In 2011 a new type of event was on the horizon in Kansas City. While 5k races had been prevalent forever this new breed was an attempt to capitalize on the recent surge in interest but with an added marketing twist. The Warrior Dash introduced obstacles throughout the course that tested your physical endurance, agility and fight or flight response.
A handful of my friends from Customer Service invited me to participate and so we put together a team of 9 consisting of diehard athletes, spouses and wannabes (me). This event marked my first visit to Tiffany Springs Park near the KCI airport, a location I am all to familiar with now thanks to geocaching.
Like most races we were issued tracking chips and given a heat time. While we waited for our turn to start many folks visited the beer tent. Your registration included two drinks and some folks thought cashing them in before hand would help them (“liquid courage” as my grandma called it). Unlike some other races that came later like Tough Mudder you did not need to necessarily wait and cooperate with your teammates. While there were several obstacles they could be accomplished solo (but help up over some of the walls sure would have made a difference).
The ending involved a leap over a fire pit and crawling through mud with barbwire overhead. I am sure that this was all calculated to make it appear dangerous but for insurance reasons was fairly benign. Still, it was exhilarating to participate and even more so to catch up to and pass my coworkers who had passed me at the start. We were all high on endorphins at the end and several discussed doing it again but that never came to fruition. The parent company for the event folded in 2019 but several other “extreme” races are still out there for those crazy enough to tackle them.