This year’s Warrior Dash Minnesota was held on Saturday, July 23rd, at Caribou Gun Club in Le Sueur. Prior to registering for this year’s race, I took a peek at the elevation maps and saw it would be flat in comparison to the previous location, Afton Alps. Yes!
Also different about this year’s race was the minimum participant age, which lowered from 14 to 12. Back when we signed up for our very first Warrior Dash, the kiddo told us we had to do it every year until he was old enough to do it with us; that meant we’d have to do every one until 2018. Yikes! Thankfully, the lowered age meant this year would end my obligation to the kiddo. Whew!
The morning of July 23rd started off with thunderstorms. I obsessively checked both the weather and the Warrior Dash Facebook page to make sure that the race hadn’t been canceled or our wave delayed. It happened that our wave was on time, even though several of the early morning waves had indeed been delayed due to lightning.
Thanks to the storms, the course was a muddy mess; by far the muddiest Warrior Dash we’ve had in Minnesota to date. In my opinion, the extra mud increased the fun!
As usual, some obstacles presented a challenge, but none were overly difficult. Someone new to running and/or obstacle races, such as our kiddo, could definitely finish this race.
As predicted, the course was MUCH flatter than Afton Alps, with only one medium-sized hill, which was slick with mud. The biggest complaint I heard with the course was the wait for obstacles, which was up to 20 minutes at times. However, I think this is due to the organizers having to double up on the number of people released per wave to catch up the morning waves that were delayed. I won’t blame the race organizers on this one; I’ll blame the storms!
After the race, there was a rinse station with actual shower heads, which was a VERY nice change from the snow machines blowing water at hurricane speeds. Also, I felt like it was much easier to find people in race village before and after the event – I’m not sure whether this had to do with fewer participants or better layout, but it was nice.
Thumbs up: Flatter course, level of obstacle difficulty, extra mud, bag check easy to navigate (though muddy), easy to find people in race village, parking, lower minimum participant age.
Thumbs down: Packet pickup lines were long, slow, and unorganized. Only one beer flavor option (Shocktop Original); in the past they’ve had multiple Shocktop flavors.
Overall, I LOVED the course this year. I had an absolute blast, despite going into it with a relief that it was going to be my last one (LIAR!). This year, we had a larger group of friends with us, which made waiting at the obstacles not only bearable but enjoyable.
When I found out this week that the venue for Warrior Dash Minnesota 2017 will again be Caribou Gun Club, I got excited. I’ll be back for #7! Our kiddo said he wants to do it again next year, and my mom wants to train for it!
Have you ever participated in Warrior Dash or another mud/obstacle run? If so, tell me about it!