A mud run obstacle race like the Warrior Dash is decidedly different from your standard road race. It requires special preparation, gear, and attitude to make it a fun and comfortable experience. Beyond race day standards like water and snacks, make sure the following items are in your pack.
1. Tight-Fitting Clothes and Shoes
Mud is heavy. Very heavy. Loose-fitting clothing or shoes can cause quite the wardrobe malfunction as you’re pulling yourself out of a mud pit. Opt for compression pants and tank-tops over t-shirts or comfy yoga pants. The mud also is particularly rough on loose-fitting shoes, so either tie them tightly or wrap them to your ankles with duct tape.
2. Work Gloves
If you have sensitive skin or your race has a lot of rope obstacles, consider packing a pair of leather or rubber work gloves. Chapped or blistered hands do not make for a fun event. Gloves will also help keep dirt out from under your fingernails, making post-race clean-up a little easier.
3. Second Set of Clothes
Changing into a clean pair of shorts and a t-shirt can go a long way to make you feel human again, increasing your post-race enjoyment. You’ll also spare your car from some of the muddy residue (more on that below). You can always change in a port-a-potty, but the easiest way is to use swimwear as a base layer and just replace your outer layer.
4. Small Towel
You’ll get to rinse off briefly after the race, but you won’t be totally clean until you get home and take a shower. Bring a towel to help wipe off/dry off after your rinse-down. If you’re really wanting to get clean, you can pack a wet washcloth and use it sponge-bath style.
Don’t expect to keep your muddy shoes after the race (wear your oldest pair). Pack a pair of flip-flops or other sandals in your gear check bag to change into. You won’t want to be slogging around in muddy, wet shoes afterward—blister city!
6. First Aid Kit
You might get a little scratched up during the race, so be prepared with a first aid kit. They do have a first aid tent, but it’s better to let the folks who are really hurting get priority there. Bring a small first aid kit with wipes and bandages to doctor up any minor injuries you may have. You’ll want to quickly clean the mud and dirt out of any cuts to avoid infection.
7. Plastic Grocery Bags
If you want to salvage your muddy clothes and wash them when you get back home, you can stash them in a few plastic bags to keep everything else from getting muddy.
8. Cash and ID
The race itself is awesome, but half of the fun is sticking around afterward, drinking your free beer, and enjoying the atmosphere. Make sure to bring cash (because you know you’ll want a giant turkey leg) and your ID. You will get carded.
9. Old Sheets or Towels for Your Car
Eventually, you’ll have to drive your muddy bum home, and you’ll probably want to protect your car seats. Old fitted sheets work perfectly for this (you can buy some at a thrift shop if you don’t have any kicking around). Just take the sheets and wrap them around each seat. You could also use old towels, blankets, or trash bags.
10. Good Attitude
There will be folks at all levels of athletic ability at the race. And almost everyone will be friendly, helpful, and excited. Don’t get discouraged when the person in front of you holds you up (they will) or you hold someone up behind you (you will). Giggle when you slip and fall in the mud (you will) and give someone a hand if they need help over an obstacle (they will). You’re all trying to get through this together! Make sure to stick around and cheer on your fellow Warriors as they finish the race.