Mud, Sweat & Tears – The Warrior Dash


On a Saturday afternoon in the middle of Ohio, my husband, son, two nephews, brother-in-law and sister-in-law gathered together to run a 5K obstacle course known as The Warrior Dash. My daughter, too young by a year, watched intently, dreaming of her chance to run it next time. And me? I took pictures.

The course began with a blast of fire into the air. Then runners made their way up and down steep inclines, through trenches, and over a rope wall. They had to run through fire, climb a cargo net, walk a plank, and swim through mud beneath rows of barbed wire all to cross the finish line and proclaim themselves Warriors. I just named all the reasons I didn’t do it. I took pictures.

You might wonder — what does one wear to swim through mud? And the answer would be — ANYTHING. There were many men in kilts. There were lots of people dressed up as superheroes: Captain America, Fantastic Four, Batman, and even one Robin. There were teams wearing matching t-shirts. Girls in tutus. There were men dressed as Seuss characters. And then, there were Smurfs.


The main point of the Warrior Dash isn’t really about speed; it’s about completing the obstacles, getting out there and doing it, and having fun. But for those runners reading this, I’m sure you’re interested in times. Most of our group came in between 47-55 minutes. Most of our team was comprised of marathon or cross-country runners, and they came in a little faster than average. My husband said it was harder than a marathon. My nephew said he almost threw up twice because the hills were so steep. One member of our group cut his leg. Maybe on barbed wire?? But all of them finished with a smile and want to do it again.


There was mud. There was sweat. The tears? They were mine. We were out in that field for 4 1/2 hours. I got painfully, painfully sunburned.

But next time, they want to wear costumes or present themselves somehow as a more cohesive team. I suggested they dress like babies who would look like they had dirty diapers after swimming through the mud. They’re probably not going to do that, but boy, I’d like those pictures.

Help them out. Any ideas for their team theme?


24 responses to “Mud, Sweat & Tears – The Warrior Dash

  1. Nice pics! Those adventure-type races have become very popular over here (UK) in recent years as a change from just running. Your daughter seems a real sporty Sue if she’s wanting to get involved. Not for me though, I’ll stick to regular jogging.

  2. My friend did this and I gave her as much digital support as I could (we were living in different countries at the time). In theory, everything actually sounds pretty fun to me but I don’t think I’d be able to pull it off in practice. That mud run? Just thinking about how to get yourself completely clean afterwards makes me shiver. Slap some aloe on that sunburn! And if you don’t mind looking wacky, I’d opt for a UV umbrella (yes, they actually exist).

    • Good advice. I mistakenly thought I’d be able to find some shade.

      After the race, runners could rinse off in a pond. It was briefly effective until they could get showers. Plus, they all donated their muddy shoes, so we didn’t have to contend with that mess.

  3. Great pics. Looks like they had a fab day out. But I’d be like you … standing on the side cheering them on and taking the pics. Really, what does one wear to swim in mud. It made me squeamish to think. Yeurgh.

    • My husband’s advice: don’t wear heavy shorts or pockets.
      My advice: if you don’t want to wallow in mud, stay on the sidelines. Though the mud was the least of the obstacles to me. It was the other ones that I shied away from trying.

  4. This sounds like just the kind of thing I would have loved to try as a child. But, like you, I now would prefer to watch and take photos, haha!

  5. Really great shots! I don’t mind some mud on my bod from hiking, but being immersed in it is an entirely different story. I remember going to a mud obstacle course park when I was a kid. We were there all day for a field trip or something, and I remember totally hating it, even then!

  6. Some of my friends went to one this year in our area. Great photo op I see. Too bad I was scheduled to go elsewhere. Looks so much fun. It’d be hard to choose for me whether to join or to take pictures. 😀

    • Luckily, you can do both. We got there early to go through the registration line and ended up having over an hour until start time. So we watched all the other people swimming through mud. It got our group revved up for their run.

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