So, the race. It was a beautiful day. Right around 72º or so, and sunny for the most part. The resort is at 10,000 feet (roughly) and the race was 3.27 miles long. There were a number of challenges, but I'll go through those as we get to them. I was running with some friends, and we were planning on taking it pretty easy. The goal was to finish, not to go super fast or anything. Here we are at the beginning of the race:
So anyway, we moved up to the starting line and started seeing some really strange folks.
My wife was taking the pictures for us and only some of the course was visible from the main area, so she didn't get images of a lot of the challenges. I'm hoping to find some pictures that other racers took but so far no dice.
Now, for the race.
We started out on asphalt and continued a little ways down the road until we got to two pairs of cars pulled onto the track. This was the "Junker Jump" and you had to scramble over these cars to continue. I wish this had been a bit farther along in the race, to be honest. We had all just started so everyone was pretty bunched up. it made it so you couldn't really run and scramble over them, you just stopped, waited your turn, and then gingerly picked your way across. It was a little lame. Still cool because you don't get to climb all over junky cars very often, but not really what I was hoping for. i ended up jumping over the hood of the pickup truck which apparently caused the whole thing to shift and threw my friend Rob off balance when he was in the bed. Oops!
More running, then we had to climb an embankment on a wooden ramp with ropes hanging down. Still early enough in the race for the field to feel a bit crowded, but starting to thin out a little. This wasn't difficult enough to be considered an official challenge, I guess, but it's certainly not the sort of think you see at the Bolder Boulder.
A little bit more and we got to the "Hay Fever" challenge. It was a big pile of hay bales that we had to climb up and over. They'd been damaged by the people on Saturday (and probably plenty of people on Sunday, as we didn't start until 1:00 PM) so they weren't so much like blocks as they were like big piles of hay stacked on top of each other. It was pretty easy, though. A quick scramble up and down and I was back on the trail.
The next challenge was a series of tires known as "Knee High Hell." They were all laid out on the ground and you had to high step through them. I was really tempted to jump on top of the tires and just bounce my way across but I did it legit. It wasn't too tough and I didn't see anyone tripping or falling or anything.
The next part was the real killer. The official title is "Mountain Climb" and that's pretty much what it was. Just back and forth across the mountain. Here's the picture my wife got of the trail:
The map of the course is a bit off, so I'm trying to remember how all of this happened. I believe the mud pit was next because I distinctly remember all of the other obstacles being covered in mud. So there's this big mud pit with barbed wire strung over it. It wasn't strung too low or anything, so some people managed to get through without getting too dirty. Here's a pic of it I found:
I remember the tunnels next, so this is where I'm putting them. "Tunnels of Terror" they're called, though "Tunnels of Mud" would be pretty accurate, too. The tunnels were thick cardboard tubes and the mud from all the racers going through them made the bottoms really slick. I think this was the toughest challenge as far as actual difficulty goes. It wasn't the most cardiovascularly challenging, but it's the only one I was worried about not being able to finish. The tunnels were tilted slightly upward and you had to kind of press your hands to the sides to get any sort of grip. I must've held up a bunch of people because I was very slow getting through that one.
Next (or maybe just before, I'm bad at this) were the "Warrior Walls" which were three small walls that you had to vault over. They were almost low enough to hurdle over, but I was tired and heavy with mud, so I vaulted. The top of each wall was covered with a thick layer of drying mud, so that was a little weird to grab onto. There was a photographer there taking pictures of people leaping over the walls, but we were all so covered in mud that they couldn't identify us by our bib number. Oh well.
After that was the "Cargo Climb." It was a pretty straightforward cargo net climb up and down. Fatigue had certainly set in by this point, so everything was a little harder than it would otherwise have been. I've never understood why people have such a hard time with cargo nets, and this was pretty much the same thing. Granted, I wasn't trying to a land speed record or anything, but still. The cargo nets are so much harder when they're at a flatter angle then when they're mostly vertical.
"Walk the Plank" came next, and it was just some planks strung across a ravine. If I'd been going full speed it may have been a challenge, but "full speed" at this point was basically a plodding jog. At plodding pace, this wasn't very tough. Just more of putting one foot in front of the other, which was hard enough.
The second-to-last challenge was "Rocky Mountain Splash" was supposed to involve a "Dash down stream" according to the Warrior Dash website. It was more of a "dash across a stream" to be honest. I was a little disappointed. I was thinking that running down the stream would be sort of neat and not something you get to do too often. Running across the stream was just sort of meh. Oh well, they can't all be winners.
Last challenge! This isn't me, but the is the best picture of the "Warrior Roast" I've found.
So there's the whole story. Now here are some pictures of us during and after the race:
Oh, wait! I almost forgot the best (worst) part! The showers after the race were seriously some of the coldest water I've ever been in. I say this, having been baptized in Lake Loveland in February with snowflakes falling and ice on the edges of the lake. These showers were cold like that. The water hit my chest and I couldn't breathe. It was honestly the hardest part of the day. i wasn't out of breath, I was simply unable to breathe anymore. It sucked.
Okay, so that's really it now. Traffic was a pain on the way back down, but we managed to talk and have a great time. It was cool! I'm really glad I did the Dash and I'll be looking forward to it next year!