About a month ago I took part in The Warrior Dash. I wasn’t too sure what to expect and part of me was absolutely terrified, but I did it, I completed it and it was awesome.
What is The Warrior Dash? Well if you’re too lazy to look it up, here’s my synopsis.
It was a 5km hike/obstacle race around Whistler. There were roughly 10 obstacles throughout the 5km course. Looking at the website, it was obvious that the first kilometer or so had zero obstacles; all the obstacles were crammed into the remaining 4km. I wondered why.
The website also showed potential obstacles, which is what terrified me. Most of the obstacles looked challenging, but I did think I could complete them. However, there were two potential obstacles shown that I was pretty sure I would fall to my untimely death if I attempted them.
Needless to say, when I was gearing up for the race, my heart rate was a bit higher than it should be for someone who was just standing there.
The race started and the first kilometer was directly up a ski-hill; it was steep, it was long and I had to climb that thing with the sun beating down on me. At that moment I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to finish the race. No, no, no, not because of obstacles, but because I couldn’t even get to the obstacles. How embarrassing. I soldiered on. No wonder the first kilometer didn’t have any obstacles.
The first obstacle was a series of hurdles and ‘crawl-unders’. The hurdles were basically 4.5ft walls of plywood and the crawl-unders were about 3ft high and covered in barbed wire.
*actual sequence of obstacles gets hazy from here and I doubt I’ll remember all of them*
The second obstacle was a long, dark crawl-under. Basically a wooden frame with a black tarp on it; you had to crawl through it without being able to see where you’re going or the spider that was trying to bite you.
Next up, was a lame ass “slip n slide” that didn’t do anything except shoot you down 2ft into a pocket of water and then you got up and walked down the dry tarp. I just walked the whole thing; I wasn’t going to get my ass wet if it wasn’t going to be any fun. Besides, I got wet enough in the snow-blower obstacle.
Two snow blowers aimed at you from opposite directions. The water that was blowing completely blinded you, soaked you and made you want to die. It was also freezing cold. Which was nice when you were on the outskirts of it, but absolute hell when you were in the midst of it. I’m actually not even sure if that counted as an obstacle, but it should have dammit.
Next came the army wall. 10ft wall, with a rope and you have to climb over it. This is about the time that the super-fit runners from the next wave time caught up to me. As I was approaching the wall, I heard the hard footsteps and laboured breath behind me.
I attempted to climb the wall. The super-fit-runner was catching up pretty quickly.
I needed all the strength I could muster. And yet, he somehow just flew over the top and kept running. Seriously, I don’t think he even touched the rope.
I made it. Eventually.
Next came a series of balance beams. Which wouldn’t have been too difficult, if I hadn’t already climbed a ski-hill, jumped hurdles and climbed a wall. My legs were practically jell-o and I was pretty sure I was going to lose my balance and fall headlong into the supports. I tried not to picture my subsequent injuries and focused on the task at hand.
Next up, was a 25ft cargo-net climb. You know, like those rope ladders at playgrounds? Only instead of it being a ladder up to the slide platform it was 25ft high and had ropes on both sides. So after you climb up, you have to climb down more ropes on the other side. The first little bit was exciting (I used to love those rope ladders and now here’s this giant one… weeeee!), but then I realized that I had to, not only get down the other side, but also climb over the bar at the top of the thing and not fall to my death. I was about 2/3’s of the way up when I started to panic.
For a brief moment, I looked down behind me and considered going back the way I came, but people were coming up behind me and I didn’t want to be the girl who was like “Excuse, I’m coming back down now….” so I took a deep breath and said “Suck it up; get it done” and I did.
Insert more obstacles here ——–>
The final obstacle is a mud pit where you have to crawl through it and under barbed wire. I took one step into the pit and was up past my knees in mud (probably roughly mid thigh). I extracted my foot from the quicksand and knew immediately that something was missing. My foot easily came out of the mud. A little too easily, perhaps. Fuck. I lost my shoe in the mud pit.
I dug down deep and tried to extract my shoe. It was buried; it was hard to get out.
I finally got it out, but being so caked in mud, it didn’t resemble my shoe at all and looked about 5 sizes too big.
I crawled through the mud, under the barbed wire and ran across the finish line, all the while carrying (hopefully) my shoe. My goal was to finish in less than two hours; I completed it in just over an hour (1h10m – ish). K and I were so happy. And dirty.
Big thanks to EliseArt for providing illustrations