Warrior Dash Joins the Elite Class
Obstacle Course Races, what we all now refer to as OCRs, are rising every year. Some of these race names are stapled in our brains, like Spartan Race and Tough Mudder, who in their own original way, have certainly earned the right to be to be where they are and maintain the reputation they do in extreme outdoor sports or in the WOCR (World of Obstacle Course Races). Another name who has earned this right and one that many people might not know or perhaps just put to the side as they rather spend their money on a different race, is Warrior Dash.
The Warrior Dash (WD) has not only been around for quite some time but up to this point, has done everything do deliver a more than just an acceptable product, keeping in mind, the people who help pay their rent, RUNNERS!! They offer a fun and challenging course, which is objective of course, because it’s all on how one perceives it, as one may enter these events at specific levels. They generally have reasonable registration fees and have many locations thorough out the U.S. They know how to market their brand, and more important, they strive to keep participants happy, something which many people say, the other big names lack or have lost. WD is recognized for their barbarian Viking helmet logo and known for their fined tuned festival area which in itself, is an attraction. This year in 2014, in the WOCR, Warrior Dash will be now be in the category as one of the top competitive events, for, they have added an ELITE wave and championship event.
Emma Haley, Warrior Dash Co-Director at Red Frog Events, says, “Our event is accessible and challenging for athletes of all fitness levels. We instituted the competitive wave and the Warrior Dash World Championship to challenge the high-caliber athletes looking for bragging rights as the World Champion. As the industry leader, we always want to cater to a variety of athletes, and the competitive wave allows us to do that.”
The Elites can get a real good sense of what type event we are dealing with. It’s as if we pave the way for the rest of the participants, that is, if the Elites show up to a race over and over again in different states /regions, everybody else will definitely catch on and follow, and want to get a piece of the action. The only way we show up is if an enticing element exists to lure us in, and sometimes challenging obstacles are just not enough. Add money to that mix and a slot that separates the Elite from the Obs-elite, then that’s when it starts to get dirty and down to business. So WD, decided to switch it up to attract the Elites by “making it rain.”
“The Warrior Dash World Championship is something we’ve been thinking about for several months after listening to the requests of our Warriors. We are entering our 6th year, and we wanted a way to recognize the elite obstacle racing athletes by offering the largest prize purse in the history of 5Ks, $100,000. Many of these elite racers began their OCR career with Warrior Dash, and we are excited to reward them for their accomplishments, states Haley”
WD says they put in the work they need to in order to keep their brand alive, at a time where so many other OCRs have been falling. They know that, besides the money factor, in the WOCR, we all recognize what’s happening around us, meaning the evolution of this sport and how rapidly it is growing. Like anything else, there are mixed views as to where the sport is going, nonetheless, the people involved are generally excited about the future of OCR.
Haley says, “We are pleased to see OCR becoming a globally recognized sport and are proud of the leadership we’ve played in its development.” Confident, Haley states her case for WD as a brand and wants to educate their warriors to maintain continued success. “Warrior Dash paved the way in the obstacle racing industry by challenging nearly two million racers of all calibers across the globe since 2009. We are the event for everyone…We have the open wave for the everyday athlete, competitive waves and the Warrior Dash World Championship for high-caliber athletes, and as always, a bad-ass after party with a free beer, turkey legs, and other events on-site for the party.
Also new to WD this year are free race photos, which would probably explain the jump in their registration fees, but it’s a small price to pay when you consider how much their photos were in all the previous years. In this sport, it is proven every year that change is good and most certainly inevitable and although WD has been around since 2009, some would say that their competitors have moved ahead by making suitable changes. WD are more than confident with their place in the industry. Perhaps changes had to be thought out a bit longer than the rest, to keep the people happy but they are keeping up with the Jones’ now and in some ways, on the right path to move past their competitors with offers like $125 season passes or buy five and get one free entry, which is perfect for groups/teams. Finally, what good would all these changes be without newly designed t-shirts and medals? There will no longer be the Viking face on the ash-red T, but the very comfortable, lightweight cotton their t-shirts are known for will still remain the same, only in gray.
Look out this year for Warrior Dash! They urge you to become a Warrior today.