On the second weekend in September, five Cobalt employees got together and decided to try something a little different. Described as the “ultimate event for thrill-seeking athletes,” the Warrior Dash takes place around the country all year round, taking advantage of unique terrain at each location to build a grueling obstacle course.
Order Manager Jessica Butts described her reasons for going, “It looked like something I couldn’t do,” she said. “I wanted to challenge myself.”
At first glance, it looks like something nobody would choose to do, unless they were suckered into it. That’s exactly the nightmarish experience Web Builder Steve Hensyel summarized. He thought he was going camping and was even promised marshmallows as an incentive.
Thousands, even Steve, registered and participated in the two-day event, near North Plains in Oregon. The course was just over three miles worth of rough terrain with added complications. There were natural obstacles, such as a steep ravine or a maze of mossy trees, as well as man-made obstacles, like knee-high tire stacks, trashed cars to climb over, and the infamous Warrior fires. Finally, runners in the Dash had to crawl through mud and under barbed wire.
“We climbed mountains, dove over logs in the water, jumped over cars, made a leap of faith over fire pits, ran through a tire course and swam through the mud,” said Web Builder Jeremy Helstrom. “We came out on the other side with scrapes, bruises, cuts, mud covering our body so thick that you could hardly tell where my t-shirt ended and my skin began and big smiles on our faces. It was an amazing time.”
Dash runners got a lot out of the event, according to Contract Administrator Jason Denk. They were given “a medal, t-shirt and a sweet warrior hat. Plus a lot of good laughs and photos,” he recalled. “It was a great experience overall and we are looking to doing it on an annual basis.”
Jessica was proud of the accomplishment and what it meant to her. “I haven’t run over two miles since high school. This was a little over three miles with tiring obstacles. I now know this is something I can do and plan on doing more things like it.”
It may seem crazy to some, but to this group of Cobalt friends it was just the weekend they were looking for. Even Steve learned a valuable lesson, “If I ever go ‘camping’ with these guys again, I’m bringing a sword.”
Photos taken by Janaya Fix.