If you ask your friend “what’s on tap for this weekend” and the answer is “racing”, what picture pops into your head? Perhaps you picture a 5k, a triathlon, maybe even a century ride. Nah, that stuff is routine. What if the picture looks more like this?
The Warrior Dash is coming to Arkansas. According to their information page, the Warrior Dash is a “mud-crawling, fire-leaping, extreme run from hell”. While the Tough Mudder might be considered the mudder of the current obstacle run trend, there are many brands, lengths and difficulties to choose from. The Tough Mudder is a 10-12 mile course, and the race that some say is for the toughest of Tough Mudders, the GoRuck Challenge, is 12-18 miles of trekking and 6-9 hours of non-stop blissful misery while carrying a 20lb rucksack. The Warrior Dash and several other obstacle races are in the 3-5 mile range. The Spartan Sprint is another test of just how extreme you can be. While all of them appear to encourage some degree of outrageousness, some of the “themed” races appear to take the injection of fun into hardcore fitness challenges to another level.
Are you a Zombiephile? Whether you are a recent convert to the Walking Dead strain or you’ve been a Sam Raimi or George Romero fan for years, this race might be for you. Try getting through those 3 miles of obstacles AND avoid the living dead while crawling, jumping and running. The good news: An after party of apocalyptic proportion. Tell your friends, the zombies are coming.
Are you ready to make the sins of sloth and gluttony your bitch? Perhaps the Devil Dash is in your future. If you’re doing this race, you’ve probably already figured out how to spurn junk food binges and laziness but you’ll still have 5 more deadly sins to conquer. Enter through Purgatory and if you can successfully navigate 3 miles of obstacles based on the 7 Deadly Sins, your reward is an exit into the Beer Brewing Garden of Eden.
Attention Crossfit junkies and Boot Camp fanatics: Metro Dash is based on 25 obstacles used in Navy Seal training. The object is not just to finish but to finish as quickly as possible. I must admit that when I watched the video, I cringed a little bit. Their webpage describes it as a “gut wrenching, muscle pounding, make you want to throw up obstacle course. It’s compact, it’s intense and it’s one hell of a good time.” By compact, they meant 7-15 minutes of pure all out, pedal to the metal, balls to the walls exertion. I didn’t see any in the video but I’m going to assume there are puke buckets at the finish line.
So what do you do if you’re an average athlete, looking for a good time with friends and don’t find the punishment of these types of races pleasurable? Try a Great Urban Race Think Amazing Race/Scavenger Hunt. The Arkansas Outside team participated in a race very similar to the GUR along with a couple of relatives that we refer to as the NOLA Gang. Since it was in New Orleans, many of the challenges involved finding bars in the Quarter. You didn’t have to drink unless you wanted to, some did, and some didn’t. In the end it was the Karaoke challenge at the Cat’s Meow that took the worst toll on our team. Never again will any of us Karaoke. Ever. Not even for the win.
Most of these races hold events in large metro areas across the country, but so far none have been in Arkansas. There are a lot of events in the Dallas Metro area or the Nashville area. That’s one reason we’re so happy that the Warrior Dash is coming to Arkansas. An obstacle run has been on my wish list for a while but I rarely feel the urge strongly enough to travel to get to events like this one. If you’re in the “I lack the time and resources to travel much” boat with me, here are some unique adventures closer to home that you can find on Arkansas Outside’s calendar of events.
Ouachita Outdoor Outfitters Medi-O-Core Triathlon 2/11-12/2012 at Cedar Glades Park in Hot Springs
Ouachita Adventure Race 4/13-14/2012 at Mountain Harbor Resort in Mt. Ida
Warrior Dash Arkansas 5/12/2012 at Timber Lodge Ranch in Amity
And if 5k, 10k, and triathlon t-shirts are just as exciting a prospect for you as running through muck and mire to be decorated with a Viking helmet, keep an eye on our calendar for a comprehensive list of events.