Apparently people like to get muddy. Well, they like to get muddy if they get a medal for it, at least. Adventure racing has exploded in the past few years. People are rising from the couch and willing to get in their cardio more than ever. The Warrior Dash is one of the fastest growing adventure race events in the world.
The Warrior Dash is an extreme 5K race with obstacles. The first event took place in July 2009 in Joliet, IL. Those first 2,000 participants took on the first ever obstacle laden race course and spread the word. That word spread like wildfire! In 2011, more than 33 Warrior Dashes took place across the globe with more than 700,000 participants. This year the organization anticipates hosting 65 worldwide events and welcoming more than 1,000,000 racers.
So what is the draw? What are the people coming to the events for? Each event is a 5K course with at least 12 obstacles along the way. Each event has different obstacles, but some of the favorites include jumping over fire, crawling through mud with barbed wire, navigating the capsized catamaran, or making it through a scrap yard of rusted wreckage. New Warrior Dash obstacles are created all the time to ensure no single event is like the other.
After the race, “warriors” receive a finisher’s medal and the coveted fuzzy “warriors helmet.” All participants are treated to an all-day festival of music, turkey legs, and much more.
Racers can party while they await the results of their dash. While the race is fun, it’s also a competitive challenge and each participant is timed and matched against their age group.
Most events cost about $75 dollars for registration and the events fill very, very fast. The Warrior Dash often partners with Green Sneakers, a program that takes donations of used shoes to distribute to the needy. Participants are encouraged to bring new or gently used shoes to donate. Participants are also encouraged to fundraise as a “St. Jude Warrior.” Those who raise money for St. Jude’s Children Hospital gain access to the St. Jude Warrior tent. The tent access grants free food and drinks, a private bag check, and the coveted private showers and bathrooms.
Look up a race in your area, sign up, raise money for a good cause, get muddy, and get your medal. Apparently, everyone’s doing it!