The Warrior Dash “Rash”
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!