Press Release: Warrior Dash Helps You Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

Now Through Sunday, January 27, Warrior Week Inspires Participants to Keep Their New Year’s Resolutions

First OCR Warrior Dash 2
Chicago, Ill. – January 21, 2019 – With 2019 in full swing, Warrior Dash, the 5K obstacle course race that more than 3 million people have completed since 2009, wants to help people stick to their New Year’s resolutions with the return of Warrior Week. Beginning today, Warrior Week will feature seven days of training tips, healthy living advice, exciting announcements, discounts, and more.

To celebrate the launch of Warrior Week, now through Sunday, January 27, it’s Buy One, Get One Half Off all 2019 Warrior Dash registrations with promo code WARRIORWEEK19.

Whether trying to improve overall health and fitness, spend more time outdoors, or try new things, New Year’s resolutions aim to improve oneself, but according to Business Insider, nearly 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by February. By signing up for Warrior Dash and following along with Warrior Week, people are one step closer to following through on their resolutions

Warrior Week kicks into gear with a complete core workout by strength trainer Katie Uhran, sponsored by Core PowerⓇ high protein shakes. Sierra will break down the top gear choices to help Warriors conquer the course in 2019 with Warrior’s getting a 101 on healthy snacking from Bobo’s— from how to choose the right snack to healthy snack ideas.

Warriors have three course distances to choose from in 2019: an obstacle-loaded 1-mile course, a 10k option for those wanting to kick it up a notch, and the signature 5k course featuring 12 unique obstacles. As the race that anyone can start and everyone can finish, Warrior Week will help guide Warrior’s to determine, “What kind of Warrior are you?”

Registration

Visit WarriorDash.com to secure a spot in a competitive, preferred, or standard wave at one of Warrior Dash’s 2019 locations.

2019 Warrior Dash Locations:

Florida (Orlando), Feb. 9

Texas (Austin), March 2

California (Los Angeles), March 30

Georgia (Atlanta), April 13

Tennessee (Nashville), May 4

Kansas City, May 11

Oregon (Portland), May 18

North Carolina (Charlotte), June 1

Wisconsin (Milwaukee/Chicago), June 8

Minnesota (Twin Cities), June 29

Illinois (Chicago), July 13

Ohio, July 20

Michigan, July 27

Maryland, Aug. 10

New England, Aug. 17

Kentucky (Cincinnati/Louisville), Aug. 24

Indiana (Indianapolis), Sept. 7

Colorado, Sept. 14

Washington (Seattle), Sept. 21

Pennsylvania, Sept. 28

Oklahoma, Oct. 12

Arkansas (Little Rock), Oct. 19

Gulf Coast, Nov. 2

About Warrior Dash: Warrior Dash is the multi-distance obstacle course race that anyone can start and everyone can finish. Since 2009, over 3 million participants have celebrated their decision to leave their normal weekend in the mud – and the running industry hasn’t been the same since. Warrior Dash and its parent company, Red Frog Events, with the help of participants and a variety of initiatives, have donated over $14.5 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Visit www.WarriorDash.com to learn more or find a location near you.

About Red Frog Events: Red Frog Events is an event production company and a pioneer of the experiential entertainment industry, recognized for its award-winning company culture. Since 2007, the company has developed innovative brands including the Warrior Dash obstacle race series, Firefly Music Festival, and Chicago Beer Classic. Red Frog also provides event services ranging from food and beverage to its ticketing platform, EventSprout. Red Frog has been named one of Forbes’ “Most Promising Companies in America”, has appeared consecutively on Inc. Magazine’s “Fastest Growing Companies” list, and was recognized on Chicago Tribune’s “Top Workplaces” from 2011-2014, among other honors. In recognition of its philanthropic efforts, the company was selected as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital’s “Corporate Partner of the Year”. To date, Red Frog has raised over $14.5 million of a $25 million dollar fundraising commitment to St. Jude and in 2016, announced a one percent profit donation to the organization. Visit RedFrogEvents.com for more information.

