Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Real or Not Real?

This past weekend, the Warrior Dash came to Houston. I had several friends participate and have a great time at this event. In fact, I have friends all over the country who are doing this event (both runners and non-runners). You know - running through mud, crawling under barbed wire, leaping over fire, climbing rope walls...I'll admit, it's a little cheesy and gimmicky, but it does look kinda fun! Besides, what's not fun about earning a horned, Viking-style helmet and a beer? (Never mind that in addition to the entry fee, you have to pay $10 for parking...wtf?)

So this brings me to a debate that recently came up - do "real" runners do this kind of race? One of my non-running friends planned to race the Warrior Dash and asked her friend (a runner) if she was going to sign up. The runner friend made a comment about how "real" runners don't do the Warrior Dash. This runner friend has run a 1/2 marathon and has a boyfriend who is an Ironman. And, this is not the 1st time I've heard similar sentiments - I saw a few comments like this on Facebook, too.

So tell me...what makes a "real runner"? And, do these so-called "real runners" do races like the Dash?

Give me your wisdom.

IMO, if races like the Warrior Dash are getting couch potatoes excited about running, then more power to it. If the dedicated runners enjoy the craziness of the obstacle course, the by all means - GO FOR IT!


Julia said...

i feel the same way about this like i do for Rodeo Run and the Turkey Trot. Its just another 'race' for the masses to do once a year or so. The people I know that did if (for the most part) never ran one single day in anticipation of it. The others half assed it, and then there was exactly ONE person that i know that is FAST and a Houston known runner that did it.

This is just not my cup of tea. I dont do those races where you have the idiots as i like to call them. I think for the most part and i am sure this is not the populararity winning answer, but no they arent 'real' runners.

Julia said...

oh and thats my comment...Junie B. I am logged in as my alter ego :O)

Jill said...

I just think sometimes a certain mentality of a runner gets into serious training mode and doing one of these races just doesn't fit in their skewed idea of a schedule. I know I've fit in that category a few times (ahem!). My fear of one of those, too, would be "Oh god, what if I twisted my ankle and was out for my goal race???" I know I can look back on these illogical thoughts now that I'm injured and not training...but at the time, they seem logical. :)

I have heard people have a blast at those thing, though!

TX Runner Mom said...

@ Junie B - LOL, I was wracking my brain wondering who this Julia was!

@Jill - I didn't sign up with my friends partially because I *thought* I'd be less than a month out from the HIM in April (which I am not doing afterall). It would have been my luck to tweak and ankle or knee after putting all that hard work!

KC (my 140 point 6 mile journey) said...

I almost signed up to do the one here in Florida a few months ago and then decided it was too close to a half marathon i was getting ready for. My thinking was, I don't want to run the risk of getting injured with some of those crazy obstacles. I had a friend doing a very easy 5K off road (not a technical trail) and there was a mud pit you had to run thru and she ended up somehow getting her ankle caught with a root she didn't see and her ankle has not been the same since. She had to drop out of several triathlons b/c of it. I think that weighs heavy on my mind with those kinds of "adventure" type runs. But as far as a "real" runner is concerned, everyone has their own definition.

Anne said...

All kinds of flavors for all kinds of people. It sounds like the adventure type race than runner's race...probably due to the risk of injury as Jill mentioned :)

Glad you found me at my new address :)

saroy said...

I consider myself a real runner, and I was signed up for the Warrior Dash -- sadly I had to bail on it because I was sick all weekend. I was disappointed because it looked like a ton of fun. The friend I was supposed to do it with had a blast.

Maybe the theory goes that a "real" runner is always in training for something? And I do agree with what others have said -- it's hard to work this kind of event into a training plan.

In any case, I think it's kind of a dumb question. But then, I usually think any debate about what makes a "real" runner is dumb too. I don't get why it matters. Most of us are running for our health, happiness, and other personal reasons anyway so I've never understood why some runners look down upon others as not "real" enough.

Shannon (IronTexasMommy) said...

I did it last year and had a blast! Don't know if I'd consider myself a real runner, but I've done 5 marathons and am training for IMTX
.. so I'm at least a "Real" athlete.

I did it with a friend who is not a runner at all. It's fun! You get muddy! You laugh! What's not to love? My viking helmet hangs on the corner of my dresser mirror.

It's a great way to keep things fun during a race season, but wouldn't do it if it were close to an "A" race, just in case you got injured.

Blessed with Boys said...

I think real runners do it! You can't take yourself too seriously all the time. That being said, I didn't end up doing for fear of being injured and not being able to race my HIM. BUT....if I didn't have that on the schedule I'd definitely do it for the fun of it!