Forney, TX – When I set my bucket list of to-do’s this year the first thing I did was find my Komen 5k’s and add them to my calendar. Then I had heard about this thing called the DFW Mudrun. It looked challenging and I signed up. Then I found the Warrior Dash. I instantly fell in love with the Warrior Dash. You see I am a huge medieval time period buff and when I saw that we could dress however we wanted, it really peaked my interest. Then, when I saw we got these cool buffalo hats (think grand pooh-bah from the Flintstones), t-shirts and medals, I instantly signed up. I was so stoked for this one, it looked cool and a ton of fun.
What I took from this race is that it really is about the party. It reminded me a little of the festivals you go to where you take a blanket, listen to bands, eat and drink beer! Oh yeah, and have a little race around all of that.
I was signed up for the 4pm start on day two and yes I was worried that the course was going to be nothing but a mud pit and all of the obstacles would be really tough after so many people went through them. I made my way to the START line and waited, I wanted to get up front and not have to try and get around all of the slower people. Here are the obstacles they felt were to challenge us:
• Texas Tornado – 20 mph wind generated by an air boat that blew at you for about 5 seconds. The sound kind of made me worry as I didn’t know what the heck it was, then I see the boat, of course I am on the left hand side of the trail…I took the wind head on, it almost stopped me for a second, but then it was over.
• Mud Pit #1 – Ankle deep mud just enough to get your clean clothes dirty, but nothing major. Although the mud outside the pit was more like slime, tough footing.
• Walk the Plank – This was a 1-ft wide board over a small ditch about 5-ft wide…I could have driven my Harley over this board, it was so wide.
• Run through the Black Forest – Nothing hard here, except when you are tall you are constantly ducking the trees limbs the whole time!
• Mud Slide – finally got dirty, sat down and slide into the creek. The guy in front of me just stopped when got to the bottom, yeah I took him out. Sorry dude.
• Slippery Riverbed Run – Walked through most of this as the water levels kept changing from mid-shin to mid chest. I think I fell down once as the drop-off just comes from nowhere (actually just sat on my butt)
• Mud Climb – This was not hard at all, everyone was getting stuck and I was looking at them like they were idiots. If you find the footholds, you go right up. I thought this would be bad since I was there late on day two, but the hardest part was running again at the top. Again the slime mud factor kept you to a walk until the ground hardened up
• Mud Pit #2 – Again the hardest part was coming out of it onto the slime. Although I sit do the sit thing again as I first went in.
• Cargo Climb – You can see this baby from a distance and all I thought was really? It looked like they put the cargo rope over a set of bleachers. Three steps up and three steps down and back to running…not hard at all.
• Log Roll – BEST part of the whole course. We entered the lake/pond and the water level on me was mid chest to up to my neck on the last one. The logs actually floated and spun on a wire. It was funny watching people not get over these…they were the easiest part. I spun the log forward and then jumped up and when my belly hit it, the log would roll me over and into the water. I think I passed about 20 people. I caught the “Runners” of the pack that was pulling away from me on the run here. Of course they blew away when we got back on land.
• Splintering Spools – Not as tough as I first thought. These were wooden spools, ranging from small to large, positioned across the course. The big ones were in the middle and I was going to go for those until a guy in front of me tried it and fell backwards. So, I took the next medium size one and I hit it at a full sprint. I used my hands to grab the top bound right over it like a gymnast does the pommel horse. I scared the camera guy sitting there, he almost dropped his camera as I flew over the spool.
• Hay Bale Wall – This was nothing but a stack of hay bales maybe 4 high. Another joke of an obstacle, I kept my running pace and jumped up the first one and then the second and jumped down, moving on.
• Wall of Fire – I had been thinking of what to do all day when jumping this as I had my camera woman positioned there waiting for me to jump through. Funny thing is that I was running too fast and I had to slow down. I was about to be passed by a girl (actually she did pass me) she had been breathing behind me for sometime and then she ran by. So, I picked up the pace and we were side by side going into the fire. I ended up jumping the first one normal and on the second one I jumped and did my best flex in the air. I think my sock caught on fire too.
• Muddy Mayhem & Barbwire – So, the finish line is just ahead and I knew this was the last obstacle before the finish line. I was somewhat damp but totally clean, so following suit of some of the people I saw earlier, I dove headfirst into the mud. Yes I dove, to the chants and applause of the crowd. I couldn’t see when I came up, I wiped my eyes and I could only get one open enough to crawl through as I was caked in mud. I was on all fours trying to get through the mud pit with mud dripping in my good eye, burning like a mother and the other eye basically sealed shut by the slime mud…good times I tell ya!
All in all the race was pretty easy, the obstacles were really not that hard. I was expecting it to be worse. I really had no preconceived ideas of being all that competitive, I just wanted to run a good race, not kill myself and have fun. I actually surprised myself, when I thought I would be around 45-50 minutes I was shocked to find out I finished at 27:08.55. I didn’t feel like I was pushing myself that much, in fact I thought I was a little slow due to being sick earlier that week.
In the end there were 6,998 Warriors on Sunday and 6,658 Warriors on Saturday. Because I am a results junkie and very competitive I thought I would share some stats with you because I am impressed with myself. I finished 754th out of 6,998 contestants on Sunday and I ranked 81st in my age group of 35-39 out of 645 male Warriors. If you combine both days totals, I finished 1,644th out of 13,656 Warriors. I finished 193rd out of 1,300 male Warriors in my age group of 35-39. I now have a goal to beat for next year!
Now I play the waiting game as the next few races are not until September and November. Look for me to go after this new run called the “Jailbreak”and then Mudrun II and lastly the Tough Mudder and if we are lucky The Spartan Race is trying to get an October date! This is truly the year of the mud!
My Name is Travis and I talk to strangers!