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Warrior Dash

Warrior Dash’s Extreme 5K to Top One Million Racers in 2012

Apparently people like to get muddy. Well, they like to get muddy if they get a medal for it, at least. Adventure racing has exploded in the past few years. People are rising from the couch and willing to get in their cardio more than ever. The Warrior Dash is one of the fastest growing adventure race events in the world.

The Warrior Dash is an extreme 5K race with obstacles. The first event took place in July 2009 in Joliet, IL. Those first 2,000 participants took on the first ever obstacle laden race course and spread the word. That word spread like wildfire! In 2011, more than 33 Warrior Dashes took place across the globe with more than 700,000 participants. This year the organization anticipates hosting 65 worldwide events and welcoming more than 1,000,000 racers.

So what is the draw? What are the people coming to the events for? Each event is a 5K course with at least 12 obstacles along the way. Each event has different obstacles, but some of the favorites include jumping over fire, crawling through mud with barbed wire, navigating the capsized catamaran, or making it through a scrap yard of rusted wreckage. New Warrior Dash obstacles are created all the time to ensure no single event is like the other.
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Mud Runs Explode in Popularity Even Among the Sedentary

I always thought running was dirty. It’s sweaty, sticky, smelly, sometimes salty and therefore crusty. I assumed that was enough to keep most people away, despite the difficulty of the activity itself. However, looking at the growing trend of mud runs, maybe running just wasn’t dirty enough to get your average joe off the couch.

Races with names like The Warrior Dash, The Mud Run, and The Down and Dirty 5K are booming in popularity. For example, the first Warrior Dash was held in Joliet, Ill in 2009. 2,000 participants tramped through the mud obstacle course that year. This year, over 650,000 people have competed in Warrior Dashes all over the world.

These races get their roots from Marine Corps events. The courses are typically either a 5K distance or a 10K distance and they are full of dirty obstacles that are extremely distant from the challenges of road racing.

Some events include military-style challenges such as an 8-foot climbing tower and mud pits. Other races include having to crawl over cars, leaping over fire pits, crawling under barbed wire, climbing ropes, walking a tightrope, or ramming your way through a rubber jungle. Each event is different, but all events include one element: mud.

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