After each mud run or obstacle race I compete in, you'll get my review and grades for each event to help you decide which ones you might want to sign up for. The following categories will be discussed:

1. COURSE- the design, venue, and setup of the race itself- how creative/ adventurous/ difficult the obstacles were, and obviously... how was the MUD?!?

2. FESTIVAL- all the fun beyond the actual race- the social atmosphere which usually includes food, beer garden, dj/ music/ concert, contests, vendors, and more during the after-party

3. SWAG- the included goodie bag and prizes up for grabs- all the "free" stuff that comes with price of entry and the quality of awards, shirts, and other giveaways

Feel free to use the search box to read up on any past topics you might be looking for.

WARRIOR DASH, Morristown NJ, 8/2/14

Since the popular NY Warrior Dash I had done the last four years at Windham Mountain surprisingly got moved to a different location, I thought I'd try their other Tri State area event (much closer to me anyway) and do this New Jersey one I missed in 2013.  So, I had planned it out perfectly, to do the Elite heat here and then attempt to try my first two-race day by then finishing the new BattleFrog Series 15k race an hour away at Raceway Park (home to many other races including the NJ Tough Mudder).  While the mission did get accomplished, it wasn't without some huge snags and headaches along the way.  Not sure if the stats still hold up to defend their title of "World's Largest Obstacle Race Series", but for all you fans of the fuzzy helmet... keep calm and read on:

1. COURSE-   I felt bad for the residents of Morristown NJ, who were likely as frustrated with the Warrior Dash logistics manager as all of their racers were.  Parking was offsite a few miles from the actual race venue, but I've never seen a simple shuttle bus system become as mucked up as I have here.  Not enough buses, massive lines waiting for them, and worse traffic than Thanksgiving Day through this little residential town made for quite a lot of pissed off Dashers (equally for both going to or coming from the race).  It nearly caused me to miss both my competitive heat here and then close the window on getting to BattleFrog in time.  So, all this for a 5k "OCR" that took me under a half hour?  The course was mostly flat except for one steady paved road incline, and a short water crossing that confused a lot of racers on the cargo net dock section (and from what I heard, there was a SERIOUS controversy involving the lifeguard/safety personnel who supposedly refused to help a struggling swimmer).  I can only say there was one legit obstacle, their new centerpiece "Goliath" that climbed two stories up to a not-very-smooth slide down toward the finish line.  If you check out WD's website and hoped to do the no less than 25 highlighted obstacles there, you'd be surely disappointed- I don't even think half of them came to this event.  Grade = C

2. FESTIVAL-  Granted I didn't have a lot of time to stay and play at the party since I needed to head out to race #2, but I killed a half hour waiting for the awards ceremony which never happened (more on that in a minute).   Despite it being a cooler day with off and on rain, it seemed like the Shock Top beer garden area was picking up in attendance (again, I was also there in the earliest parts of the morning still).  They had a good stage area with rocking music soundtrack and then a live band that would play, but I do have to say as it faced right at the main hangout area, the speakers were so uncomfortably loud and may have been driving people away from that end of the festival. I'm sure the party really got going later, as it usually does at a WD, provided people were eventually able to get there from the parking site.  Grade = B

3. SWAG-  The fuzzy Viking helmet doesn't really do it for me as much as it did when I got my first one in 2010, but it's become their kooky trademark that a lot of folks still enjoy, so I can't knock it too much.  I was happy they returned to a real finisher medal from the silly bottle opener souvenir they gave in 2013, so that was an upgrade.  They have had a very different tshirt every year, and while this year's isn't breathtaking, at least it's a new design and slogan from the other 4 I've picked up.  Now here's where this category turned bad... chip timing is no longer at their events, so all racers must self-time themselves if they are interested- BUT it seems like an oxymoron to have an elite heat, with awards and qualification for their "world" championship without it, no?  I do like that they set the awards to only apply to the early competitive heats (which they had two, separate ones a half hour apart) instead of combining the entire day and having to wait 8 hours for your standings.  We were told that the top 3 of each heat would be collecting a custom metal helmet, which I know they had given out last year to not just overall but also age group winners.  Well, as I came in 2nd place and then waited around, they not only didn't have those prizes available at the time, but decided to altogether skip having an awards ceremony or any recognition of the winners- and I still don't know why.  As a small consolation, they gave us a $30 merchandise credit and a WD beer mug, but said to contact their customer service who would be able to make things right.  I will say, in the past, their company (Red Frog Events) has been great about responding to issues and is very accessible by phone or email, so I'm hoping to upgrade this mark to a "B" if things are addressed and indeed taken care of.  Stay tuned, Warriors.  Grade = C