2015 Warrior Dash NJ Recap

By Janelle @ Run With No Regrets | race recap

Aug 10

Hey hey!  I hope you had a great weekend!  Mine was pretty fun, thanks to participating in the Warrior Dash this past Saturday in Millville, New Jersey! I had the awesome opportunity to represent Rockin’ Refuel with a team of my coworkers for the Warrior Dash, my first mud run/obstacle course run.  So let me tell you how it went!

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Warrior Dash Race Recap

I ran my very first obstacle race at the Warrior Dash! Check out my recap of the experience!

The Night Before

I was full of anguish leading up to the Warrior Dash!  I spent some time checking out reviews for the Warrior Dash online, which probably wasn’t a great idea!  Unfortunately, I saw a lot of negative comments from events from earlier in the year, so I really didn’t know what I got myself into.  I had really high hopes for this event!

Race Morning

I woke up extremely early on Saturday, like 6:00 am, and used that time for some last-minute cramming for the event.  I found a really helpful blog post about how to prepare for mud runs, so I made sure to pack a garbage bag for my muddy clothes and throw in some flip-flops for after the event.

I had my usual pre-race breakfast – English muffin with strawberry preserves.  I was extremely dehydrated, so I tried to drink as much water as possible in the time leading up to heading to New Jersey.

I was so happy that my teammate Andrea offered to carpool, so she and her boyfriend picked me up at 10:30.  We had an hour drive to get to Millville, NJ.  I quickly let her know how nervous I was about the race, but thankfully she helped to ease my fears!  We had a nice ride though we got a little lost getting to the Warrior Dash location.

The Starting Line

We had a little bit of time to get team situated since our start time was at 12:30.  There were lots of people there, but it didn’t feel too crowded.  Waves were taking off on the course what seemed to be every 15 minutes, so things seemed to be flowing pretty well.  My teammates and I picked up our bibs, our swag, checked our bags, took a pre-dash photo, and before we knew it, we were heading off and onto to the course!

Posing with Rockin Refuel before the race!

Posing with Rockin Refuel before the race!

The Race Course

The race course consisted of 3.1 miles and 12 obstacles.  Due to the nature of the event, I didn’t wear my Misfit Shine, Nike+ watch, or even my glasses!  I just had to go with the flow and focus on getting through everything, supporting my teammates, and having fun!

Under the Wire

After running for about a mile on a combination of grass and asphalt, I was looking forward to getting to the first obstacle.  It was pretty easy – we had to crawl under barbed wire.  It wasn’t as low to the ground as I thought it’d be, so crawling under the wire was pretty straightforward!  Thankfully I didn’t get snagged on anything!

Hopping Over Logs

Apparently this was an “obstacle”…as we went on the course there was a section of logs in the road that we had to cross over.  Not much to say about this one…

Trenches

Going through trenches was pretty straightforward.  We had to crawl down under a wooden board and crawl through dirt – not mud – come back out and then climb a low wall.  Not bad!  Soon after this is when we met obstacles with much more regularity.  I didn’t push myself too hard on my runs, as I tried to keep a manageable pace.  I will say that over time, my legs did start to feel the burn!

Mud Mounds

Finally, I thought we’d get in contact with mud, but we didn’t.  The mud mounds were just big dirt clods!  It was a bit challenging sliding down the mounds, but it wasn’t too bad getting out of them!

Chaotic Cargo

This was the most challenging obstacle for me!  I always loved climbing up ropes, but crawling across the cargo net horizontally was really tough, especially with all the people causing the weight to be unbalanced.  Andrea was so helpful in guiding on how to move my feet.  It was like being a spider, ugh!  Thankfully I didn’t have any major issues!

Dead Man’s Drop

This was an opportunity to pull myself up a wall with a rope.  Pretty exhilarating!  I just made sure to take everything really slowly!  The drop wasn’t bad, but could definitely be tough if you lose your footing!

Great Warrior Wall

This was similar to the Dead Man’s Drop, except the Great Warrior Wall was flat instead of at an incline.  It was definitely intimidating, but I made it over with no issues!  So much climbing is involved for the Warrior Dash, who knew?

Pipeline

This was interesting, almost like a Chinese finger trap!  We had to climb through a cylindrical rope ladder, and it felt like it tightened around you in the process!  Thank goodness I’m not claustrophobic!

Shocktop Unfiltered

The way Shocktop Unfiltered was set up seemed to be different from what was advertised, but maybe I’m just remembering wrong.  We had to go through a tunnel and climb some low walls in series.  It wasn’t bad and we were promised that we were getting closer to beer!  What actually came up was a water station, haha!

Goliath

This was a pretty cool obstacle.  We had to use a rope to climb up a wall, then walk across a “balance beam” that was being sprayed with water, to finally go down a slide and plunge into several feet of water.  We did have rope to hold on to on either side of us as we went across the beam. And five of us went down the slide at the same time!  This was the first time we got wet on the entire course, so it felt great!  I was glad to know that my balance isn’t too bad!

