Several Molallans are preparing for Oregon's Warrior Dash.

by: COURTESY OF SHELDON SANDERS - A few of Molalla's residents who participated in Warrior Dash last year. From left to right: Darren Early, Grant Koutny, Brad Stone, Sheldon Sanders, Jill Lantz, Jay West, Ken Alley, Eric Stafford, Zach Stonehocker and Jake Moore.Through mud pits and trenches, over flaming hurdles and walls, the Warrior Dash may be one of the most difficult 5K runs there is.

Last year, more than 30 Molallans ran it, and this year many of them are heading to North Plains on Sept. 7 to torture themselves again.

"There were no slackers in that group," said Sheldon Sanders, manager of Cutting Edge Fitness. "Everyone went as hard as they could."

Sanders has run the 5K obstacle course two years in a row. The first year he ran it in 50 minutes. Last year he cut that down to 43 minutes, and he hopes to get less than 40 minutes this year.

For some perspective, Sanders runs a normal 5K in around 27 minutes. But normal 5Ks don't dip through mud and cross towering walls and mounds.

Sanders said the most difficult part for him is crossing the water barriers, which draw a lot of heat from the body. "It zaps me."

The best way to train, Sanders said, is simply run outside. "Find and attack hills," he said. Sanders also mixes sprints with pushups and other calisthenics.

Many of the Molallans who ran the Warrior Dash last year expressed a similar sentiment. Strongman Jeff Rose sums it up best: "It was miserable."

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