On June 10th, some members of the team we assembled for Tough Mudder (named Beer Wings, but we’ll get to that in another post) got together to tackle the Warrior Dash. The 2012 New England event was held at the Thompson International Speedway in Thompson, CT.
It was a hot day in New England, and we were ready for anything. We had decided to run the Dash as a team, and after the rally cry from the MC, and the flames exploded above the starting line, we were off! Or rather, we were walking along as the group of 400 of us hit the first challenge about .1 miles into the course. The first challenge wasn’t so much an obstacle as it was a muddy embankment into a cool creek. It was met with many screams as the cold water filled everyone’s shoes, but our little group was attempting to run at every moment to create some room for ourselves. We held our own really well, and slogged through the various mud puddles, patches, and creek beds that came up thigh high. The first obstacle was a muddy embankment which had a cargo net draped over it for some traction. However, the five of us skipped the cargo net section and just charged up the muddy slope using our hands for extra leverage. In no time, we were though that section and onto a slightly wider trail where we could begin to find our groove.
We settled into a nice easy pace, and came upon our next obstacle. Up and down some pitched balance beams, but not too difficult. I could see it being a bit more of a pain if it were later in the race, and your legs were tired. Next up, we had to hop over some barricades, and duck under barbed wire fences. Scott & I had gotten into a rhythm of scaling the wall, taking a couple of paces to the barbed wire, dropping and rolling through, hopping up and repeating the process. I don’t remember how many sections there were, but I remember being glad to finally get to the end of that one. Not long after, we were making our way through a tire field, up and over wrecked cars, up vertical walls, and down 20 foot poles. We held together pretty well through them all. Jack was falling back a bit towards the end, and waved us on.
Barb’s husband, Ryan, her children, and Drea were all on hand to spectate and snap some photos of us. Unfortunately, they weren’t allowed too far onto the course, so all their photos came at the end. However, some great obstacles were at the end, and they were able to grab some great shots of us!
As we neared the end, we passed some firemen who were cheering us on letting us know that there was 3/4 of a mile to go. But, in the last half mile there were four obstacles to take on. The first was the 20 foot tall “Warrior Wall” which you had to scale up and over.
I hit it really well, and was up and over in no time. And, like we had been doing, I turned to back and was rooting on my teammates and waiting for them to join me. Scott & Barb came over next, and as I was standing there waiting for Mike, I noticed that they kept running! I had heard that Barb had a competitive streak in her, and it seemed like she was smelling the finish line. So, I began giving chase.
Next up, he had to jump through fire hurdles. Scott had cracked me up by jumping up and clicking his heels over the fire, or so I thought. When I questioned him later, he wasn’t actually trying to do that. He was legitimately unnerved and was just trying to get his body as far from the flames as he could! That made it even funnier.
Once past the flames, we had the last vertical challenge of the day, the “Cargo Climb.” You had to go up a few steps of a wooden ladder, and then scale across about 30 feet of horizontal cargo netting, up another 10 feet, and then down via more cargo net. Well, as I came upon the obstacle, I found the spot where the center beam was, and decided to try to walk across the beam, tight rope style. My legs weren’t nearly as fresh, and it got dicey at least once, where I almost crashed down into the net. But, alas, I made it across with no issues.
Once again, I was first off the obstacle and turned to wait for my teammates. And, once again, Barb just kept on running by! So, I turned to jump run with her into the final obstacle of the day… a mud pit that you had to crawl through.
There was some relief experienced being in the mud bath. Did I mention it was really freaking hot that day?
Barb & I crossed the finish line just about together. To be fair, she beat me by 0.15 seconds. Not 15 seconds, mind you. But zero point fifteen seconds! But, on this day, it wasn’t about time. It was about team building and having fun. And, we certainly accomplished both!
For completing the Warrior Dash, we received medals, a t-shirt, and warrior helmets which we would wear on the summit of Lafayette a couple of days later. All in all, it was an awesome experience. It’s got me all amped up to do the Tough Mudder, and perhaps a Spartan Race or two. Additionally, I definitely want to go back and see how I do for time. So, I’ll probably see you in 2013, Warrior Dash. Only then, I will be running it much faster.