Warrior Races – What is the big deal?

When I hear Warrior Race’s my heart goes cold. I have visions of running through swamps, being chased by angry boot-camp trainers and battling fervent A-types in their quest to be the best at everything.


I was recently invited to attend a race with a new friend who did her best to try and sell it to me by saying, “Ag man, it’ll be fun, it’s a 5km obstacle course. You don’t have to run and if you can’t get over an obstacle, we just move on. It’s basically just to have fun, get muddy and laugh at other people battling the same obstacles we did.” She wasn’t convincing enough…

What Is A Warrior Race?

Warrior Races started as the Warrior Dash in America (where else?) and was launched in 2009 by Red Frog Events as a “fun obstacle course race that anyone can start and everyone can finish”. Within the Warrior Dash brand, they now boast over three million participants worldwide and brag that they’ve reinvented the concept of a 5km run and created a revolution: the Warrior Nation.

Their website explains: “Whether you’re an elite athlete or just beginning the challenge, you’ll conquer 12 world-class obstacles, wade across wooded lakes, and venture through mud-caked back roads as you make your loop to the finish line. You’ll be rewarded with a finisher medal, a sweet t-shirt, fuzzy Warrior helmet, and ice-cold beer. Head to the post-race party to relive the course with friends, dance to music, and celebrate your decision to leave your normal weekend in the mud.” So no money or fame, just a beer, dirty clothes, a party and the feeling of primal joy you get when you reconnect with your inner-warrior.

The Warrior Dash pioneered all the Warrior Races we have in South Africa today and it has become a favourite way to spend a weekend for families, athletes and people who like to have a laugh.

If it weren’t for the mud, I would have probably said yes to my friend’s invitation, in fact, I still might. But in the meantime, I take my hat off to all the fine men and women who sacrifice their dignity and weekends, for a spot of fun and a whole lot of warrior.



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