The Warrior Dash, consisting of 12 obstacles, with such names as Goliath, Deadman’s Drop and Muddy Mayhem, tested thousands of athletes who came to conquer the 3.08-mile course at Historic Rural Hill on June 6.
Charlotte resident Lesley Donovan, 45, a fitness instructor at the Steele Creek YMCA, and six of her students embraced the challenge, forming the team Tough Tatas. The group has been exercising together for the past five years and came dressed in matching black running outfits with pink socks proclaiming their name.
“The length of that first run was challenging,” said Donovan. She added that her team worked well together, with the faster runners waiting for the others to catch up at each obstacle. But the teamwork extended beyond her teammates.
“I found there were people running this race who were helping others along the way, people they didn’t even know,” she said. Her team even waited for her while she helped two other warriors get through an obstacle.
“I could tell those two weren’t going to be able to make it, so I helped them. It was a great thing to work together to accomplish a goal. We were all helping each other over the obstacles,” she said.
Helping others was also part of the equation – a portion of the proceeds were donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Warrior Dash has raised more than $10,800 to date and has upcoming events planned.
Huntersville residents Cathy and Harry Schrader, both 47, came to compete in their third Warrior Dash. “We try to stay active, but you can’t train for this,” she said.
Schrader said that the upper body, climbing obstacles were harder for her but crawling under the barbed wire was tougher for her husband. “It’s for a good cause, it’s fun, different and we like the challenge,” she said.
“There are all types and body shapes competing. Some are racing against the clock, while others are just walking through. We are just having fun and we don’t skip any of the obstacles “ she said.
Schrader also feels they are setting a good example for their children Mason, 16, Riley, 13, and Hogan 11. “The Warrior Dash is physically challenging but also visually intimidating. Participants have to be mentally tough; but finishing the course is definitely rewarding, scrapes and bruises included,” said Schrader.
The Schraders live on the waterfront of Lake Norman, so when they got home, they jumped in the lake to wash off all the mud before going inside.
Schrader said they will be back next year and that everyone should try it at least once, “Because once you try it and complete it, you will have the confidence to come back next year.”
Marty Price is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Marty? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org