Warrior Dash Oregon – 2019
May 18th, 2019 was the start of the mud run (obstacle course race) season here in sunny Portland, Oregon. The first run of the season – The Warrior Dash, held about 20-30 minutes south of Portland in Canby, OR. I had registered for this race back in September at a cost of $70, plus $10 for parking and associated fees (I registered 2 people so I don’t know if its $20 for fees for 2 people or one.) We’ll call it $100 all in per person registered 8 months in advance. They run sales and such to get that number down.
Fundraising for St. Jude at Warrior Dash
But when I registered I signed up as a St. Jude Hero. And I raised over $500. So I got my medal, access to the St. Jude Tent (raise $250), and I’ll be getting back my $70 registration fee plus a free picnic blanket. If you’re going to do the Warrior Dash go raise $250. It’s totally worth it. You get access to the St. Jude Tent, which means they’ll hold your bag for you (you don’t have to worry about your bag check tag while running), they give you free water after the run, they give you a $10 food voucher (which buys any meal at the event), and you get a hot shower! We rinsed off at the hoses first, but then they hosed me off with hot water after and let me take a real shower. That’s why I look so clean in the main photo. Plus you’re raising money for a good cause, so yeah, if you’re going to do the run go raise at least $250 to feel like a VIP at the event. Or better yet, go raise $500 and run for free.
Warrior Dash as an Event
The event space itself is cool. They have a DJ doing contests with event goers, there’s a kids area for them to climb around and zip line, there’s food, beer, and a few vendors soliciting you into trying out their new energy drinks. The vibes are great and everyone is welcome from all ages and all body types.
The volunteers, the event goers, the people helping direct traffic – everyone is great. You’ll have a good time with people helping you while you’re on the course (if you need it.)
Warrior Dash as a Mud Run
Warrior Dash is for sure a “mud run.” After running about a mile (maybe less) the first obstacle you come across is literally a few muddy holes you have to jump into with some mounds of mud in-between for you to climb over. Regardless of how great your balance is (I’m pretty good), you’re at minimum going to have very soggy, muddy shoes for the rest of the race. If you slip on those mounds, you’ll be muddy from top to bottom.
Then the final obstacle was literally jump into a giant pond of water and crawl under barb wire. Chest deep of mud for a six foot male. I saw people coming out of there (the finish line was 10 feet from the end of the pit) nose deep full of mud.
In-between those two obstacles were a dirt bike track full of mounds for you to go up and down, an unside-down ladder that will soak you from waist down, a tunnel (although not pitch black like Rugged Maniac has) that puts you face down in the dirt, some barb wire that gets you a little bit more muddy, and a balance beam that drops water on you.
I believe there were 12 obstacles on the entire course, so it was a lot more of a run (they offer 1 miles, 5k’s, and 10k’s, my review is for the 5k) than it was an “obstacle course race.”
Warrior Dash as an Obstacle Course Race
If you go check out the Obstacles page of the Warrior Dash site, you’ll see a list of their obstacles. El Capitan is very similar to something Rugged Maniac offered last year in Portland towards the end of the race. You climb up a big structure, crawl across a cargo net, then go down a slide. Rugged Maniac’s slide had water, Warrior Dash did not. The hardest part about El Capitan was the wait. Everyone bunched up here and I hate heights. Absolutely hate them. So I was waiting for waves of people to go in front of me before I got to go. Then I had to crawl across the cargo net while looking down at the ground. They of course made it really safe with a net below the net I was crawling across, but I really didn’t want to fall and test that net. There were also a ton of volunteers up there to make sure everyone made it across safely (2 people at a time across sections of the cargo net) so that was reassuring.
There’s a warped wall there called “The Damn Dam.” You run up the wall, grab onto the top and pull yourself up. Or someone grabs your hand and pulls you up. Or you go up the notched sides. Or? Warped walls are cool and they’re fun to do.
The Warden’s Wall was probably the sketchiest of all the obstacles there. I saw a few people get stuck at the top where others had to come and get them down. Then I got my leg caught funny and thought I was going to plummet to my doom. Thankfully I figured it out and got down safely, with a good amount of adrenaline pumping through my body. Again, I hate heights, and after watching a few people get stuck right before me (and knowing there was a line of people behind me waiting to go up 2 at a time) I probably rushed more than I should have and got myself into trouble.
Unfortunately Alcatraz was not one of the obstacles at our event, I was really looking forward to that.
The Warped Wall and the slide at the end of El Capitan were honestly the only two truly fun obstacles there. Splitsville was a fairly straight forward obstacle, you hold onto chains while you walk across a board being sprayed with water, and the rest were just climb over some random wood fence then crawl around under barb wire.
The fire jump thing (and it’s the same at Rugged Maniac) is literally just jumping over a few logs. Which I almost under shot (which was funny.) Because you don’t need to jump very far. Or very high. Or at all really. I tried to pull a sick trick over the fire and measured my landing badly. I didn’t land in the fire, but it felt close.
Event – The event overall is really cool
Cost – Seems pricey for what is was, but if you raise money for St. Jude you can run it free and then you’re just paying taxes and parking, which is cool (and you’re helping a non-profit, which is also cool)
As a Mud Run – They picked a cool place to go for a jog. And I got muddy. So as a “mud run” it’s cool.
As a Fun Obstacle Course Race – Rugged Maniac has cooler (and more) obstacles. If you want to do lots of obstacles read my review of Rugged Maniac 2018.
Challenge Level – A good portion of people there (including me) alternated between jogging and walking. Outside of a few obstacles that required getting over a fear of heights, there was no real physical challenge. Anyone of any fitness level should be able to complete this course (excluding the Warped Wall / Warden’s Wall, which you can just go around or take the easier versions of.)
Would I recommend doing it at least once? – Absolutely. Getting outside and exercising with a large group of people taking on a challenge is fun.
Would I personally do it again? – No, unless I run a fund raiser for St. Jude and got to run it for free again. I wouldn’t pay full price for it. I want more obstacles in an obstacle course race, and less running.