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The Warrior Dash “Rash”

by on July 11, 2011

Friday morning, July 1st, I woke up with a patch of what appeared to be dry skin on the back of my knee. I didn’t think too much of it since I sometimes get the same patches of dry skin on my elbows. I threw on some lotion and made my way to work, just another normal day. That patch of dry skin stuck around all weekend and by Tuesday my whole lower portion of my body had turned into a full blown rash. I couldn’t explain how I even got it but there it was, full force. It wasn’t itchy, just ugly and annoying that I didn’t know where it came from. I came to work and like many Americans these days I immediately went to WedMD to enter my symptoms. Rash, check, red bumps, check, hit submit. In front of my eyes three possibilities came up, heat rash, poison ivy, or eczema.

I knew it couldn’t be heat rash since it wasn’t going away once I cooled off, so that left two options. Eczema seemed like a good chance but it never mentioned anything about blister looking things so I ruled that out.  I never have had poison ivy before, I work in the field and know I have been in it on numerous occasions but it just never got to me, I guess I wasn’t allergic. So I had to show people who had it before and they suspected it was poison ivy and told me what to buy. Still I wasn’t convinced it was poison ivy since I wasn’t itchy like people claimed I would be but off I went to CVS and after dropping $60 I thought I was in the clear. Except it wasn’t working and it was starting to look worse! Thankfully I have a friend who is in the medical field and I sent her a picture of my rash and she too thought it was poison ivy. That was until she had another patient come in the same day with the same rash, not as severe as mine, but the same. Apparently the girl had just completed the Warrior Dash up at Amesbury the same day I had. Hmmm this story was starting to get interesting and at least I had a reason behind it all. It wasn’t believed that my rash was poison ivy at this point and that now it was some type of fungal rash. Awesome, just what I needed to hear. She said athlete’s foot cream should clear it up so $55 later at CVS I was ready to try this course of treatment, something had to help right?

I had no idea that this was even being discussed within the Warrior Dash community until I did a search and saw multiple posts on Facebook as well as other chat boards. Most people were saying they had poison ivy from the mud covering the entire course including the areas where poison ivy was located. They confirmed that the rash occurred almost immediately and many had to go to the emergency room for medication, ouch. Others were complaining about this mysterious rash that showed up almost a week later but seemed to go away on its own after a few days or so. Things seemed promising for me or so I thought. That was until the itch hit Friday night and I had a complete melt down, I knew it was time to see the doctor.

I walked into the clinic Saturday morning and was greeted by a cute old man doctor, old enough to be my grandfather. As soon as he walked in all he could say was your legs are pretty and if he had a camera he would have taken a picture. Wow, way to make a girl feel good about herself doc! Mahk was in the room with me and proceeded to explain the posts from other Dashers and he confirmed what I had was contact dermatitis. He said folliculitis would have been more around the hair follicles where this was wide spread. But yet he couldn’t confirm it was poison ivy, really?? He checked my entire rash covered body; somehow it made it to my back and my stomach as well as my entire lower body. Great, this day just kept getting better and better. That was until he decided to give me a “go get them” slap to my butt. You know kind of like athlete’s pumping themselves in the locker room before a game. But I wasn’t getting ready to go into the game coach, I was just there for a doctor’s visit! I was completely shocked but not offended; he actually made me smile for once in the last week. Mahk couldn’t believe what just happened either, as the doc left the room he confirmed the actions that just occurred. But he came back with a prescription for prednisone and I was a happy camper, I just wanted to start feeling better!

After the first full day of the meds I did see some improvements, my legs still look awful but they aren’t swollen anymore and they are less red. Baby steps right? I slept through the night for the first time in a few days not having the urge to scratch the crap out of my body. Hopefully in a week I will be back to my old self, rash free. The fingers are crossed tight for that! I have definitely been more aware of what I am walking through when I am playing soccer or going near fields. I am going to do my damn best to not let this happen again.

Do I blame the Warrior Dash people for this? No, the weather was nasty that day and there wasn’t much they could do about it. I did the Spartan Race there in August of last year and walked away rash free so the elements definitely played a part on why so many people walked away with this warrior “rash”. I did however email Warrior Dash and the Amesbury Sports Park to make them aware of the situation. It does look like a few articles were written in the last few days as well which I am sure helped a lot of people explain these rashes on the Boston Herald as well as CBS Boston. I also wrote to Spartan Race to give them a heads up since their race will be at the same location in August. I know there are a lot of people who are now a little skeptical to compete in their race for the fear of getting another rash so hopefully they address people’s concerns.

