Sunday, March 29, 2015

Race Report | Warrior Dash So Cal

I've done one Warrior Dash (mind you, nearly three years ago), and another mud run last year ... lemme tell you, they never get old. They're a gret opportunity to kind of get out of a running rut, change things up and challenge yourself aside from running in a straight line. Never  mind that this was 6 days post-marathon and apparently a challenge enough...

Doug, Jumah and I signed up for this about 6 weeks ago - it was just down the road from us at Prado Regional Park, so what was there to lose with it being all of 15 minutes away? I was excited to do another WD, and this was Jumah's first all-out mud run.

All clean and ready to go!
We had signed up for the 10:30 wave, which was part of the St. Jude waves, at an extra $10 donation per person. We opted this due to timing  mostly, since Doug had a conference Saturday evening out in Palm Springs. We had a discount code though, so we really only paid $5 extra, but still had $10 going to St. Jude, so a great cause supported by a fun effort. All-around win! 10:30 turned out to be perfect - not stupid early, but befor the heat really set in for the day - it was hot by the time we finished at 11:45, so I felt bad for anyone that had waves later than that.

The downside to Prado is that it's dusty - I mean, you can say that about anywhere in California right now (hooray drought), but we ran on dusty, dry roads for nearly the entire route. In fact, our first obstacle wasn't until at least a mile in - which I found pretty annoying. Not even a mile in, my ankle started feeling sore too - but more on that later - and so we ended up walking most of the entire course (supposedly, 3.2 miles).

Warrior Dash used to have four signature obstacles, all at the end - the great warrior wall, the junkyard (or "Road Rage on their page), the fire jump, and the mud pit at the end. I could have sworn that those four were at every WD, regardless of location or year (considering all others change based on race location and amenities). At any rate, we had neither the junkyard nor the fire jump and I was supremely disappointed - my guess is that with our drought, and the park being dry enough as it is, there's probably no way they would have gotten approval to have the fire. Still, a disappointment.

Mud pit to the finish line - Jumah in front, then Doug, and me.
Some obstacles were new to me though - a lot more with cargo nets, which I apparently can scale pretty easily. My legs couldn't handle the great warrior wall, so I begrudginly had to walk around while Jumah and Doug tackled the monstrosity. All in all, a great time. Thankfully, there were quite a few with water...

Coming down off Goliath - a FREAKING SWEET slide! 
Despite it being warm, the day was pretty nice. Not a cloud out, but again, that made it for just hot enough by the time we were done. At least we were caked in mud and couldn't feel it all...

My one major complaint about the post-race is the weak showers - just pipes that had water running through (PVC), but they were weak so they took forever. Not to mention that they drained down into the grass, right where the changing tents were, so you couldn't put anything on the ground while you were trying to change into something (relatively) clean.

Warrior Dash also has a new system where it's a sort of self-serve bag check. You zip tie your gear check tab off your bib to your bag, stick it on whatever table you please. After the race, when you go to pick it up, there's a one-way-out line, where a security guard checks to make sure the bib number you're wearing matches the bib number on the bag. Seems okay, but also leaves people open to rummaging as they please. We had no issues, thankfully, but it was an interesting system to see in place.
Love this guy! 
Major high fives to the folks at Warrior Dash for free race photos - and a ton! They were hard to search for, considering they can rarely see your bib number (you know, there being mud and all), but thankfully we were able to get our hands on a whole bunch. Hooray free race photos! Major high fives in my book. The shirts are a win again - I pretty much wore out my one from three years ago, so I'm excited to have a new one in the rotation to wear over and over - they're so soft!

Thanks, Warrior Dash, for another great race - see you next year maybe! And hopefully by then Southern California might allow for a fire jump...

Have you ever run Warrior Dash? Is the fire jump your favorite obstacle too?

PS - if you want the Go Pro view, check this out. A pretty great recap of the race!

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