Rising in popularity, adventure racing usually involves two key ingredients: mud and obstacles. The Warrior Dash is no different. On November 10th, Warrior Dash Texas held its annual 5K race at Rusty’s Walnut Creek Ranch near Cedar Creek, Texas.
Pre-Race Transportation and Preparation
My girlfriend and I registered for the race back in September because the sooner a person registers, the cheaper it is. Our registration fees were around $50 per person.
The drive took us roughly an hour from our North Austin hovel. We traveled to Del Valle and onwards to Rusty’s Walnut Creek Ranch, on Pleasant Chapel Rd. near Cedar Creek.
Red Frog Events, the organizer of the event and its sister events, Beach Dash and Great Urban Race (the latter is held in Austin), are extremely efficient at organizing such a large race. Registration was smooth and we were able to get our packets, meet with our friends and prepare for the race without feeling hurried. The packets included a free t-shirt and some type of furry Viking hat with horns. We also received a runner’s bib and a GPS token that we tied to our shoe laces.
The GPS token was intended to allow friends and family to track our progress on Facebook or Twitter. I don’t know how effective this was, since carrying a phone during the race is indicative of one’s disdain for one’s phone. Plus, the site was a Sprint deadzone.
Regardless, getting the packets was easy breezy. In no time flat, we were ready to run/jog/walk the Warrior Dash Texas.
Over the Obstacles and Through the Mud, to the Turkey Leg Tent We Go
The races officially started at 9 AM and subsequent heats began afterwards in 30 minute increments. My group’s race was at 10 AM. The cool, dry and breezy weather was kind and accommodating for the roughly 7,000 Warrior Dash participants. Seven thousand participants may seem like a lot to stuff onto one obstacle course. This is why the organizers scheduled staggered heats.
They opened the gate and we were off, running – blowing past people who had already given up on even a meager jogger’s pace. We dug deep within ourselves and wondered what the first obstacle would be.
Winding our way along a narrow path, flanked by tractor ruts and mesquite trees, we came to the first obstacle. It was a series of over-unders where the racers must jump a small wall and then go under the next one. On and on we ran. Two steep hills with ropes were conquered. A waist-deep pool with the consistency of chocolate milk was laid to waste.
Soaking wet, we climbed a 15-foot wall. Lost in a zone, with defeat chasing us, we continued running to 5-foot beams, a cargo net tower and balance beams. With burning muscles and adrenaline flowing, we dashed to the next obstacle, and the next, and the next.
One by one, the obstacles fell sadly behind us in defeat. Fire licked the bottom of our feet as we lept for our lives over two rows of flaming coals. Clearing that, we had little time to breathe a sigh of relief as we faced the final and filthiest obstacle any of us had seen in our lives: a crawl through mud so thick that our bodies floated to the top of the brown sludge.
With the ordeal finally over, we slipped and slid across the finish line, caked in mud, and accepted our medals.
What You Need to Know About Warrior Dash Texas
- Bring cash and avoid the ATM fees on site.
- Parking is $20.00 per vehicle.
- Bag check is available (no rechecks), or items can be stored in vehicles (though it can be a walk from the event to the parking lot).
- Runners over 21 get a free beer.
- Wear clothes that can get grimy.
- Shoes and socks can be recycled at a side tent and donated to charity.
- Sign up early.
- Have fun and see you next year.
Participate to Support St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital
Warrior Dash supports St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and they have raised over 4 million dollars to date. If a participant raises $100 in donations, they get to use on-site showers. This is good for two reasons: they get to bypass the hit or miss watering-down provided by water trucks, and St. Jude’s is able to do more good with more donations.
The next Warrior Dash Texas is scheduled for March 16, 2013. The location is Smithville, TX, which is less than an hour from Austin. Visit the Warrior Dash website to get signed up and I’ll see you there.
David Thomas is a freelance writer living, writing and experiencing life in Austin, Texas. He lives with his girlfriend in their mid-80′s duplex in the Wells Branch neighborhood. Find him on Twitter.
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