* From: Andrew MacDonald
* Event Details
Warrior Dash CT 2013
This is one of my personal favorite races due to being the first obstacle course race I participated in back at Amesbury in 2011. This was my fourth overall, having participated at the Barre one earlier in the year. I also had the pleasure of meeting fellow Spahten, Chris Palmisano, there and running with him for some of the course.
Overall score I would give the course is 7 out of 10
This years took place at Thompson Speedway in Thompson, CT, same location as both of last years local Warrior Dash races. I was super excited for this one because last years course was challenging and used the terrain to its advantage. This year, I did not find it anywhere near as challenging as it had been.
Parking was the typical $10 at the gate with 4 lanes open to speed up the process. As I pulled into the parking lot, noticed tons of construction going on around the speedway, parking lot was completely ripped up and new buildings were being built. Even with that construction going on, there was plenty of space to accommodate the over 8,000 people that participated that day.
After about a quarter mile walk to the giant Warrior Dash welcoming archway and a quick bag check, you gained access to the festival. On your way up to the archway you could see the start line and the take off chute. Once you passed under the archway you could see part of the fire jump and the entire mud pit/finish line. Past the finish line was the large Warrior Dash sign for photos, check-in (separate for male and female), and the bag check. The other side of the festival had the portatoilets, First Aid, time check, Monster and various other vendors. At the far end of festival were the food/beer tents with the stage right next to them. There was also a small gap right next to the stage where spectators could see a few of the last obstacles. In front of the check in tents were the waiver and ID check tents for those who didn’t print out the waiver before hand or wanted their free beer at the end.
At check-in you got your red Warrior Dash shirt, which were made out of a lightweight material and were gender specific – Mens shirts had a bearded guy on the front with the signature horned helmet, Women got a lady with braids and the helmet. Along with the shirt, everyone got their novelty fuzzy black helmet with white horns. After you crossed the finish line you got your medal which conveniently doubles as a bottle opener.
I’m happy with my experience but feel that the course was not as long as it was advertised. After further discussion with other people who ran that day, I have determined that it is due to running around the track at the beginning that it threw most people off their sense of distance. Everything was easy to find and the check-in/bag check lines went very quickly. The swag was awesome and I enjoy telling people about how I got my awesome shirt. I would definitely recommend Warrior Dash to anyone who is just starting to get into OCRs since it is fun and fairly easy.
* Race Details
Due to the construction going on at the speedway, the course had been reversed from last year, starting out where it had finished before. The course started out with a double corral, allowing for waves of runners to be sent out without too much walking at the beginning. After slowly trotting out of the chute, you ran along a semi packed dirt path along the entryway to the festival until you reached the pavement for the track. This path was wide enough for about 3 people side by side, so opportunities to pass people were very limited. Once on the race track everyone started to space out due to all the extra room we now had. After half a lap on the track you exited out and ran the next half around the outside of it, then made a U-turn to reverse direction back onto the track for a quarter lap to the first obstacle, Road Rage…finally! Luckily if you got to make a fool of yourself trying to get through the tires (I did), there were photographers taking pics at the end of it. Once the obstacle was cleared, you ran right back up where you first entered the track and out the opposite side to find yourself right in front of the first water station. This caught me by surprise because I though there was absolutely no way that we had already ran a mile, but after reviewing it further we had ran quite a bit around the track already. Past the water station, you ran along the track spectator stands to the Barricade Breakdown and a slight loop up one of the hills. After trekking along some more, you reached the next obstacle, Giant Cliffhanger. There were several ropes to use to climb the pyramid, but for some reason everyone was sticking to the ones right in the middle and not the side so you had a quick trip over if you took the side. The other side also had ropes going down which you were supposed to use to help yourself down even though most people slid down, despite the volunteer yelling to everyone not slide down. With a short jog to the next obstacle, the Great Warrior Wall, the bars placed every few feet apart on the way up were very helpful, but even with those the lines seemed to go fairly slowly. Once on the other side of the wall, you ran up and then back down the other side of another small hill, down to the Mud Mounds, where they had three trenchs filled with water and the dirt piled in between each for you to climb over. Once you were through there, you came up to the Trenches. After making it through the trench, it was a quick hop over a small brook to the next obstacle, the Two X Fall. Despite this being a frequent obstacle in most races, they added water spraying to spice things up a little bit. This may have seemed like a great idea to challenge racers but it also presented a huge safety issue with people loosing their footing and hitting their head on the boards. Many people slowed down quite a bit to make sure that they had solid footing before moving ahead here. Once through, you came to Storming Normandy with a photo-op at the end. A few feet past there was the next obstacle, Pitfall over water which was not much a challenge at all with no real balance needed to cross the double thick boardwalk. Another short jog and you reach the next obstacle, Iron Crossing, which also conveniently had a photo-op at it. A few hundred feet after that you passed the small viewing area next to the stage and reached one of the more difficult obstacles, not due to its complexity but because of the amount of strength and endurance it takes to get up it. You had to get up the large hill behind the sign-in and bag check-in tent, but most of the incline was covered in a sand/dirt mixture making getting a good push off rather difficult and taxing on your legs. Once at the top you ran along the length of the hill, providing a panoramic view of the entire festival grounds before sloping off on the backside of the hill to the Warrior Roast and everyone’s favorite photo-op. Once past the Warrior Roast, you come back into full view of everyone waiting for the pinnacle of the run – Muddy Mayhem. Through the unusually thick mud and under the barbed wire, you had to climb up the dirt mound left over from the pit, and run/trudge your way to the finish line to claim you Warrior Dash 2013 finisher medal.
* From: Greg Barton
* Event Details
I’m going to start this off by saying this was my first OCR or any type of race for that matter. So I do not have anything to compare it to, so here I go. Getting to the event was an obstacle course itself. Warrior Dash was held at Thompson International Speedway in Thompson, Connecticut. I pulled into two entrances before entering the correct one. I thought this was just me but everyone I ran with did the same thing. A sign at the other entrances with an arrow would have been nice. Once in the lot I saw one parking attendant about halfway into the lot and he waved me forward. I just grabbed a spot when I saw one, I didn’t know if I’d ever see another attendant. Since I had no idea where I was going I had to ask a few volunteers along the way. They were all super friendly and really helpful. I got to the registration tent and had a long wait. My line was the only line. I received my bib, chip, bag check strap, T-shirt and fuzzy warrior hat. I didn’t use the bag check. My wife volunteered to carry it. Overall the event half wasn’t as good as I expected. It needed better signage as to where to go and maybe a spectator map so people could walk to viewing locations on the course. I saw spots on the course setup but only one or two people standing there. The people that were there to watch us only got to see us at the beginning and the end.
* Race Details
This course was great as a first time introduction to OCR. I could have done the course by myself if my friends couldn’t make it. The course started with a long run on and around the race track before the first obstacle. After the first obstacle the runs got shorter and shorter. I’m not going to get into detail about the obstacles. All the obstacles used are on Warrior Dash’s website. There were no surprises. I believe there were twelve obstacles. All of them were fun. The race half of my experience was great. I’m not a very athletic person. I only started running and working out around six months ago, after not stepping foot in a gym for fifteen years. Once again this was a great first OCR. I had a great time and would definitely do this again next year. I’m only rating this event as average for two reasons. 1) First OCR so nothing to compare it to. 2) The course was better than I expected but the event experience could have been so much better with some signs saying where to go and where spectators could go to see parts of the course.