Will this stop me from competing in my beloved mud races, HELL NO! Shit happens sometimes and I have competed in 5 races previous to this, equally as muddy and in wooded areas and I did not have this happen to me before. Will I be more aware of my surroundings at future races, you bet because this is just plain miserable and I don’t wish this on anyone. And for those of you thinking “Come on Alysha real badasses would have sucked it up, how bad could it have been?” why don’t you ask Mahk how bad it was and he will give you an honest opinion. I don’t complain about much and I don’t go to the doctors for anything, so you know when I do it’s got to be bad!  And this my friends was bad.

Here is a song to get you through the day and hopefully no one will question your toughness even if you got hit with the rash!

From → mudrace, wickedmuddy

  1. Todd permalink

    well said! I’ve read some of the messages online and everyone keeps on saying “suck it up” and just being jerks. Bottom line.. poo soaked mud is bad and the warrior dash folks seemed very absent the whole weekend..
    I won’t go back to amesbury because it will only be bigger next year and the course and sportsplex just aren’t big enough to handle them…

  2. Alysha permalink

    I think that is what bothers me the most about the Warrior Dash folks, their lack of comments on this issue. It would just be nice for them to say something in regards to this since so many people are starting to put two and two together about how they got these rashes. Because there are a lot of people who won’t be back next year because of this and their lack of response is making me not want to do it either.

  3. The Warrior Dash organizers know how many first-timers were at the event .. those are the people they need to reach out to. I can’t believe they haven’t made a statement.

  4. It is very strange…they said in the Herald article that they are “reaching out” to individuals – I wonder what, exactly, they are doing for folks who got this rash? I came away rash free after the Saturday race, as did my fiance. I’m not allergic to poison ivy, but he is, so I can’t imagine that’s all it was, despite what they’re stating. Maybe I got lucky…I might be an idiot, but I’d do it again!

  5. Alysha permalink

    I sent an email to them as well as a tweet on twitter asking for comments to the warrior dash “rash” and I haven’t heard anything from them. They definitely haven’t been responding to posts on FB either. I am not even mad at them for this, it’s just bad PR not to say anything! It’s going to be bad for their business as well as other mud races out there, people are going to be afraid to do them again if they got it.

  6. I skated on the rash. Very lucky as I’ve seen first hand how miserable Alysha was this past week!

  7. They weren’t very talkative prior to the race either (and if you check back, their page has no communication about more recent races either).

    I think WD just suck at communications, full stop :(

  8. Chuck permalink


    How’s the rash now? I just went thru my prednisone prescription & it’s still just as bad as ever & spreading. I’ve tried every other remedy (salt water, tecnu, epsom salt, rubbing alcohol, cortisone cream) with no luck. It’s nice to know I’m not alone at least.
    I have a dermatology appt. soon.

    • Kara permalink

      I am on the 2nd to last day of my predizone and have found no relief! I did the Dash in MN on June 30 with 5 others and another person in my group has the exact same rash too! I am at my wits end with the itching and have been living on Benedryl for the last week. Please tell me this ends soon!!

      • Alysha permalink

        If I remember correctly mine went away pretty much when I finished taking the meds but it did take a while for it to completely heal. It’s awful that it keeps happening to people at their races :(

    • Kara permalink

      I did the Warrior Dash In MN on June 30. My sister and I both came away with the horrid rash and after 6 days of prendisone I have NO relief! I am going on 2 weeks and it is still HORRIBLE!! Hoping for some relief soon!!!!

      • Alysha permalink

        That is awful!! Hopefully you get some relief soon, no one should feel like that. Definitely let Warrior Dash know, I am getting more and more convinced it’s something they are bringing with them if it’s happening at numerous venues

  9. Alysha permalink

    I just finished my last pill at lunch and I would say that it looks much better than it did right before I went to the doctor on Saturday. That said though people still look at my legs and say “Ewww gross” not knowing how bad it actually was! The swelling is down completely and it’s not super bright red so there has been some improvements. I have a feeling it’s going to take a while for it all to go away, I had it on 75% of my lower body and a few spots on my upper body, but it’s getting there.

  10. Me and my buddies had the dreaded rash, I sincerely thought I had chicken pox. Lasted a real long time. We were thinking… to spoof on them… we want to make t shirts that say “I Survived Rash Dash,” haha… Would anyone here buy/wear that shirt?

  11. Julian Thompson permalink

    A long time Amesbury resident told me that he would never go near the sports park as , he claims, that the Sports Park is built over an old landfill. Its first use was as a driving range, which would not be any issue,..but it is interesting, if this is true that so many people exposed to the wet earth are experienceing an atypical rash…perhaps someone should look into this?

    • Scott Roy permalink

      I lived in Amersbury for 14 years and am signed up to do their race in August of this year. I didn’t think anything of this until my wife mentioned the rash to me last night. The Amesbury Sportspark is indeed build on a landfill. And it wasn’t the best area when I was a kid. If it downpours prior to the race, I will definitely cancel and lose my fees.

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