Courage, above all things, is the first quality of a warrior.

Carl von Clausewitz

I’ve been on this fitness journey for the past year and my very first 10K is in less than a month! I’ve run quite a few 5Ks but I decided that before my big 10K, it was time to step up my game and do something I never thought I’d be able to do before- an obstacle course.

Last week, I just did my very first Warrior Dash in Gilboa, NY. WarriorDash1The event was only about an hour away from Schenectady and I would’ve done it two days in a row if I could! Mud, sweat, beer and fun! That pretty much summarizes it. I had one goal pushing me through: I wanted my free viking hat, my medal, beer (1 free beer with registration/mug $8/refill $10) in one hand and turkey leg ($8) in another and as you can see, I got it!

The course total was 3.2 miles with 12 obstacles. If you plan on signing up next year or another place, be sure to show up early. We waited in line to check-in for a while after having to walk a bit of distance between our cars and the course itself. Luckily, they had a free bag check and we felt safe leaving our stuff there since they were tagged with colored and numbered wristbands.

We started off with a mile run. It was through woods so we had to be careful of tree limbs and some steep hills to climb down but overall it was a good warm-up for what was about to come. Finally, the first obstacle -“Trenches.” We had to climb into deep muddy trenches covered by boards so we couldn’t stand up. WarriorDash2Then we ran to “Storming Normandy” where we had to climb under wires and ropes to get to the other side. Another obstacle I liked was “Shocktop Unflitered” because it reminded me of the parachute from elementary school. We climbed through tubes and under the parachute to get to two walls we had to step up and climb over. I pretty much pulled myself up over the wall so I felt pretty accomplished with myself. “Deadman’s Drop” was at the 2 mile marker. It was challenging and a little scary because it’s built to have all of your weight pulling you back but you don’t want to fall down. If at any point you feel nervous, the crowd is there behind you cheering you on. Everyone wants you to succeed and I loved that!

Between these obstacles we had to run and I loved the running but I was ready for some serious mud. We had to climb up over “Diesel Dome” before saw that I would not be disappointed. We climbed over a mud mound unto a huge pit of mud and water. Everything was slippery and muddy and it was so hard to climb up the other side. Make sure before you go in that your shoes are tied tight because it’s almost like you’re standing in quicksand! I got about 3/4 of the way up and someone on the other side grabbed my hand to help. Throughout the entire experience, everyone was there to help each other. We’re all warriors together and no one gets left behind!

The mud made the next obstacle really challenging, the “Giant Cliffhanger.”

Photo Credit: Warrior Dash

Photo Credit: Warrior Dash

We had to climb up an angled wall with a rope but because of the mud, everything was so slippery. It took so much upper body strength to get myself over that wall but I was so impressed with how I did it with no help whatsoever! This is where I earned the next obstacle, “Warrior Roast.” A celebratory jump over fire! Only two left at this point! We saw “Goliath” as we were walking in and I was intimidated. Here we were about to do a 3.2 mile obstacle course and I saw a water slide and freaked out. That’s not my thing but I did it. I climbed up the rope wall, balanced over the wooden board and went down the muddy water slide. WarriorDash4Last obstacle, “Muddy Mayham.” Climbing in squishy mud under barbed wire into a pit of muddy water to climb over a muddy mound and get that medal!

The entire thing was a blast and there’s no way I’m not doing this next year! The mud, the fitness, ending in beer and a giant party- loved it! If you want to buy merchandise there though, heads up to get there early. We wanted to go after our heat but most of the sizes we wanted were gone. Also, bring extra clothes with you and a towel. WarriorDash5They have hoses there to wash off most of the mud but you don’t want to have to clean up your car after the course. After we washed off, we dried off with our towels and changed into fresh clothes. We were disgusting! All of the mud came out of my clothes and shoes but I still don’t recommend wearing your brand new running shoes just in case. Last thing, expect to take a few showers before you feel clean. The race was Saturday and by Monday, I still felt clay in my hair. See you next year! What’s your favorite local 5K? Have you ever done an obstacle course?