The Warrior Dash invaded Nebraska for the first time Saturday as more than 20,000 participants descended on Louisville for a 5k race meant to push you to the limit.
Hopping over fire and climbing over walls wouldn't stop them and crawling through mud didn't slow them down as runners pushed themselves for more than three miles in hopes of making it to the finish line.
“It was awesome, it was amazing,” said Greg Duracinski. “It's like you finished something you went out to accomplish and you met your goal. Makes you want to do it again.”
“I feel the best I've ever felt, it was a really big accomplishment, it was really fun, it’s been a good day,” said Nikki Whitehead, who raced with her best friend Alicia.
Nikki spent four months training for the event, losing 40 pounds in the process. “I downloaded the Warrior Dash schedule and trained off that and then I went to intensive boot camps in Lincoln and did boot camp and they push you 100 percent of the way and a lot trained together, so it was good.”
Runners worked up a sweat running up hilly terrain and taking on 14 challenging obstacles in the 90-degree heat. It's the overwhelming feeling of accomplishment that runners said they'll remember. “One of the best days of our lives, really fun,” said Lana Thompson. “We're in our 50s. If we can do it anyone can.”
Lana ran with her best friend Kelly Miller, a breast cancer survivor. For Kelly, the race held a special meaning. “It makes you appreciate every single day, it really does.”
Courtney Couch said the best part of the day was when the jam-packed race was over. “It’s like a dentist appointment, you dread it the whole time you’re gonna go and then when you walk out the door you’re so happy because you did something you know you should have done, you’re just glad to be done with.”
They did get the chance to cool off with a little bit of mud before crossing the finish line. "I came into it just winging it and I finished and I was doing it with my best friend, we had a lot of fun, we pushed each other and I'm just glad we finished," said Alicia Gossard.
There were several hundred people running in each heat, taking off from the starting line every 30 minutes.
Once the race was over participants could donate their sneakers, which will be cleaned and given to people in other countries. The Warrior Dash continues at 9 a.m. Sunday.
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