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Woodbury’s Warriors

Plenty of Woodbury folks will be competing in this weekend’s Warrior Dash, which is part of a growing phenomenon.

I’m more of a sitter than a doer.

I like to sit and watch other people do stuff, read about other people doing stuff and write about the stuff other people do. I take walks, play tennis and occasionally bike to the library.

Other than that, I don’t enjoy exercise or the accomplishment of pushing my physical fitness boundaries.

So I’m definitely not a candidate for this weekend’s Warrior Dash at Afton Alps.

(Editor’s note: I’m competing in the event on Sunday morning. I’ll have a camera and be looking for Woodbury folks. I’m the with the spare tire.)

The Warrior Dash is a 5K race in the muddy mold of the growing obstacle-course-adventure-race phenomenon. It’s billed as a mud-crawling, fire-leaping extreme run from hell. And people seem giddy with anticipation for this event to arrive in Minnesota.

Several friends are planning to participate. So is my husband, who hasn’t run any official race in close to 20 years! I gasped at the promotional YouTube video. I wondered why anyone would voluntarily sign up for such madness. So I asked around.

Gabe Kasper, a 25-year-old seminary intern, said, “It seems more of a test of heart and determination than anything else.”

OK. I only hope there’s a defibrillator on site for any undetermined hearts.

Derek Broten, a father of four who hasn’t run a race since recovering from two herniated disks, said, “The obstacles in this race create a more fun atmosphere than a standard 5K. I’m looking forward to making fun of friends running behind me.”

Really? I can make fun of friends without risking a sore back. Is he out of his mind?

If he is, he’s not the only one. When I posted news of this race on Facebook, friends across the country commented that they too are planning to take part in some muddy obstacle course style race this summer.

A Woodbury mother of four, Jodi Burger runs or bikes 5-6 days a week.

“The Warrior Dash looks like a great time with good friends. It should be a friendly competition. I don’t think anybody will take themselves too seriously out there,” she said.

She has a point. Pictures I’ve seen of men jumping flaming logs and slogging through mud pits in dresses do indicate a certain level of joviality. The whole thing looks part race, part Renaissance Festival with a dash of Lollapalooza absurdity. These types of races seem to attract both athletes and lesser-fit used-to-be athletes. I guess there’s a drive in both types to prove a bit of toughness as well as beer guzzling capability.

Dan and Kris Peterson recently completed the Go Commando Adventure Race in Lake Elmo. The pictures show muddy people laughing and smiling. That must mean either it was fun or they’re relieved to have endured intact.

Folks running in this weekend’s Warrior Dash say getting muddy is part of the fun. Personally, I try to avoid getting dirty, sweaty or injured. But I’ll be there doing what I do, watching other people do stuff I don’t want to do.

Surely I’ll enjoy the festivities. But I’ll surely also be praying that my husband doesn’t strain anything important.

Angela Johnson July 25, 2011 at 05:23 PM
Despite an unfortunate yet hilarious face-plant on the tires, the hubs finished 4th in his age group for the day and went home unscathed. Good Job Woodbury Warriors!
Kris Janisch July 25, 2011 at 05:24 PM
Nice work! It was fun for me, though I didn't fully realize the level of mud involved. At least I donated my shoes to a good cause.
Angela Johnson July 25, 2011 at 05:31 PM
Oh my goodness. The mud was Nasty! Our kiddos were so enthralled, they're now running to train for when they can participate in a few years. I loved all the costumes and revelry. But you won't catch me slogging through that mud. Ha Ha.

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