Mile 47: Event Day Experience – PA Warrior Dash 2016

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The Warrior Dash is one of those OCR’s that doesn’t get a lot of media attention, but is still a popular event amongst people in the OCR community. There were a good number of people at the PA Warrior Dash this year. They always seem to have a high number of attendees at this event. I can’t speak for other events, but the parking lot was full and there were still people coming in as I was leaving. Warrior Dash doesn’t time their events so I don’t know the exact number of attendees, but between spectators and participants there was probably close to 5,000 people throughout the day. Hopefully with their attendance this means they’ll be back next year. I still haven’t received an email yet so fingers crossed that comes soon.

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One important aspect about the Warrior Dash that you should know is it’s truly a race for all fitness levels. It’s the best OCR out there for a beginner or someone wanting to get an introduction into the sport. Their obstacles and the racers aren’t intimidating. The course is around three miles so walking and jogging is an option that won’t take more than two hours to complete. I noticed a lot of people on the course with various fitness levels and everyone seemed to be having a great time and looked comfortable.

The Course

Like previous years the course was around the outside of Pocono Raceway. It was an extremely flat course. If you like to run and don’t like elevation change then this is the course for you. I’m thinking the elite wave probably completed this course in under 30 minutes.

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The Obstacles

There was mud (lots of it), barbed wire crawls, balance beams, fire, underground tunnels and a giant slide, of course. The highlight obstacle for me was Fisherman’s Catch. In this obstacle there was a cargo net over muddy water and I had to swing across using only metal rings. To make it more difficult there was water being sprayed on some of the rings, which made it challenging to grip. I was able to make it across this one, but the person in front of me wasn’t so lucky. It was a fun obstacle for everyone!

Biggest Surprise

I was surprised by how many people were there and the number of children in the race. It’s always good to see children being active, but also spending time with their family and friends.

Biggest Disappointment 

Instead of the traditional rinse off areas they had a local sponsor (Delta Faucet) use their shower heads instead of the normal hose with no water pressure. However the only way to use their shower heads was to get up on a stage, that was next to karoke, and rinse off there. It was really bizarre, but people seemed to be enjoying it. They enjoyed it so much that a significant line formed just to use it. I was not amused and definitely not thrilled about waiting in line. So I skipped the rinse off and removed as much mud as I could using my towel. It wasn’t the greatest, but it worked.

My advice to Warrior Dash is simple: bring back the hose with no water pressure. They are quick, easy and keep people moving.

SWAG

I got another warrior helmet, that makes four total. The finisher t-shirt is pretty simple. The highlights are the finisher medal and race bib. The medal is another combination bottle opener/medal. The race bib was personalized with the participants’ name on it. This was a nice added feature.

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Side Notes

Parking was included in the registration fee.

I completed this race by myself. My time was around 45 minutes.

There was no line at either the waiver table or registration table. The process was very smooth.

Bag Check was free and secure. They had two volunteers checking to ensure bib numbers matched the number on the bag.

The changing tents were decent.

There were photographers at Goliath (giant slide), fire jump and the finish line. I think there is where they had them last year too.

The festival area was full of people. It seemed that people wanted to stick around after their race was over.

Their pork wings smelled fantastic. Unfortunately, I did not try them. Hopefully next year.

St. Jude Children’s Hospital was on site. Warrior Dash is a huge supporter of theirs. They’ve raised over $13 million. I raced in a St. Jude wave. $10.00 went directly to them. It’s another huge reason why I race at Warrior Dash. I’d rather have part of my registration go towards a charity than an owner’s pocket.

Overall Assessment

Warrior Dash isn’t the best OCR out there, but it’s one that should be on your list. Their events are fun and are for everyone. So if you have that friend that’s intimidated by a Tough Mudder or Spartan Race then show this race to them. I think they’ll have a lot of fun.

I’m still debating about my next race. I think I’m going to try the Hardcore Mudd Run in less than two weeks. If not my next race is the Spartan Sprint at Citizen’s Bank Park. The final piece for my first trifecta!

All photos are courtesy of BluBird Images 

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