Warrior Dash Toronto was very much a last minute decision – I did not register until Wednesday of last week. I have not done a Warrior Dash since my very first obstacle race in 2010 – Warrior Dash in Illinois. We drove out with my brother and my dad, as there was no such thing as Warrior Dash in Canada at that time. There was no Spartan either. In fact, you pretty much had to drive to the States.
I cannot compare this year’s event to 2013 and 2012, as this is my first experience with doing Warrior Dash in Canada, however, I am somewhat disappointed. While the race offered a great courses, the obstacles were few and far in between. By the 2.5km mark, we have only had two or three obstacles.
- great loop course on the trail – there was no running up and down the same damn mountain. Well designed. Definitely, a trail runner’s course.
- can be a great option for beginners – no penalty for failed obstacles, also, no “difficult” obstacles that some may struggle with – monkey bars, heavy bag carry. [Although there are so many better options out there, that I'd be hesitant to recommend this one].
- free bag check
- location. The race was held at a resort, just barely off the highway. Clear signage made it easy to find.
- $10 parking fee (although this is fairly standard, I still cannot wrap my head around paying this after shelling out over $100 for the race registration)
- lack of variety in obstacles – walls to climb over, couple of over-and-unders, a cargo net, a mudpit with barbwire at the very finish, a balance beam, a fire jump, a barbwire… run? (the wire was stretched out at about chest height – I barely had to duck).
- lack of difficulty in obstacles – definitely no “oomph” obstacle (the one you remember, the one you talk with your friends about: Remember that…? Nope, nothing like that.)
- lack of… obstacles – I enjoyed the course, as it was a nice trail run (some sections off-road were especially fun), however, I have plenty of nice trails right next door.
I ran this one pretty hard (the heart rate chart below agrees – at least 80% of the maximum heart rate for the whole race). Came in 9th woman, despite feeling pretty weak, especially on the uphills.
As always, the best part was the people.
Although Warrior Dash Toronto 2014 was a ton of fun, and I enjoyed the course (mostly due to awesome company), I would not pay over $100 for this race. Races such as BadAss Dash and Prison Break provide a much better value for the money.
*Note, that this may, indeed, be an awesome event for many. I do come with a blessing and a curse of being able to compare this event to many (many, many) other events, and have a fairly well-developed OCR palate, if you will.