Warrior Dash Gulf Coast 2018

 

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Larry Jumonville happy with his performance

Warrior Dash Gulf Coast 2018

Race Start

From parking to packet pick up the Warrior Dash Gulf Coast venue ran far more smoothly than last years.  Everything was simple and easy.  The fact that parking and bag check are included is a nice convenience. Parking was extremely close to the venue and everything from t-shirt pick up to the starting gate were very easy to find and access.   Volunteers were friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable and there were no shortage of them.  The staff also performed extremely well.

Warrior Dash also did a great job at making spectators and competitors alike feel as if they were indeed walking into a muddy fun zone.  The Warrior Dash sign near the entrance was a symbol of fun about to be had.  Volunteers manned sponsor tents well.  One even presented competitors with a nice warm-up area.  As long as Warrior Dash has been in the game they have begun to excel at race and wave starts.

 

 

The Festival

The festival is the area in which Warrior Dash seems to shine most.  It had everything OCR newcomers and veterans could enjoy.  There was beer, food, a rig to play on, kettlebells, a cargo net, corn hole, lots of opportunities for picture taking, kids play course, great shower stations, and even a hand washing station outside of the port-o-potties.  Warrior Dash also utilized their many different contests to keep festival-goers entertained.  Though the stein holding contest didn’t seem to happen (at least while I was there) the added plank challenge was a nice addition.   There were far more participants in this newer contest as well as the staple push up and tug-of-war contests.  Everyone seemed to be having a really great time and no one seemed bored.

The Course

Designers laid out the course better than last year.  Though many of the obstacles and routes were similar, Warrior Dash made enough changes to make the course feel fresh.   What was not so fresh were the abundance of A-Frames and other climbs.  I understand that this is one of the most basic obstacles that newcomers can conquer. This is Warrior Dash’s bread and butter.  However, the repetitiveness may dissuade some newcomers.

The small slip walls bookending a small barbed wire crawl designed by Grunt Style was a nice beginning.  Upslide down, a favorite of many was a nice break up of running through fields.  Super Soaker gave us an added twist this year by inserting a slip wall bridged with two by fours in the middle of the balance beams making it both more and less challenging at the same time.  I am sure this made the obstacle more enjoyable to those not balance adept.

The Course Second Half

A new obstacle, Rockslide, was a great new addition which added some grip elements.  Though rock climbing grips were the key focus of the obstacle, a toe board underneath allowed competitors to support their weight and shimmy across while gripping.  This allowed the obstacle to be less overbearing for beginners.  Builders suspended each lane allowing them to swing with the competitors’ weight and movement.  This made the obstacle much more fun.  This was much more fun than a stabilized version would have been and brought joy to many racers.

The course ended nearly identically to last year with a fire jump, followed by pallet jacked, and muddy mayhem.  Muddy mayhem was much more fun and muddy this year.  Pallet Jacked offered four separate lanes – two difficult and two easier lanes.  The less difficult pallets were connected with chains allowing less movement from the pallets.  However, I preferred the difficult lane as it allowed me to utilize gymnastic skills gripping the straps and leapfrogging from pallet to pallet.  The volunteers on course did a superb job of cheering on competitors especially at the end through the muddy mayhem.  A good time was had by all both on and off of the course.

Terrain

Once again the flat region of the Mississippi Coast doesn’t offer much in the way of elevation or tough terrain, but Warrior Dash utilized what they were provided in a great way.  The field allowed a bit of difficulty in the softness of the ground and occasional ruts and mud to run through.  There were also a few trails with the occasional slight elevation to push competitors just a tad harder.  All in all, a very good venue for beginners to test themselves on and learn how to handle the basics of trail running.

Ceremony

The awards ceremony also went very well.  Officials presented competitors with shirts and certificates. They announced each competitor’s time and presented them with an entry to the OCR national championships.   The crowd gave winners their due admiration.  In the spirit of Warrior Dash, all competitors were humble and knew that what was most important was the fun they had out on the course.

