Review: UCF Iron Knight and Warrior Dash X2

I finished off my rockin January with a pair of races on a gorgeous and warm Saturday. I was scheduled for a third race on Sunday but had to bag it due to lingering injury issues.

First competition was the UCF Iron Knight. Iron Knight is a military-style run + PT around the UCF campus and is put on by the UCF Army ROTC program. The total running distance is 4.5 miles with exercises stations posted every half to quarter mile–8 stations total. The stations included: pushups, situps, pullups, tire flipping, Hummer push, stretcher carry, equipment carry for time, and a weird traverse-the-minefield exercise that pretty much everyone failed. This is a team event with each team having four members. I competed in the Pro (adult) Co-ed division with three of my rower friends. This was my second year doing Iron Knight and I have to say I LOVE this competition. It’s super challenging, well organized, competitive, exercises are cool, the campus is interesting to run around, and the weather was perfect both years. In fact, we were bitching about how hot and sunny it was at race time. Go figure.

Last year my co-ed team placed 3rd, I believe, and we wanted to push it and see if we could get the top spot. We were more aggressive on the runs and hyper aggressive on the exercises. The counts were 200 pushups, 300 situps, and 40 pullups divvied among the team and we blasted through all of those. We killed the stretcher carry and the Hummer push, failed the minefield test (along with everyone else), and made par on the tire flip and equipment carry. Result was a 29 second victory with a final time of 1:00.2. Our time was good enough to rank us 3rd in the Pro Men’s division and 6th overall, so I was really stoked about our speed.

This was the longest run I had done since GoRuck and my stress fracture injury and my foot held up just fine with the hard running.

I absolutely love this event and I can’t recommend it enough. If you’re in the area in January, make a point to put together a team and do it. Oh yeah, and you know what the best part is? It’s totally FREE. That’s right, no $60 entry fee, no parking fee, you don’t have to be a UCF student, nothing, it’s free and open to the public. You can’t beat that.

Big ups to Robert Hoppenfeld, Lesley Silvia, and Heather Brooks for racing. Team ORC rules!

Warrior Dash

Also happening on Saturday was the Warrior Dash, a 5K obstacle course and mud run in Lake Wales. Rob and I ate lunch after Iron Knight, hopped in a car and drove out, then got right out of the car and raced in the 4:00 pm wave.

When they say mud run, they weren’t messing around. There were tons of serious shoe-sucking mud pits scattered along the route. I was covered in stinky mud from head to toe by the end. The obstacles were mildly challenging, with things like wall jumps, cargo net climbs, and crawling in mud under barbed wire. My favorite obstacle was the series of junked cars and tire obstacle. Of course they had a exploded Pontiac Fiero which they probably grabbed from a junkyard down the street, since the racecourse was in the middle of BFE. My least favorite obstacle was the “poop house,” a long tent you crawled through in stinky mud that smelled of poo. Yuck.

Afterward was much carousing, beer drinking, and general merriment. Warrior Dash is very well run and well organized, with lots of entertainment besides the racing. I thought the racing was pretty ridiculous and I wouldn’t characterize it as a hardcore speed race, so I didn’t bother trying to blitz down the course. Let’s put it this way, there were way too many people in costumes for me to take it seriously.

I signed up to do Warrior Dash again on Sunday with some friends, which unfortunately didn’t happen. I woke up and my foot was majorly sore, so decided to bag it and just hang out and drink beer instead.

If Warrior Dash comes to your area, I do recommend it for the partying alone. Get a group together, get dirty, and have a blast.

Moving Forward

The next race I have scheduled is the Rugged Maniac on February 26th in Jacksonville, another mud run. In the meantime I’ll keep hitting the CrossFit gym and lifting and improving my overall fitness. If the weather is nice, I’ll also start working in some miles on the water.