By Peg Rusconi, WBZ-TV

AMESBURY (CBS) – Warrior Dash New England is billed as an extreme event, challenging runners with trails, obstacles and mud.

This year, there was a lot more mud than expected. The event was held in Amesbury in late June and before the race, downpours had soaked the course.

“It was a lot of fun,” said Tammy Rebello, who ran the race with friends. “However the aftereffects I wasn’t anticipating.”

She’s talking about a rash that developed a few days later.

She didn’t think much of it until the friends she ran with also reported rashes.

“It’s everywhere the mud touched me I have a rash,” said Michelle Pupka, whose legs are covered with small red dots.

On Facebook, other runners have complained of rashes. Some, like Tammy, say doctors have diagnosed it as poison ivy. Others say it’s something else.

WBZ-TV’s Peg Rusconi reports

Regardless, Tammy and Michelle say, for their $50 entry fee, they expected more protection, even though they signed waivers.

“Going through the race and getting muddy and bumps and bruises and sprained ankles is expected,” said Rebello. “But coming out and suffering week two weeks later covered in a rash is not expected.”

A Chicago-based spokesperson for Warrior Dash says safety is paramount– and first-aid certified staff members walk the course many times before an event. She says they bring in their own specially-sifted, contaminant-free dirt for the mud pits they make.

On that weekend in Amesbury, the rest of the mud on the course was nature-made– and whether that had something to do with the dash rash remains a mystery.

The Warrior Dash is a popular event held in 33 US cities and Australia.

Comments (83)
  1. Corey says:

    I didn’t want to respond but after reading all these replies calling people that are asking about a “mysterious rash” whiners and babies I just had to. You people with your negative responses need to get a f*cking life. I too have this rash. I thought it was just poison ivy (which I’ve had tons of times before) so I used calmine lotion to get rid of it like every other time… UNFORTUNATELY for me it’s not poison ivy because it’s not going away. I’m going to see a doctor tomorrow to find out what I have or at least see what they reccomend to get rid of it. I’m sure people DID get poison ivy from runniing in the mud in the woods. That wouldn’t be surprising at all! But the fact is a LOT of people have a rash that they can’t explain and they want answers. What’s wrong with that? Also it’s not just woman that this is happening to. Men too. Like me. Seriously, if you don’t have anything to do with this race NOR have a rash, get a life and go read some other posts that actually DO have something to do with you.

    1. Cheryl says:

      Well done!!!!!!

    2. Corey says:

      I saw the doctor today and she put me on a steroid for a week. She said that it was more than likely plant induced dermatitis and to take Benadryl for the itching.

    3. Michelle Farnkoff says:

      After itching for almost 2 weeks straight, I went to see my dermatologist. She put me on a very strong steriod cream. I have only been on it for about two days and you can barely see it anymore and there is no more itching.

  2. Scott says:

    From Amesbury, know the area well, and ran the race. This course was not run on a landfill. Did have an inexplicable rash from the knees down that fortunately cleared up in about a week. Have had poison ivy a number of times and this was definitely not poison ivy. Have also had folliculitis and although this had some similarities I am not convinced that it was folliculitis… The RIDICULOUS amount of mud made this the best race of its kind that I have ever done, and would do it again tomorrow!

  3. Samantha says:

    I have the same rash. I thought it was poison ivy but it doesn’t run in lines. So I called the drs. they put me on a cream but it didn’t work. So now I’m on a steroid since I’m going on 2 wks with this!! Let’s hope this works!

  4. Lynn says:

    I had the same rash. Having had poison ivy many times I can say with certainty it’s something else. Nearly 3 weeks later it’s almost gone without any treatment except witch hazel for the itch. Great race that I’ll definitely run again.

  5. BJ says:

    Me and a friend ran it on sunday the 26th and we did not get this rash.

  6. Enrico says:

    Sorry to hear some of you are still suffering. I ran the WD that Saturday and was one of the unfortunate souls to contract the “warrior rash”, which has cleared for the most part. So far I’ve heard folliculitis, parasites, poison ivy, and various unknown ailments requiring treatment. To the “I’ll never do this event again” crowd, questioning the organizers, planners, mud sifters, parking lot attendants, and beer stand vendors for not doing diligence to prevent this, please stop. You’re running through woods, mud, and climbing over obstacles thousands of others had before you. What did you expect would happen? Next year, run the race and take your chances because you all had a great time and walked away elated, despite the subsequent result.

  7. Kerri says:

    Still have the Warrior Rash. Didn’t plan on being a Warrior for a month+. Antibiotics didn’t work. Steroids over the past week has made some difference. Still have the rash and now left with scars. :-( Timing stinks. Middle of summer and no dresses, skirts, shorts, bathing suit for awhile with this rash and scarring.

  8. Aref says:

    Me and my buddies also got the dreaded rash… we thought it was chicken pox and my legs are raw from itching! We were thinking… to play a friendly spoof on them… we want to make t shirts that say “I Survived Rash Dash,” haha… Would anyone here want to buy/wear that shirt?

    1. Gail says:

      I certainly would, I stil have the rash, going to the Dr. today!

      1. Gail says:

        But I will be running it next year!!!! Great time!!!

    2. Kerri says:

      My shirt would say “and have the scars to prove it”. My legs look horrible! 9/15/11

  9. Alyssa says:

    I still have the rash and it’s almost a month later. Driving me crazy. Def not poison ivy to those who say that’s all it is. I’m really allergic to poison ivy and this looks nothing like it. Went to the Dr and they gave me 2 different creams which aren’t really helping much….

  10. Tammy says:

    I STILL have the rash as well… goes away then comes right back again int he same areas. What the heck is it?

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