Warrior Dash Gulf Coast 2017

Warriors are Willing to Work for It

Warrior Dash holds a special place in my heart despite its lack of EXTREME CHALLENGE.  The lack of difficulty is not a good reason to pass on the “beginners race.”  If Savage, Spartan, and Conquer the Gauntlet are super healthy foods like organically raised salmon, fresh farm raised avocados and naturally grown kale then Warrior Dash is a spinach/chicken wrap.  While it may not be on the “superior” level of the other races, it takes on an extremely important role in being the bridge for many into OCR or even into a healthy lifestyle.

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Competitor Nathan Beisser after having a great time during his run in the pro wave

 

Helping Start the Addiction

While I may not have encountered obstacles that pushed me to my brink, I did see and meet far more newcomers who were there to make an effort at slowly improving their unhealthy lifestyles than at any other race.  I also encountered more “running for a cause” teams than I have seen recently.  Warrior Dash is that beginning step that is necessary for many.  We can’t all dive head first.  Some of us have to begin with dipping one foot in at a time (not charging for parking or a bag check helps.)  This is where the average working Joe or Jill can see the potential to become greater than they thought possible.

Mud Pit

Venue

The venue of the Harrison County Fairgrounds in Gulfport, Mississippi proved to offer more challenge than most would have anticipated from a mostly flat area.  Though any sort of incline was very rarely found, running three miles in a soggy field that gave way with every step proved to take away some of the speed many competitors would have normally had on a more dry or packed terrain.  Muddy areas were easy to create and find, though they weren’t as large as I have seen before from Warrior Dash.  Even at the finish, each mud pit seemed less like a pit and more like a hole.  The trail was cleared and marked extremely well.  It would have been extremely hard to get lost.

Nets…. Nets Everywhere

The obstacles were a lot of the usual Warrior fare.  There was a lot of crawling under wire and a lot of net usage.  From normal cargo climbs to pipeline to the new (and really fun) Upslide Down I saw more cargo nets during this race than I could shake a stein at. Cargo nets serve as a great introduction to new racers as an obstacle that can burn you out.

Warrior Dash also earned positive points for its new obstacle Upslide Down.  It was a simple, fun obstacle though it could have been longer.  A flat slide lay under a cargo net.  Competitors laid on their backs and proceeded to utilize the cargo net to pull themselves down the slide.  I had a blast with this one and hope to see more like it in the future.

Pallet Jacked

Rather than placing Goliath at the end, Warrior Dash left their new obstacle “Pallet Jacked” front and center for spectators to check out.  I can rightfully say I underestimated this obstacle.   I assumed running across pallets suspended from straps wouldn’t be a problem.  However, the pallets swung and moved vertically depending on weight distribution.  I enjoyed the slight challenge of this obstacle as well as the creativity of Warrior Dash race designers in utilizing simple construction to create a very fun obstacle.  Much like a good hamburger, both of Warrior Dash’s new obstacles offered a lot of satisfaction for something so easily and affordably constructed.

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Stein Holding Competition Trophy

Party Time

Warrior Dash knows what it does well and continues to improve on it year after year by offering more after race competitions and activities than any other race series.  The push-up contests let the macho bros show off for the crowd.  The tug-of-war competition gives families and teams the opportunity to work together and have a good time.  The stein holding competition allows warriors to prove their grip strength and grit and walk away with a free stein.  Even if warriors don’t want to join in on these competitions there are rigs to play on, beer pong setups to play around with, an awesome DJ, and lots of cornholing… I mean the game with the bean bags.

Tug of War

Tug of War Competition

Warrior Dash offers many of the best beer choices and food around as well as the ability to refill your stein for a moderately steep price. A plethora of patrons seemed to be having an amazing time at the festival.  I will be surprised if Warrior Dash doesn’t return to the coast next year given the huge turnout.  Seeing so many newcomers and groups of friends discovering the joys of OCR together filled my heart with glee. I left the festival with a huge smile on my face – not for my own accomplishments, but because I saw something I loved growing and I saw people spreading fitness, love, and no hate all in one place.  That’s one of the better achievements that any of us can achieve in this lifetime.

