Warrior Dash – MA 2014

WarriorDash_Logo

* From: Kandice

* Event Details
Warrior Dash was held at Amesbury Sports Park, which is a very well known and frequently used venue. (This was my very first OCR in 2011 and the one that got me wanting more).

The check in line was quick when we got there and they are now doing electronic waivers, which I like!
There was no line to check bags in. However, when we completed the race and went to claim our bags there was a long line. It seemed rather unorganized.
The line for the Facebook picture with the Warrior Dash sign was also REALLY long, and slow moving. Needless to say, I didn’t wait to get a picture.
They had typical food but also had their well known turkey legs and it seemed they didn’t run out of them, at least not while we were there.
I’ve got to say the merchandise was the best prices I’ve seen. They had good quality (Reebok) shorts for $15, men’s & women’s. Some other brand shorts for $10. Tank tops for $10-15. Zip sweatshirt for $20. Reebok capris for $25. We bought shorts and capris at SR for 40% off and they were still more than what WD was charging today. Only complaint here is that they only accept cash, but there was an ATM on site. Oh ya, they also gave out FREE kilt coozies for changing the venue/date 3 times (even to those of us that didn’t register before the final venue/date was announced).
Festival area was lively. They had fun music playing and later a live band.

There were plenty of port-a-potties close to the festival area.

They had hoses set up, however they weren’t working. They did have someone spraying a firehouse (with cold water) to rinse off. There were NO changing tents or designated area, which was a bit awkward.

Every runner got a cotton blend t-shirt, warrior hat and a metal (bottle opener) at the end if the race.
The free beer was Shock Top.

* Race Details
The race started out going up the dirt hill which immediately went down to a single lane trail, causing back up very early on. There was a lot if trail running before getting to an obstacle.
There was plenty of mud throughout the entire course (thanks in part to rain the day/night before event). Some of the mud smelled really awful. Like poo.
Obstacles were fun, well made and felt safe. I was able to complete all obstacles without assistance on my first try. There was a lot of climbing, some crawling, fire jumping and most importantly fun! One of the mud pits was grey, it looked like cement and felt like we had an additional 20lbs on our feet and legs when we got out. Fortunately before the end there was a pretty sweet water slide which got us fairly well cleaned off.
It was fun. Not super technical. Not super difficult. Great for a beginner or just to have a good time.
One thing to note, only the first 2 (elite) heats were timed, the rest of the heats were not timed.

* Rating
Above Average

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* From: Amy Lillis

* Event Details
Warrior Dash was held once again at Amesbury Sports Park for the first time since the debacle of 2011. I wouldn’t hold my breath to see another WD at this venue again. That being said, Amesbury Sports Park is a great venue for a race!

Check in was OK, but I got there early. Since it was untimed, bib numbers didn’t matter. Each check in person had a tablet and just pulled the racer’s name up on the list. The racer was given the next number in the stack and the number was recorded. The waiver was signed directly on the tablet, too.
Schwag was typical for WD – a t-shirt (although not as soft and comfy as previous years) and a helmet (red this year rather than black). The medals are big and double as a bottle opener.
The facilities were adequate. WD did a nice job of setting up the festival area to accommodate the crowd and allow plenty of room to move around. There were enough porta potties. The food was actually pretty good. We were able to pay with cash rather than tickets (one line instead of two!) and the chicken sandwich was delicious.
The WD sale tent was fairly disappointing. The items for sale were zip tied to racks outside the tent, but it was a pretty small selection and I’m sure not everything was up there (unless they had run out of some things). Prices were reasonable, though. I was able to get a tech shirt and a WD bracelet for my son for only $20.

* Race Details
My biggest complaint for the entire day is the disorganization that was apparent in the morning. Not only were the buses running late, but the first heat started a full half hour late. Additionally, when I signed up for the competitive heat in March, I registered for 8:30 am because it was the earliest heat. Later, a large team registered for that time and filled the heat, so they added a second competitive heat at 8:00. Since this is an untimed race, it doesn’t really seem fair to award any prizes for the top 3 men and women since it’s impossible to know if someone from the 8:30 heat ran faster than someone from the 8:00 heat. This wasn’t a problem for me, but it was for several people I started with. Plus, when the 8:00 heat didn’t start until 8:30, my heat didn’t get started until 8:40. Rather than a 30 minute lead time, there was only a 10 minute difference, which meant that some of our group caught the heat in front of us and had to take time to get around them.
While I’m not super speedy and out for a prize in this race, it doesn’t really effect me. However, in my opinion, this is completely unacceptable for a race that has been around for so long and puts on so many races each year.
Warrior Dash did make decent use of the terrain. It was certainly a hilly course. The obstacles, however, were all pretty simple. There were a couple that some people had trouble with only because they were high. But, my 11 year old son was able to complete every single obstacle on his own. In my opinion, the difficulty level of WD has decreased each year since 2011.
The one obstacle that WD does well is the mud pit. It was filled with grey, sticky, mucky mud that really sucked us in! I wish they’d put the wires lower so that everyone was forced to crawl, but I suppose everyone can choose their level of fun.
All in all, I did have a fun day. I raced once in the competitive heat and was able to qualify for the WD World Championships and the OCR World Championships. Then I raced again with my son, mother, sister, uncle, aunt, and 3 cousins. We had a great time and everyone left with a medal and a smile.

* Rating
Below Average

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* From: Jonna Capecci

* Event Details
Event needed more buses to event.
It would be better to have one line for grabbing gear and one for picking up, esp as you are cold and wet and want bag right away after race, after the beer of course!, but your ID is in the bag!
Beer good.
Schwag good
Very organized during race

Had a blast and would do it again in a second!!!

