There seems to be a new obstacle race, mud run, or adventure race popping up all over the place, and they each have their own little twist. A couple of the more popular obstacle races going on around the country include Warrior Dash, and Tough Mudder. Each of these have raised millions of dollars for charities by putting on these events. I’ve seen a wide range of obstacles including crawling through pits of mud under strings of barbed wire, scaling walls, crawling over rope nets, hurdling junk cars, swimming through pools of ice water, jumping over blazing fire, and running through dangling electrical wires that are charged to 10,000 volts… just to name a few. These races typically range from 3 miles to 12 miles or more. These races obviously are not for the faint of heart.
I was running 10K races on a regular basis when I signed up for Warrior Dash, which is equivalent to a 5K in length. I figured the addition of obstacles would slow down my race time, but I didn’t expect it to take as much out of me as it did. I guess I should have put two and two together, though. The race was at a ski resort for a reason… the hills! We had to of run up and down 4 or 5 different ski hills over the course of the race. The obstacles were a cake-walk compared to running all of those hills. Even running down a ski hill is difficult because of the steepness. You are basically doing everything you can to slow yourself down, not go faster.
It was tough as hell, but it was a blast! The race was challenging. Everybody got good and muddy, then hosed off like a house fire. The event was two full days long, with heats taking off every 30 minutes. I believe there was right around 26,000 participants, just at the location I ran at. There were bands playing, smoked turkey legs, and they even started contestants out with a free beer to get things rolling after their runs. I’ll definitely be running more of these!