 

Mr. Incredible

Mr. Incredible receives his newly designed Warrior Dash Medal

Warrior Dash Georgia 2015

The morning was cool, and the sun had not yet appeared over the tops of the northern Georgia Mountains. The 8:30 elite racer heat was called to the start line and after a few pictures were taken, a five-second countdown and eruptions of fire signaled the start of the race. Racers were immediately sent into the trails around the backside of Camp Blue Ridge, where they faced the toughest slopes that the race would offer. This section of the race greatly suited the strong runners of the group, as the first mile of the race only had one obstacle – “The Trenches.”

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At the start of the second mile, runners encountered the first of a string of obstacles, which was a 30-yard swim through water so cold that I had some trouble breathing. This obstacle was followed by a collection of relatively simple obstacles, such as a short barbed-wire crawl, a few small walls for racers to go over and under, the “Great Warrior Wall,” a barbed-wire crawl in a pit of muddy water, the “Diesel Dome,” and the fire-jump. This series of obstacles culminated with another water obstacle called “Alcatraz,” and then participants were sent on another run along a paved roadway and walkway until meeting the final three obstacles. First was the “Chaotic Cargo,” a tall structure covered in cargo net that the smart racers walked or rolled across when possible, while the others slowly crawled. Second to last was the “Pipeline,” or tight tunnels of cargo net that dashers had to climb up into and then through. Lastly came my favorite obstacle, the “Goliath.” This multifaceted obstacle started with a rope climb up an angled wall, and was then followed by a balance beam walk over water twenty feet below. To finish, warriors climbed up the last part of the structure, and then shot down a large (and fun) water slide into the muddy water below. After climbing up a steep muddy bank, racers were at the finish line.

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There were a few aspects that I thought could have been improved about the Warrior Dash. First, the race was shorter than the advertised 3 miles on the Warrior Dash website. Several racers tracked their path via GPS and the actual distance seemed to be around 2.5 miles. With the race being shorter than expected, I felt slighted over that half mile I did not get to run. Next, the obstacles within the race could have been better distributed. In such a short race, I and many others thought it a strange choice to have essentially a complete mile of running, after which it seemed that the obstacles were unnecessarily stacked in close proximity to each other. Lastly, and most importantly, a portion of the race was run on pavement, which I felt inappropriate for an obstacle course race. The whole point of obstacle racing is to go off in nature and climb new, innovative obstacles, run through beautiful woods, and get muddy. Everyday we can all go for a run down the street, and I, for one, don’t want any pavement in the obstacle course races for which I pay.

warrior dashAs a whole, however, there were many things that the 2015 Georgia Warrior Dash did very well. The trails that ran behind the camp were beautiful and were a pleasure to run through. Moreover, motivational quotes scattered throughout the course proved to be a nice and comedic touch. I could not have agreed more when I got to the top of the largest hill and was greeted with a poster saying, “we wish you had trained too.” The obstacles were, in general, well-constructed and fun to traverse. The aforementioned Goliath ended the race on a great note, as I’m sure the water slides put a smile onto nearly every racers face. There were more swimming elements than I initially expected, but this was a welcome surprise, especially for heats later in the day after the temperature rose. As for the non-racing aspects, the Warrior Dash was well organized overall. The staff and volunteers were friendly and helpful, the live music entertaining, and the venue adequately set up.

warrior dash 2In conclusion, the Georgia 2015 Warrior Dash was overall a successful event. I definitely enjoyed spending my day out there and felt it was worth the drive. If the race directors look to improve on the points mentioned before, I feel that next year’s Warrior Dash will be an event to which racers of all skill levels and ages can look forward.

*Photos By: Emory OCR Graduated Students

FullSizeRender-1Evan Dackowski is currently a junior enrolled at Emory University. As the Co-Founder and Co-President of the Emory Obstacle Course Racing club, he provides students with opportunities to train for and compete in obstacle course races across Georgia.

