5 years ago when I did my first Warrior Dash, it was with a group of friends and a bunch of their friends. Each year, my husband joined me on the adventure, but it was not until 2013 that he actually joined the fun. He wasn’t planning on participating but after a friend of mine decided not to run, he decided to do it. We walked, he did each and every obstacle and was hooked. The following year he was back again, this time he and my son walked the course together while I ran with Lisa.
Which brings us to the 2016 Warrior Dash Wisconsin…
After years of being at the same location, 2016 brought us a new location, new obstacles and new friends to run with! It was off to Franklin WI, at The Rock Sports Complex for a morning of fun! Leaving at 0’dark:30 meant that the coffee was flowing early and the tires were rolling by 6am. Correct, for those of you wondering, this is really not early for me, as my alarm often goes off by 5am most days so that I can get in a workout before my body wakes up and realizes what I am doing. But since I was driving, I needed to be fully awake before we hit the road!
We always plan on getting to Warrior Dash early as there is plenty to do and see before hand, including getting the infamous “before” picture… before the shenanigans, before the mud, before the swearing (at obstacles, not each other!), before we start questioning our sanity. Yes, as you can see from the photo’s, of course I had to wear a skirt! Everyone knows that my Skirt Sports join me on every adventure, why should Warrior Dash be any different? This time was a little different. I wanted to test the durability of my favorite running apparel, and I also wanted to see how well it would clean up afterwards!
This year, Mother Nature threw in another obstacle for the morning… rain. It POURED the night before to the tune of a few inches of rain, so we knew that there would be extra mud to deal with. What we didn’t anticipate was it starting to rain again just as we were waiting at the start line for our turn to go! The original plan (some of us running, some of us walking) ended up getting scrapped by the time we got to the first obstacle! This course was much hillier than the course at the Hunt Club, and the wet terrain made moving fast even more difficult. By the time we got past that 1st obstacle, our entire group was back together again. It was a unanimous decision that there was going to be more walking than running. The only exception was Tim. Tim was determined to run from one obstacle to the next. While the rest of us were walking between obstacles, he ran ahead and scoped out the next challenge. By the time we would get there, he had seen what worked and what didn’t for others to get across. He then helped the rest of us get through before dashing off to the next one! Now that’s teamwork at it’s best!
One of the craziest parts of the course this year was that we had to go UP the ski hill! Yes, that’s right! There is a small ski/snowboard hill at the sports complex and we got to hike up it! This was where most of the swearing could be heard, questioning why we were doing this, who talked us into this craziness etc. However, in the end, reaching the top was one of the most rewarding parts of the morning! Plus the view was breathtaking! (I wish I had a camera to capture the moment!) And once we reached the top? We headed right back down the other side of the “mountain”!
This years course was definitely more challenging than anything we did before when it was at the Hunt Club! The hilly terrain added so much more to the course! By the time we finished, we were exhausted, covered in mud but still laughing! There was only 1 near catastrophic moment… At the Mud Mounds, the mud was so thick and deep that I actually lost my shoe in it! I had to go back into the mud and dig down about 8 inches to pull my shoe out (no easy task!). I was able to retrieve my shoe, with the help of another runner who stopped and helped me pull it out. This also meant that I was not going to have to put my mud caked foot back INTO my shoe and finish the race that way… and we were probably only a mile into the course! Oh well, you do what you have to do to get it done!
One of several signature obstacles that you will find in any Warrior Dash event is the Warrior Roast and Muddy Meyhem. I was excited that the race photographer was able to get a photo of the 4 of us, together jumping the fire! Best family photo ever!
With the over abundance of water, bud and everything else, the only photos that we have of during the race are the ones that the Warrior Dash photographers took. Since there were only a few spots on the course where they were taking pictures and only 1 photographer at each of those stations, we were not able to find many pics of those in our group, but those ones that we did get, turned out to be pretty epic! And Warrior Dash doesn’t charge for photos! BEST.EVER!! Part of this is because they know that people can’t take camera’s with them on the course as they would probably not not survive! Thank you Warrior Dash for helping capture the memories
Also, never fail, someone always asks, “How muddy will I get?” These before and after photos of Darrin and Izzy should sum it up pretty good. You will be covered with mud! There is no getting around that!
But it’s all in part of the fun!
At the end, once you get your medal, they do have a “cleaning” station. In past years, we had the pond to jump into to clean off. This only did so much because by the time we would finish, the water in the pond had pretty much turned to mud! This year they actually had a rinsing station with hoses. However, with several hundred people in each wave, there was always a long line to wait for a hose (yes they had several available but ever a dozen hoses only goes so far with large crowds of people.). We were able to get someone clean, getting off the majority of the mud. But then it was time to go retrieve bags from gear check and change into clean, dry clothes. Sorry, not sitting in a car for 2 hours to drive home wearing wet muddy clothes!
And once again, John finished the race with a smile on his face! He may not be a runner (and most likely will never be – his words, not mine!) but he has found that he does enjoy these events! I am excited that we can do these events together, and the fact that Darrin has also started joining us too!
After cleaning up and getting changed, it was time to hit the road. They do have food available at the finish line of the Warrior Dash available for sale, but we usually end up opting out as there is usually not much there that I can eat. So this year it was a stop at Chick-fil-a (thanks for the recommendation Katie!)
Yes, the kids slept most of the way home! I guess we wore them out! Gotta love when the kids can’t keep up with the adults! Regardless, it was a fun morning!
We are probably going to end up skipping next year as we recently found out that they are moving the Wisconsin event to May. In fact it is actually ON John’s Birthday. Granted, most people would say that would be an epic birthday adventure, but May is also a very busy month for us, so we will have to wait and see. Oh yeah… and next years event is moving back to Johnson Creek to the Hunt Club. I think I enjoyed the race this year at the Sports Complex better…
Will we do it again? Guess we will have to wait and see.
Oh, and how did the skirt hold up? Like a champion! It stayed where it belonged during the race, the mud actually slid right off the fabric so I never felt like I was hauling a mud pit with me. And after a quick rinse after the race, it was straight to the washer at home. yes, I ran all the clothes and towels thru twice, just to make sure they were clean, but in the end, my skirt was good as new! I actually wore the same skirt for another race a few weeks later!
Skirt Sports once again for the win!
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