On Saturday in Jackson at Mississippi Offroad Adventures, several runners from Bolivar County will be competing with hundreds of runners from all over the country in an event titled “Warrior Dash.” The event is considered the world’s largest running series as it is held all over the county during the year.
The Warrior Dash is a 3.34 mile-run that gives each person that participates an
extreme challenge. During these 3.34 miles, the competitors are going through obstacles after obstacle involving mud pits, fire, barbed wire, cargo nets, junk cars, heights, climbing, jumping into water, water crossings, swimming and uneven terrain. The event raises money for St. Jude Hospital. The Warrior Dash series has raised $5,554,479.10 to date for St. Jude.
Cleveland native Megan Cunningham, who competed in Warrior Dash event last year in Jackson and will be competing in this year’s race, had to sign a waiver realizing the dangers of the obstacles.
“It’s a huge challenge,” Cunningham, 29, said. “You not only run, but you have all the obstacles. When you’re finished, you feel like you accomplished something.”
Last year, Cunningham ran with her husband Kyle Cunningham and her friends Katie Herbison and Meagan Webb. This year, Herbison will be competing in the race again on Saturday along with Megan’s brother-in-law Korey Cunningham.
Cunningham said she met a lot of new people during the race last year and getting to know those competitors during the race made it fun.
“Even though you didn’t know each other, you still helped each other through all the obstacles,” Cunningham said. “People you’ve never met before were cheering you on when you didn’t think you could go anymore.”
Cunningham said last year’s race got harder as it progressed.
“It was tough, because a lot of the harder obstacles are at the end,” Cunningham said. “At the beginning, you think, ‘Oh, this isn’t that bad.’, but then after three miles and you’re climbing a huge 10 foot wall, it’s kind of tough. It’s just everybody coming together.”
The obstacles in this year’s Warrior Dash are Barricade Breakdown, Storming Normandy, Mud Mounds, Trenches, Giant Cliffhanger, Chained Up, Iron Crossings, Vicious Valleys, Two X-Fall, Capsized Catamaran, Muddy Mayhem and Warrior Roast.
Cleveland resident Chris Giger, 41, will be competing in the Warrior Dash for the first time on Saturday.
Giger, who works out everyday, said the warrior dash was something new he wanted to try.
“I’m always looking for something to push myself or challenge myself,” Giger said. “I saw this as like a 3.34-mile course with pretty extreme obstacles. I thought this looks pretty cool and challenging. I was like ‘I want to do it.’ I went and sign up for it back in December and have been waiting since then for this day to get here.”
Giger said he is looking forward to those obstacles.
“Once you’re soaked in mud and water and carrying that extra weight, you have to pull yourself over these giant obstacles and go under the barbed wire,” Giger said.
“That will make it that much tougher. My goal is to finish in a respectable time not only overall but in my age group.”
Felicia Brinkley, 36, and her husband Marc Brinkley, 41, will also be competing in the Warrior Dash for the first time. Felicia heard a lot about the race from her brother Marshall, who competed in it last year.
“We just thought it would be something fun to do as a couple,” Felicia said about her Marc’s decision to run in the event. “We haven’t trained hard for it. We just thought it would be something for him and I to go and do and see how good we would be under those challenges.”