Sgt. Gaelen Lowers
8th Theater Sustainment Command Public Affairs
WAIALUA — Sore, swollen and tired; bloody, muddy and wired.
That phrase sounds like a children’s rhyme, but there was nothing childish about this race.
More than 10,000 people participated in the Warrior Dash, a 3.01-mile course littered with hellish obstacles designed to test the limits of a human being’s strength, speed and stamina.
The race begged the question, “Are you a warrior?”
This race was the first time the state of Hawaii has hosted “the Dash,” which was held on Dillingham Ranch, here, March 24, but the runners who participated are sure the event won’t be the last.
“They will definitely bring it back,” said Capt. Kristen Tashma, commander, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 8th Special Troops Battalion, 8th Theater Sustainment Command. “They had a large turnout, and it seemed like everyone was having a great time.”
Tashma came in 27th in her age bracket and 60th overall for female participants.
“I love racing,” she said. “It allows me to stay fit, and I hope it motivates other people around the unit to do the same thing. Plus, the Warrior Dash is a different kind of race that makes running more enjoyable.”
Different is an understatement.
The race featured 13 treacherous obstacles, including 10- to 15-foot walls that each warrior had to climb, a pond with obstacles to climb over or swim under, an obstructive fire pit that had to be jumped and, at the end, the grand finale, a pit of soupy, slimy mud covered with barbed wire that each person had to swim through to reach the finish line.
“The mud was the best part,” said Spc. Keola Wilhelm, tactical communications specialist, 8th TSC. “I dove into it head first and got a face full of mud.”
Many of those who entered the Dash never actually completed the course.
“On the rope climb, I saw someone struggling to get over,” Wilhelm explained. “He would make it almost to the top and slide back down.”
But regardless of who finished where and in what time, everyone was treated to food, drink and live music.
“It was my first time ever doing something like that,” Wilhelm said. “I might not be on the island by next year, but I will definitely buy a plane ticket, so I can run the Dash again!”