The first Arizona Warrior Dash concluded on Sunday with live music, beer in plastic cups, and muddy, muddy masses.
Here are a few things we learned from the 3.4-mile run. Noted for next year:
1. The obstacles are no joke.
Some of the obstacles were pretty easy, but some were pretty damn hard. Bear-crawling across an elevated cargo net, and navigating through criss-crossed bungy cords and climbing a wall ... oh, and there's fire. Real fire. That, you have to jump over.
2. Bring a change of clothes -- even underwear.
We brought extra clothes, but a full change (and a towel) would have been much better. There's nothing live diving in and wading through mud to really make you cherish clean underwear.
3. Don't lose your free beer chip.
One major perk of the event is free beer. The chip you have to turn in to get your free beer is also your timing chip so make sure it's tied extra tight to your shoes.
4. Bring spending money.
And sure, you get free beer, but you'll probably want some food, a beer koozie, a real warrior helmet, and any number of other cool "warrior" gear.
5. There's a bag check.
The bag check makes it easy to ensure you have quick access to your clean clothes, so you don't have to trudge a half mile back to your car caked in mud like we did.
6. Eyewear is essential.
Initially, we thought we'd wear goggles as part of your costume. The goggles didn't happen, and after the first few minutes, we wish they had. Thousands of people kicking up dust in the Arizona desert is awful. If anything, don't wear contact and definitely wear sunglasses.
7. Carpool if possible.
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The $10 price tag for parking kind of sucked, so make sure you fill up your car as much as possible.
8. Don't be lame!
The best part of Warrior Dash is the over-the-top involvement of the participants and their ridiculous outfits. So get creative.
And if you missed out on the Arizona version, the Warrior Dash continues to 22 other states and Canada until the end of November. Caravan time.