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Warrior Roast

Jump over fire?  No problem!

Jump over fire? No problem!

You know what, jumping over an open flame isn’t as glamorous as it looks!  My feet were super squishy from the last obstacle and I didn’t have the greatest timing, so I was scared that I wouldn’t make it across!  I can’t wait to see how the picture turns out!

Muddy Mayhem

This was the final obstacle!  We had to get back on the ground, crawling in what can only be called a muddy pond, with more barbed wire above our heads.  I made sure to turn my head to the side so my hair wouldn’t get caught, and I used my hands to glide through the mud pond.  I also made sure to keep my mouth closed!  Finally, we were soaked in mud, just in time for the finishing photos!

After The Race

After the race, we took a lot of pictures of the team covered in mud.  Everyone was in good spirits and seemed really happy to have participated!  I’m so glad they had a great experience!

I was happy to have my Shocktop beer after the race – Apple Crisp?  Yes please!  They had turkey legs, roasted corn, and other goodies for sale, but I could only enjoy the aroma!

I had to figure out where to drop off my old running shoes to donate, shower off, and get changed into clean clothes.  This all took much longer than I wanted it to!  Pretty soon we were all dispersing and heading back to reality…

Mission accomplished!

Mission accomplished!

Takeaways

The Warrior Dash was a whole lot of fun!  I’m so glad I had the opportunity to do it!  I feel so much less afraid of doing the Tough Mudder in October, even though I still have a lot of training to do!  I’m a little bit sore 2 days later, but overall feeling great!  What a great way to spend a beautiful Saturday afternoon!

Pros:

  • Nice swag!  From the medal, the Warrior hat, and the T-shirt, I was very satisfied with our merchandise!
  • Free, delicious beer!  They had 4 varieties of Shock Top beer available.  If you love Belgian beers like I do, you’re in heaven!  We had one free beer with our race entry.
  • Rockin’ Refuel!  It was just what I needed after finishing the race.  They have really delicious chocolate milk, the perfect recovery drink after a tough workout!
  • Fun after-party.  The DJ was blasting party music and everyone was pretty relaxed and having a good time.  There was no hurry to rush people out, as I’ve seen at other races.  The food looked and smelled really good too!
  • Solid security.  I was a little bit wary about the free bag check, but security was properly stationed there and did a good job.
  • Nice, efficient shower area.  This was key!  I heard that a lot of these races leave you with a fire hose or a pond to roll around in; this event actually had a great outdoor shower, which made things a lot less icky.
  • Great course for the novice athlete.  If you’re scared to jump into the world of mud runs and obstacle runs, the Warrior Dash is a perfect place to start.  Lots of people walked between obstacles, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that!  I think that most of the obstacles were “easy” enough to handle.

 

showers

The very efficient shower system

Cons:

  • Messy changing rooms.  While the showers were great, the ground leading to the “changing area” was mucky and my feet kept getting stuck with each step.  It sort of defeated the purpose of taking a shower!
  • Not a lot of mud.  I was pretty surprised that there wasn’t a lot of mud as we passed through the obstacles.  If it’s called “Mud Mounds”, there should be mud…right?!  Not to mention, while I was dirty after the race, I wasn’t that dirty!  Maybe a blessing in disguise!
  • $10 parking.  Enough said!
  • No chip timing.  I heard that in past years the Warrior Dash tracked time, but not anymore!  It would have been cool to know how long it took to finish.
  • More water would have been great!  In a normal 5K, you can expect to have one water station.  Due to the nature of this event, it would have been helpful to have water stops at maybe every 3-4 obstacles.  We were able to get water twice, but it was warm.  Better than nothing, though!
  • Volunteers weren’t very friendly.  I wasn’t impressed, honestly.  I didn’t find most of them to be approachable for any questions I may have had.  Maybe they were nicer earlier in the morning?
  • Not as challenging as other mud/obstacle course runs.  My friends have run the Tough Mudder, Spartan Race, and other similar events, and this by far was the easiest of them all.  I was extremely intimidated leading up to the event but hardly struggled on any of the obstacles.  I like a really good challenge, so I have to admit it was easier than I thought it’d be!
muddyshoes

Glad I could donate my old shoes, but it was a pain figuring out where to drop them off!

Shoutouts

I have to give a HUGE thank you to Rockin’ Refuel for reaching out to me to participate in this event.  Everyone I worked with was very professional and hopefully the feeling is mutual!  I look forward to the opportunity to collaborate again!

And I really have to thank my teammates for coming through and being a part of this event!  This was my first event of this nature and I was SCARED.  Thankfully, my friends/teammates are experienced mud runners, so they were overall pretty comfortable with how to tackle each obstacle.  They really made the Warrior Dash a very fun experience!  Thanks so much, guys!

I’d love to do the Warrior Dash again, but I really hope to get to try some of the more challenging obstacles in the future, like Mortimer’s Crossing, Leader’s Ledge, and High Tension.

Have you ever run the Warrior Dash?        

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