Saturday, August 20, 2011

let's get dirty

Now that I've done both the Warrior Dash and the Dirty Dash, I feel that I am qualified to write an intensive, tell-all exposé of inner-city crime...oh wait...I got off topic for a moment there. Um...I feel that I am qualified to talk about mud in your shorts.

And a couple hours after a 10k obstacle run, that's just about all I'm qualified for.

I automatically award the Warrior Dash with extra points for having more of my friends in attendance. This was due to the timing of the event and also the shorter, 5k instead of 10k, distance.

However, the Dirty Dash pulls ahead slightly based on two factors:
1. It is close to my house, thus close to a shower.
2. The shirts are better, they are fitted and femme.


Parking SUCKED! We were told to pull over to the right to be 'in line' for parking, but in fact, we were as far along as we could go and ended up abandoning our vehicles along the side of Government Way. The race was about 2 miles away from where I left Geordi, effectively turning a 6 mile race into a 10 mile race. Trudging back to the car in my mud-filled shoes in the torching sun was not something that I accounted for.

Luckily, as I shielded my eyes from the blaze I suddenly remembered Jason talking about Bear Grylls peeing on his shirt and tying it around his head to keep cool in the desert. My shirt was already soaked from the plunge into the river - saving me from having to figure out how to aim - so I draped it over my head and hoped to God that Eastern State wasn't doing any patrols for escaped patients. It worked better than I could have hoped, I am sunburnt everywhere except the top of my head.

Chic desert Sheik, or underground breakdancer?

Both races gave the opportunity to donate your muddy shoes to the needy and un-shod. A great idea, to be sure. Unfortunately, I didn't end up donating at either race. The mud pit at the Warrior Dash was so deep that I stepped right out of one of my shoes (the one with the timing chip) and couldn't find it again.

Parking at the Dirty Dash put me so far away from the car that there's no way I could have made it back without shoes. Much of the terrain heading back was rocky, and the rest was sun-baked asphalt, just waiting to fry my little toes. I suppose it's for the best though since I realized back at the car that my one-size-too-small running shoes had been steadily rubbing holes in the backs of my heels, soaking the insides of the shoes with blood.

Nobody wants those now.

This is after the shower, but you get the idea.

The showers at the Dirty Dash were for realsies, or at least as for real as a shower at a campground:
  • Above your head
  • Emitting a trickle of water
  • Spread far enough apart that you aren't rubbing your muddy body against others
  • Outside so you aren't tempted to rub your muddy body against others

The Warrior Dash "shower" was this:
  • A homicidal maniac with a fire hose to your face

Dirty Dash at Riverside St. Park - Note those showers back there

As far as obstacles go, I loved the Beer Chug "obstacle" in the Dirty Dash, it was a nice break after running up and down trails. The Warrior Dash gets mad props for its spectator area with the giant cargo net, fire jump, and mud pit all lined up one after the other for the amusement of your friends and family.

Warrior Dash mud pit

Warrior Dash fire obstacle

It seemed like there were the same number of obstacles in each race, The Dirty Dash just had twice as much running to get between each one. That's thumb-up for me, but probably a thumb-down for most people.

Hands down (but thumbs still up), the best obstacle of the Dirty Dash was the slip 'n' slide. I wasn't expecting it and I haven't been on one since I was ten, or thereabouts. Running and jumping into the inflatable chute was a damn good time. Also notable was the incorporation of the Spokane River into the race, with one section detouring into the water before turning back up the hill.

The Dirty Dash was most definitely a trail run. Lots of uneven and rocky areas, lots of perilously skinny routes along the edges of embankments. The Warrior Dash, by contrast, was less intense in that way. It wasn't on pavement, but it wasn't what I'd call a "trail run." It may have been dirt, but the area was mostly flat and mostly smooth, it looked like it was a pretty heavily trafficked farm road.

For non-stop action and an event that you can do with all of your friends - even the ones who "don't run" - The Warrior Dash definitely gets my vote. For more of a bad-ass, I-can't-believe-I-ran-six-miles-and-drank-a-beer-and-jumped-in-the-river-all-within-an-hour feeling, the Dirty Dash is the way to go.

Either way, you're gonna get dirty.


greg said...

I'm sore and I only ran a are pretty badass!

Hank Greer said...

I'm bummed I missed the Dirty Dash. You're spot on with your description of the shower at the Warrior Dash. One guy was getting his sadism fix.