How to Win Warrior Dash

How to win Warrior Dash

In 2012, I beat nearly 17,000 other people to win a Warrior Dash – my first obstacle race ever.

I had no previous experience with any of the obstacles, I never studied the course, and I had no idea what to expect. And when I started, my only goal was just to have fun!

I didn’t do any particular exercises to get stronger (like CrossFit) or practice any of the obstacles. Today I’ll show you how to train for Warrior Dash – and potentially even win.

How to Execute Your Race Strategy

The majority of Warrior Dash courses start on a narrow trail that requires a more strategic start than road races. Start near the front of the pack – you don’t want to get caught behind the masses of runners causing bottle necks at each obstacle. Start fast and get out front to avoid that bottleneck.

Obstacle courses are almost always on technical trails or uneven grass fields. The varying terrain and footing will definitely slow you down and present challenges, so pay attention to where you put your foot.

The first rule of tackling the obstacles is to take your time; you don’t want to get cut by barbed wire or suffer a running injury from one of the obstacles. You won’t gain much time by hurrying over an obstacle, so relax and focus on completing it once without hurting yourself.

You’ll probably encounter a combination of many obstacles:

  • A three-story cargo net
  • A vertical wall with just a rope to pull yourself over the top
  • A series of enormous tires to navigate (don’t trip!)
  • Tunnels, pools of water, and other walls to cross
  • Fire, mud, and more barbed wire than a federal prison. Excited yet?

Let’s not also forget the hills – the many, many hills! Almost every obstacle course race, particularly Warrior Dash, are on rolling hills and technical terrain. In fact, many courses bill themselves as “mountainous.”

An event with these types of challenges requires a methodical, smart approach. Here’s how you can accomplish your Warrior Dash goals with the same approach.

Warrior Dash Racing & Training

There are six ways to race and train effectively for Warrior Dash:

1.  Stay healthy and don’t get injured

The obstacles are real so slow down and take your time over each one. Crawl low enough under the barbed wire, jump high enough over the fire, and go slowly over cargo nets and high walls.

If you have long hair, wear your hair low but put together so it doesn’t get caught on ropes, wires, or other obstacles. Remember: the time you gain by rushing is negated if you fall, get hurt, or have to repeat an obstacle.

2. Always start close to the front

If you start at the back of the pack you’ll be stuck behind hundreds of other runners. Get out in front of everyone else so you’re not wasting time at a bottleneck. Plus, navigating an obstacle without any other competitors is a lot easier.

3. Boost your strength

You don’t need to spend hours in the gym or join a CrossFit box. But working with relatively light weight, will make traversing all of the obstacles faster and easier.

4. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable

If your goal is to run fast, you have to run fast during training. Running a variety of paces during training – including 1-2 faster workouts per week – will help you run fast between each obstacle so you can finish higher up in the field.

Since most courses are on hilly terrain, it’s also helpful to run a weekly hill workout so you’re comfortable running fast uphill.

5. Run more trails

Since most OCR’s – especially Warrior Dash – are on dirt trails, paths, grass, and other technical terrain it’s incredibly beneficial to have experience running on these surfaces. Give yourself an enormous advantage by running more trails and you’ll improve your balance, proprioception, agility, and your comfort level with running fast on uneven terrain.

6. Run more weekly mileage

The “dirty little secret” as to why I was able to win a Warrior Dash and beat almost 17,000 other competitors is that I was running more. My preparation was almost entirely endurance training – and that fact alone helped me most when I won by over a minute.

Other competitors likely had more strength, power, or speed over the obstacles. But in between each obstacle I was able to run very fast. And that’s way more important.

If you train like a runner, there’s no doubt that you’ll run faster in any obstacle race you enter.

Smarter Training = Faster Racing

Almost anyone can enter and complete a Warrior Dash. You don’t need to specifically train for a short-course obstacle race.