* Race Details
Course very muddy and hard to run, but it did pour the night before!
Obstacles fun and relatively easy. This was my first OCR and I have you tubed dash and it looked a lot more intense. I wanted a bit more intensity, but now I am hooked and can’t wait til the next race

May be cool to number the obstacles so you know how many left.

May be nice to have mile markers as well

Would have been great that all racers were timed. I don’t care about racing since this was my first, but to have a time to go by for next race would be nice!

* Rating
Above Average

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* From: Christopher Provost

* Event Details

Facilities: There seemed to be a fair amount of port-a-potties and the lines weren’t too long. The registration tent was pretty straightforward. The bag drop off/pick up tent was a nightmare though. They should have separate, clearly marked lanes for drop off and pick up to make things smoother here. There was also a noticeable lack of a changing area tent, only a wash station. This forced me to drink my beer and eat my food in wet and muddy clothes, then strip behind our minivan later to change out of my wet clothes into dry clothes. Not ideal.

Vendors: No problem with beer/food lines. Got served pretty quickly. Didn’t buy anything else at other vendor booths.

Schwag: I like the new finisher medals that double as a bottle opener. I still hate the fuzzy viking helmets. I hated them when they were black and I hate them more now that they’re red. Although I understand the viking helmet is their trademark and promotes their brand, this is a useless give away. I left mine on a barrel for someone else to take home. They also have the cheapest, flimsiest t-shirts of any OCR I’ve seen. I’d like to see them lose the viking helmets and put that money toward a changing tent and invest a little more into some quality t-shirts that won’t disintegrate in the wash.

* Race Details
The race itself was very fun, although not very challenging for me. Either my training is starting to pay off or it wasn’t difficult because I wasn’t even tired after completing this. Even my wife, who was running her very first mud run, didn’t think it was all that challenging. If my wife wasn’t with me, I would have jumped right back in and completed one or two more laps. I really liked the Goliath obstacle at the end. I also liked Diesel Dome and Warrior Peak. The mud trenches just before Goliath were great and SUPER muddy. Seriously, even though it wasn’t too difficult, this was a fun race. It’s a perfect race for introducing someone to OCR.

* Rating
Below Average

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* From: Jeff Wohlen

* Event Details
Offsite parking was done at the Seabrook Greyhound Track which is the location normally used for events at Amesbury sports park. I was one of the first people in the lot so finding a space wasn’t a problem but the buses weren’t running yet. We all filed onto a bus and sat there for 15+ minutes waiting until someone got off the bus, found the guy in charge, and asked him what was going on. This got the bus moving and we were finally on our way.

The check-in process went very quickly as it was all handled electronically. This really speeds up the process and I’m glad to see more races going this way. Bag check on the other hand was nothing short of anarchy. When I checked my bag there was nobody there so I was in and out but picking it up after racing was a nightmare. Breaking this process up with a drop-off section and a pick-up section would definitely have made things run much better.

The layout of the festival area was nice. It was very open with all the vendors/stages/whatever placed around the perimeter leaving the middle open.

* Race Details
To start off, I have all kinds of issues with the way the elites were handled at this race. They had 2 elite waves (8:00 AM and 8:30 AM) and this seemed to cause confusion as to how placement was going to be handled. Many who signed up early picked the 8:30 elite wave because it was the only option. Later on they added a second elite wave at 8:00 AM which split the field. There were several elites that were upset with this. Since this wasn’t a timed event, there was no good way of judging oneself against the rest of the field. In the end it appears they ran the two elite waves as two separate events so we still have no idea how we placed overall.

The course was fun but it had its fair share of problems. The first problem came about at the start of the race. Racers were sent up the big hill (typical at Amesbury) and then went off into the woods. As soon as we entered the woods the course went down to single track trail running. It was way too soon in the race for this type of trail and it caused problems in all waves. There wasn’t enough time to spread the crowd apart and everyone just got stuck in a big line with very few options to pass.

The obstacles were fun but really not challenging. The most challenging obstacle was probably a giant slippery wall but as the day went on, they added more 2x4s to the slope to make it easier to climb. The absolute greatest obstacle of the day was the mud crawl. At first glance it looked like normal mud but once inside, we found something very similar to wet clay. It was awesome to climb through and everyone weighed a few pounds more upon completion since it stuck to EVERYTHING. There was no good way through it so crawling on hands and knees proved to be the most workable option. Luckily the last obstacle, “Goliath” (their name, not mine) ended in a water slide that cleaned the mud off before a final downhill sprint to the finish line.

Overall I had a fun time. There were some organizational issues, course design issues, and rather bland obstacles but it still resulted in everyone having a good time.

* Rating
Average

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* From: Marcia Maione Amero

* Event Details
I was so very surprised at how organized the parking and shuttle buses were that were traveling from Seabrook, NH. I thought having to park at the Seabrook Race Track was going to be awful, but instead I saw that there were several shuttles that ran very quickly and efficiently to get competitors to the event. I knew a couple of people that took the shuttle to the race and I was very impressed. We drove them back to their car after we were done for the day so I don’t know how smoothly the return trip was for everyone, but if it was anything like the morning then that would have been amazing!

* Race Details
The course was so much fun. The hills were crazy, but the obstacles, in my opinion, were challenging yet doable. I would run this race again. I really want to know what was in that last shallow ‘mud’ pit at the end! What was that stuff?????????!!!! πŸ™‚

* Rating
Excellent

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