Do you remember how we spend Father's Day around here?
It involves fire and mud and obstacles.
Did you guess the Warrior Dash? That's right, we spent the day at the Warrior Dash.
The Farmer had all intentions of running the obstacle race last year but got a stress fracture when he was training. This year he was successful. Did I mention that he's 66 years old? That's nothing because one of the best times in his age bracket was posted by a man who is 74!
The start is exciting in itself. There's a DJ to pump up the crowd and entertain us up to the countdown. Then it's 5.... 4..... 3..... 2.....1 ....... GO! They are off in plumes of fire.
The Farmer was racing with our children, their friends and a group of neighbors. After they pass through the starting gate the trail banks down and to the right into the woods. The race venue is a large farm about an hour south of here. In addition to hosting the Warrior Dash they also host a large Civil War Reenactment in the fall.
ILLINOIS WARRIOR DASH BATTLEGROUND
DOLLINGER FAMILY FARM
I'll have to say that a couple of years ago there were many, many more costumes. Some of the cleverest things you've ever seen. This race is very much for the fun of it and as you can imagine anyone running as a Viking cannot be too concerned about their time.
Purple man was advertising a fitness gym. It was hot on Sunday, so I can't imagine how he was surviving this costume.
Here's a Warrior in a costume made out of cardboard.
Muddy shoes everywhere. More about those later.
Most of the race is run back in the woods and us spectators and mere mortals are not able to see the obstacles that they encounter there. Check out that map on the Warrior Dash site and click on the pictures to see what they were dealing with.
There's a large muddy hill that the racers must climb using a rope. When they reach the top of the hill they emerge from the woods and enter the final stage of the race. At this point all the mere mortals are behind the barriers cheering their team members on.
Here's a member of a pink capped swim team that just came over the rope ladder obstacle. He's racing off to the next challenge..... FIRE!
The Men in Black raced the entire course in suits and ties. They carried the brief case, passing it along as they navigated the obstacles. They were awesome fun!
As the Farmer exited the woods we could tell that he needed some help. His blood sugar was low so we gave him some glucose tablets. Our kids had already finished the race and they jumped the barricades to finish with race with their dad...... bring it home team!
Did I mention that the next challenge was fire? The Farmer and the Kids jump over the fire.
What could possibly be next? Well, if you've jumped over fire you need to cool down..... in the MUD!
Not only mud. Look at those posts going across the mud pit. That is topped with barbed wire! It forces you to go low and get really muddy.
The Farmer and the kids navigate the mud pit.
Can't get enough of the mud pit.
The Farmer and the Kids are successful! Go team.
The better part of the day is spent finding men in kilts.
Actually, the best part of the day is watching groups of people enjoying themselves, getting dirty and just connecting. Lots of group photos. Lots of teams. Lots of bonding over mud.
Lots of Vikings.
Here's one of my favorite participants. This woman's cape read, "Warrior Granny". Go granny! The pink hair rollers were classic and as you can see she carried her handbag through the entire race.
Here's just a portion of our team.
James, Sarah, The Farmer (Paul), Evan, Katie and Charlie.
I caught up with the Men in Black and they posed for a picture. The funny thing about these guys is that they were dead serious all the time. They never broke character once.
Remember the muddy shoes? Here's the shoe mountain. They hauled away the mountain from the previous day and this was early in the day so this is just a small fraction of the shoes that are donated.
You tie the shoes together and toss them on the pile. A company cleans them up and they are shipped to third world countries. Can you imagine the insanity if you didn't tie the shoes together and had to match them all up?
NOTE: Yes, there are big water trucks and fire hoses that give you a wash down. We also bring tarps and such to cover the car seats.
Thanks so much for joining us on our crazy fun Father's Day.
Warrior Dash races take place all over the U.S. and also in Australia. Check it out. Even if you don't run maybe someone you know would like the challenge. Heck, just go as a spectator. It's the most fun you'll ever have people watching!
NOTE: Yes, there are injuries at the Warrior Dash but not as many as you would expect. Alot are the result of people running in an attempt to get a good time. This should be a race for fun, with safety in mind. There is help all along the track, everyone has walkie talkies and it's a very well organized event.