Warrior Dash Georgia - 2012

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After the USMC Mud Run, I was looking for something else “for fun,” but closer to home.  Already being aware of the Warrior Dash, it seemed obvious to me that my kids should do this too.  Water, mud, other obstacles, 3.2 miles...   They weren’t exactly enthusiastic, but as at the time it was months away, they both said “Yes.”

Fast forward a bit, life is busy – son is graduating HS next week, daughter is leaving for her summer job the day following, wife is busy producing art for her show the following weekend...  Not the most convenient time to drive to the NE corner of Georgia.  And then there’s the worry that traumatic injuries will result in my son not being able to walk across the stage for his diploma, or that might daughter might miss her summer research job due to head wounds or whatever.  But, we did it.

The instructions said to park at the Clayton City Hall.  I don’t know that I saw the CCH proper, and that’s because it was attached to or on the same site as an abandoned elementary school.  Paying $10 for parking, it felt more like a charitable occasion for the City to improve its facilities.  Oddly, the pedestrian route from the parking area to the buses took us through the building, which seems a favorite of rock throwing vandals. 

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As we were walking to the bus, we saw a guy walking back barefoot with a homemade splint on his ankle.  My wife asks, “Don’t they have a First Aid station?”  Great...

For those that venture this way again, there are parking spots directly across the Warrior Dash venue, but all in all, the bus ride each way was simple and efficient, though it probably took a little longer. 

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It’s a short walk to the Registration area, and the current wave of Warriors may pass you by.    Mountain City, GA is not too far from where the river scenes of Deliverance was filmed many years ago.  The below is likely a tired gag for the area... but I like it.

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Either in the parking lot, on the bus, or on the walk to the event area, you notice a lot of people bring some humor to the event.  Whether it’s good humor depends on your opinion.

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Some costumes, however, are just completely wrong.  You’ll be crawling, climbing, running, sliding...  and it’s worth a moment of reflection on how one presents themselves.

Here’s me and my kids.

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Not imaginative, but presentable.  My wife noted that next time, should there be one, we must wear conspicuous colors so she can spot us in the crowd.  Fair enough, but I’m not wearing pink.

Here’s someone who slept through his reflective moment.

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Ew, as if the sand friction on the knees and barbed wire above your head isn’t enough... eyes on the ground, lady.  It’s safer.     You’d think with Superheroes around, wrestler wannabes would be smacked from the ring.

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These young ladies are having a blast... at least while the cameras are looking.

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The observant reader might note that, “Gee, for a race, there’s a lot of people standing around in the background.”  Great point!  If you want to excel at the timing of this event, you need to be at the front of the queue line for your wave.  Otherwise, it bottlenecks at most of the challenges.  The sand/barbed wire is the second obstacle, after perhaps a 1/2 mile jog (not enough room to sprint in a pack) and a walk/swim through a large pond.  The pond is fairly deep, but hardly a challenge.  It does, however, ensure that you’ll enjoy the remainder of the course with sand in your shoes, and wets you nicely for the sand blasting, eh, sand crawling to come.

Obstacles that followed were a series of going under barbed wire and then over 3’ walls, climbing onto and walking on a floating but wobbly water bridge, climbing and descending a net wall, crossing a net bridge, passing through a bunch of tires lying on the ground, and over or through junked cars and more tires.  Somewhere in there is running on a mountain trail that appeared intentionally muddied.    All in all, those were easy.

The obstacles can provide a mental barrier.  How often do I climb up vertical walls using rope?  Never.  Can I?  Dunno.  But my kids just did it, so I’d better get moving.  You just do it.

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A bit later was another vertical wall which I thought was the hardest.  It had blocks protruding, at about the distance that the boards above are spaced, but they were staggered.  To reach the final block, it takes someone with either long legs or great flexibility to gain a hold.  My daughter offered to help, but I was determined to make it on my own, just as she was earlier when I had offered to help give her a lift over a barrier.   Competitive little brat. 

The best “obstacle” was the Petrifying Plunge.  This is basically a water slide without mats.  I charged head first, sliding quite a distance to the bottom landing in a pool of muck and straw.  Awesomeness.

Soon afterward comes the Warrior Roast, two rows of fires which you jump and which are pictured earlier in this post.  These are the signature event for the Dash, and I expect an email any time now offering to sell me my personal leap photo for whatever price.  And I’m looking forward to that. 

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After that is one final adventure under the barbed wire, provided to ensure everyone gets muddy before crossing the finish line.  I see some happy kid faces below.

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You might wonder about shoes that are abused in this type of event.  Mine have survived this, the Mud Run, and the Color Run... and I’ll use them again.

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Many, however, choose to donate them. 

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After a “bath” in the pond and a change of clothes in not-so-private-but-gender-segregated changing tents, we cleaned up enough to go from this: 

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To this:

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We had other things to do, so we didn’t hang around for the festivities (beer, music, food, beer), but if I did it again, I’d hang around for beer, more photographs of participants, and beer.

By the way, we all survived with only minor scratches, primarily from crawling through the sand.

Hmm, I wonder what adventure is next?

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2 comments :

  1. Loved your race recap! And I agree about the school house thing -- my guess is they use it as a haunted house in the fall. But getting greeted by "MURDER" is not a welcome race feature!

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  2. Bravo! All I can say is:

    +1

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