I think that deserves a re-cap of last year's event, don't you?
If you don't think so, stop reading now.
But if you wanna read all about my first time as a Warrior and get some tips about this year's event, READ ON!
Coley and I signed up to run it together, although we ended up running in to a few other people we knew as well.
This is a BIG DEAL. It was Warrior Dash's first trip to the West side of the state and so naturally, everyone turned out to give them a proper West Michigan welcome. We're very congenial here on the Lake Michigan side of the state!
Coley and I didn't really do too much in the way of training for this one, other than the fact that we'd both been doing a lot of running.
Well, a lot for us LAST year. Last year's "A lot" is this year's "a little." You know how it goes!
Anyways, we really didn't plan this out much other than agreeing to wear black on the bottom and wear our matching bandanas. Yeah, training? Who needs training?
And ultimately, you don't actually NEED much training to complete the Warrior Dash course. All of the obstacles are easily managed if you're an athletic person with a bit of a "Can Do" attitude. And even if you're not particularly athletic, there are no obstacles here that require you to overcome a fear of electrocution or a willingness to attempt to drown yourself or throw yourself off tall structures.
But that doesn't mean it's not one hell of a good time!
Coley and I had a blast completing this course. To be honest (because lying is never allowed on the internet), I definitely failed to prepare the day of the event. I was dehydrated by the time we started. It was a hot day, and I stored away my water bottle before we even walked in to the event.
Note to self for this year: Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
Once we got into the venue, we found the check-in site fairly quickly and got our packets picked up. We then took some time to wander around and check out the different vendors and visit the merchandise table.
We got to witness a dance-off on the main stage, a costume competition involving some... questionably clad "gentlemen"... And don't forget to go and watch both the start of the race and the finish line. When you're actually in the race, sometimes you're so worked up, you can't appreciate all the work and effort that goes in to making the entire thing an "experience." It's so much more than just running a 5K and crawling through mud. Every single part, from the announcer at the start, to the crowd cheering you on at the finish makes these events greater than the sum of their individual parts.
SOAK IT ALL IN.
Give yourself time to appreciate all of the little details that make an event so special. These companies work hard to try and make sure that every part of your experience is special and so allow yourself the pleasure of actually enjoying them. This is not an event to show up 5 minutes before the start and leave 5 minutes after the finish.
IT'S A PARTY!
One of the great things about an event like this is that practically anyone can participate. We saw all ages, genders, body shapes and sizes, and levels of fitness participating.
And everyone was having SUCH A GOOD TIME!
It's really more about your attitude towards the event and not focusing on the time or your place.
Don't wear nice clothes.
Like most obstacle course races, you can plan on trashing whatever it is you're wearing. You can wash it, but plan on multiple trips through the washing machine. Tight fitting clothes work better than loose fitting clothes and have the advantage of holding less mud.
Double knot your shoes.
Duct tape may or may not work for you... But plan on double knotting your shoelaces regardless. This is not the time to be loosing your footwear.
It's A Group Thing!
Seriously, the more people you go with, the more fun you'll have. Like I mentioned earlier, this is a PARTY and parties are always more fun with more people. It's like a law of increasing returns.
Whether it's planning on carpooling to save on costs, making sure you're well hydrated before the race, or packing an extra set of clothes to change in to, put some thought into the day ahead of time. You'll be glad you did when your friends are wearing dirty underwear and you're feeling so fresh and so clean!
Most important thing ever. A coworker told me this morning "I generally get what I expect. If I go into something expecting it to suck, it always does. If I go into it expecting to have fun, I do." So plan on having fun and you will. Dance like no one if watching and throw yourself into the mud with as much gusto as you can manage. You may come out looking like a fool, but you'll have so much more fun.
(Wanted to do it this year, but with Ragnar the weekend after, I didn't think a 15 mile obstacle course would be considered part of a proper "taper".)
If you're planning on going, hit me up on twitter or facebook and we can run together!
Until then, #RunLove!