TRAVEL: Canada’s infamous “Warrior Dash” …

Wendy Groth, second from left, did the Warrior Dash in a tiara and frock …

You’d think my beautiful wife had already done more than enough to earn the title of ‘warrior’.

Born in the British Columbian interior town of Prince George, where men are lumberjacks and women are…lumberjacks.  Came to Australia with a few dollars and no plan.  Married a dodgy Aussie bachelor.  Gave birth to twins.  Raised an autistic child.  What other obstacles would a woman possibly have to take on in order to prove her toughness?

Apparently, the ‘Treacherous Typhoon’, the ‘Petrifying Plunge’, the ‘Teetering Traverse’ and the ‘Cliffhanger’, among others.

Yes, my beautiful wife took on the ‘Warrior Dash’ – the world’s antidote for stock market crashes, wanton riots and ‘Jersey Shore’ ratings.

What is the ‘Warrior Dash’?  As trumpeted by their website – – it is a “mud-crawling, fire-leaping, extreme run from hell…Warriors conquer obstacles, push their limits and celebrate with kick-ass music, beer and warrior helmets.”

My wife’s description of the experience tended to steer clear of any death-defying, torture-conjuring, Satanic hyperbole:

“Ít was a really fun day…”


Certainly, she and her all-girl ‘Warrior Princess’ trio of friends approached the five kilometre Whistler course with tongue firmly planted in cheek.  Three of the four wore blue cocktail dresses, tiaras and running shoes.  Two of the team sported elaborate, fake facial hair in hope of securing the ‘Best Beard’ competition title.  They were far from alone in frocking up.  Under the ‘Start’ banner, they stood shoulder to shoulder with Optimus Prime, Batman and Robin, Hello Kitty, and a group of footballing types dressed as winged, wand-wielding fairies.  Two men, who may or may not have been ZZ Top, wore full-length evening gowns.  A group of Lucy Lawless clones modeled home-made breastplates and plastic swords.  The crowd of four thousand plus thrill-seekers swam in a veritable sea of tutus.

Once the race began, savouring rather than conquering moments was the order of the day for my wife’s gang.  They took photos of each other at each of the obstacles.  They snapped some of the more entertaining costumers.  They complimented a fellow competitor on his belching prowess.  They ran occasionally.  At the ultimate barrier – a fire jump that was about as hazardous as a game of ‘Go Fish’ – my beloved took hem in hand and pranced over the miniscule flames like a ‘Swan Lake’ devotee.

And when the course was done, the Princesses – barely recognizable courtesy of the ‘Muddy Mayhem’ finale – gratefully accepted their t-shirt, medal, helmet and free beer.  They also coughed up the five bucks required for the traditional post-Dash after-meal: a roast turkey leg.

And would my beautiful wife do the whole caper again?

“If I could sign up for next year right now, I would.”

I’m thinking she might have some spousal company at the starting line.

The Warrior Dash is held primarily at various locations across the US and Canada, but the inaugural Australian event was held at New South Wales’ Glenworth Valley.  There are plans to bring their sanctioned and civilized form of unrest to London in 2012.


Darren Groth is a prominent Australian author, speaker and mentor now living in Canada.  He has written articles for the Courier-Mail and WQ Magazine.  His fiction has been shortlisted in the Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards and the Text Prize.  His most recent novel, Kindling, was published in 2010, to rave reviews. You can read more about Darren at


More articles