Here are several other ways to prepare for an OCR:

  • Enter several trail races. The hills and technical terrain will better prepare you for Warrior Dash than road racing.
  • Spend 20-30 minutes doing bodyweight strength exercises several times per week. This type of general strength approach is all you need to succeed at short-course obstacle racing.

If you’ve gotten tired of “normal” road races and need an exciting new challenge, a race like Warrior Dash presents a different way to run. Plus, it’s a lot of fun!

But always remember that those who train like runners will always be on the podium at Warrior Dash.

Have fun, train smart, and race fast!

Jason Fitzgerald is a 2:39 marathoner, USA Track & Field certified coach, and the winner of the 2012 Maryland Warrior Dash. He is the creator of Strength Running where he helps runners get faster and prevent injuries.

Warrior Dash Review- Oregon, 2014

Warrior Dash is an easier mid-level mud run that is a staple in the OCR circuit. I put it at mid-level because the obstacles are actually made out of boards and mud, and not bubbles and inflatables. But, it’s still a relatively accessible race, especially since there are no penalties for passing on an obstacle — actually, this year the race wasn’t even timed.

This race is the race that got me started three years ago when I ran with a small group from one of my gyms. I have always loved Warrior Dash. I like the venue, it always has had the best mud, and some creative challenges. Except this year, I was a little disappointed. If I had never been to a Warrior Dash before, I would have thought it was great. Unfortunately, it was not up to it’s usual standards.

One of the things I loved about this race were the unique obstacles. The first year, we were climbing over cars, sliding down poles, jumping from one purposfully wobbly platform to the next. And the mud, was excellent. Lots of thick, clay mud that would never come out of your clothes! It was the best mud.

This year, most every obstacle was some rendition of climbing over or under something. Mostly walls and nets.

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As opposed to say, last year’s lateral cargo net crossing, or maybe a balance beam or previously mentioned obstacles from earlier years. The exception was Alcatraz and the Pipeline — which was a new unique challenge that I really enjoyed.

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There was only mud in two spots. The aptly named Mud Mounds and the Muddy Mayhem mudpit at the end. There were some more interesting looking obstacles on the course map that didn’t show up in the actual race. The Mud Mounds are actually quite fun. The technique this year was to try to jump from one mound to the next, missing the thick sticky mud at the bottom completely. Because if you landed in it, you were doomed. And, you probably lost a shoe.

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The mud at the end however, was disgusting. Previously, this was always my favorite. If you hadn’t gotten muddy enough, you were guaranteed to come out coated in it after wading through the chest-high trough of icky sticky mud. Until this year. It was black, it was gritty, and it was smelly. It looked and smelled like potting soil. No one wanted to put their hands in it, most people were lamenting over the texture and the smell as they were gingerly making their way through it. This picture says it all.

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That being said, I do want to compliment them on going the extra mile to ensure the fire jump happened even though there was a burn ban in place. They had sprinklers going all around the area to make sure it safe — and I very much appreciate that. The fire jump is a quintessential ending to any good mud run.

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The race unfortunately seemed to be suffering from a lack of funding and volunteers. Many of the obstacles had a sponsor and were branded, including the rinsing pond. It was well organized for the most part, though the flow of registration left a little to be desired, requiring you to push back through the lines of registrants to get to gear check. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a fun, solid, race and you should go if you get the chance. I will definitely go again. It just used to be a little bit better. But, if you’ve never been, you wouldn’t know the difference.

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Overall though, Warrior Dash has well-built obstacles with the perfect amount of challenge for the adequately in-shape, adventurous beginner. A fun atmosphere with a big stage for the live band, that can be viewed from the grassy hill while enjoying your gigantic turkey leg after visiting the beer garden. On the way out be sure the visit the very fairly priced merch tent for some quality take-homes. Just be sure to pay close attention to where you parked. And, if you’re directionally challenged, like me, recruit your friends to help.

*Photos By: Katrina Blackwell and Warrior Dash.