through the course as fast as possible and the types who are there just for fun who often do the race in costume. I was the former. Two of my friends were the latter: one dressed up as a Roman gladiator and chased my friend through the course who was dressed up as Jesus. All of us had an awesome time and are already thinking about what we want to do for next year’s race. I wanted to share some tips about things that my group was glad we did or should have done.
Train as if the Race was 5-miles Long: The course was only 3.4 miles, but it was on dirt, uneven ground, rocks, sand, and mud. It was much harder than running 3.4 miles on asphalt.
Do Strength Training: When I saw which obstacles would be on our race course on the website, I was motivated to add push-ups, pull-ups, crunches, and squats to my workout. It made a big difference on race day.
Wear Clothes that can be Destroyed: The course might have dirt, sand, water, fire and/or mud on it. Don’t wear anything that you’d be sad if it was ripped, stained, or otherwise destroyed. This includes your shoes and sunglasses.
Expect Mud to Get Everywhere: Regardless of your body type or what you’re wearing, you will be covered from head to toe in mud. Expect to have it everywhere by the end of the race – including inside your underwear, sports bra, and shoes. Be sure to trim your nails and remove all jewelry before the race to eliminate having to scrub mud out of small crevices.
Use Gear Check: Red Frog doesn’t promote this enough. They have an area where you can check a bag while you’re running the race so that you don’t have to worry about where you’re going to put your keys during the race or have to go all the way back to your car to get fresh clothes when you’re done. You will want to have your phone, keys, plastic bags, a towel, a complete set of fresh clothes, and a pair of flip flops in your gear check bag.
Make Sure You Can Move in Your Costume: One of the best parts of the race was the amazing people watching. We had racers in crazy outfits – Oompa Loompas, Richard Simmons, German bar girls, and lots of people in capes, tutus, kilts, and wings. Make sure you can run in your outfit and be careful not to snag your wig while you’re crawling under the barbed wire. Regardless of what you wear on your body, be sure to wear proper running shoes on your feet.
Wear Underwear: You never know if the elastic in your shorts is going to snap while you’re crawling through the mud pit. After the race, they have an area where they hose you off. You may want to strip all the down to your skivvies to ensure maximum mud removal.
I was a little under-prepared for this race but I’m very pleased with how I finished. My official time was 36:51:45. I finished in the top 9% in my division and in the top 21% overall.
Thank you Red Frog Events for putting on such a wonderful event. A special thank you to Monster for being on-site promoting their new Anti-Gravity drinks and their promoter who opened my beverage for me because I was too tired to do it myself. I can’t wait until next year.
- Warrior Dash AZ 2011 wrap-up (funanymore.com)
- Warrior Dash Course: The Craziest Frickin’ Day Of Your Life (fitnesstroop.com)