Fire and mud must have a terrific appeal, enough to attract 14,000 entrants to the first-ever Warrior Dash in Wisconsin this weekend.
Even up against one of the iconic races in the area, the 34th annual Briggs & Al’s Run & Walk for Children’s Hospital, the upstart in Twin Lakes will become one of the largest events in the state at the first gun.
Its instant success, at least in numbers, shows how wildly popular races with obstacles have become. Dirty Girl, Tough Mudder, and the Madison Mud Run are among those that satisfy the need for a mess.
Warrior Dash started out with one even in 2009, outside Joliet, Ill. This year, the line up includes 32 races and locations in Australia and Canada.
The draw: “The fun and the lighthearted nature, while still challenging and being a tough and rugged event,” said Alex Yount, media relations director with the organizers, Red Frog Events. “Combining all that energy into a kick-ass festival at the end of the day.”
Camaraderie on the run. Photo by SportPhoto.
The festival will take place on the same piece of farmland that hosts the Country Thunder music festival.
The 3.1-mile course includes a dozen obstacles, including vehicles to clear, the flames and the mud pit.
“It is not your typical 5K and it’s not your typical Mud Run,” Yount said. We focus on challenging everyone.
“It also provides an environment for someone who maybe has never run a race in their entire life.”