Michigan Warrior Dash
Warrior Dash Obstacles
What is the Warrior Dash?
UPDATE 01/11/2012 - Because of the overwhelming success of this event in Michigan last year, the Warrior Dash will be returning to Michigan in 2012. Nearly 25,000 participants participated in 2011, bringing a lot of commerce to Genesee County. This year, the Warrior Dash will again take place in Genesee County on July 28th and 29th, but a 2nd event in Michigan is planned also.in Grand Rapids. This race is scheduled for September 15th in Millenium Park.
-- Original Article --
The Warrior Dash is an extreme race, described as "3.3 hellish miles" for the Michigan venue. Race length varies from state to state, but is always around 5 kilometers. Coming to Michigan for the first time in 2011, the race will take place on July 30th and July 31st in Mount Morris (see map below). A good sized section of Genesee County Parks and Recreation Commission's E.A. Cummings Center (also known as the Genesee County Fairgrounds) will be utilized for the course.
The obstacles planned for Michigan include a "junkyard jump" (navigate through scrap piles), the "warrior wall" (scale a wooden barrier), the "deadweight drifter" (trudge through water and over floating logs), "chaotic crossover" (climb across horizontal netting), "arachnophobia" (thread through tangled ropes), "slithering swamp" (wade or swim through murky swamp water), "walk the plank" (walk across planks spanning gullies), "cargo climb" (clamber over vertical rope netting), "warrior roast" (jump over burning logs), and finally, "muddy mayhem" (scramble through mud under barbed wire).
blood, sweat, and beer
Brutal Race With A Party Atmosphere
The Warrior Dash combines the anachronistic costumes of a renaissance festival with the competitive spirit of an Olympic race, plus the fun and excitement of an outdoor concert venue. Past Warrior Dash racing attire has included togas, business suits, wedding dresses, and tutus (worn by guys), and of course, viking helmets. Silly costumes are in fact encouraged by the event coordinators, as long as there is no nudity. Friends, family members, and spectators can enjoy live music, beer and food while cheering on their favorite contestants. The racers join in the celebration as they complete the course.
Warrior Dash and Non-Profit Fundraising
Warrior Dash is nationally partnered with GreenSneakers, an organization that collects used shoes, making them available as affordable footwear around the world. This helps ensure that basic needs are met, domestically and abroad.
Warrior Dash also partners locally with non-profit organizations and any group interested in fund-raising. Any group that can field at least 25 volunteers for an 8 hour shift to help manage the event will receive a check for $1000.00.
Fitness from Amazon
Warrior Dash and Similar Events are Big Business
The Warrior Dash and similar events like the "Tough Mudder" bring in enormous revenues. The 2 days in Michigan will feature 44 "flights", 22 per day. The flights begin on the 1/2 hour, and will consist of as many as 600 competitors each. Of the 44 flights, 29 are already completely booked as of this writing, and with entry costing $50 each, that's $870,000. With over 3 months to go before the race, there is a good chance that every flight will be completely booked. If that happens, the Warrior Dash will net about $1.2 million for that weekend alone. The Tough Mudder coming to New England in May can field 7,000 runners, with entry prices ranging from $80 to $180. At this point they are 92% sold out. That means that even at the cheapest entry fees, they've already realized over a $500,000 from participants, plus they charge $15 per spectator.
Obviously this is not pure profit. The organizers have to pay the bands, the help, and one can imagine, some pretty hefty liability insurance premiums. Still, this appears to be a lucrative way to capitalize on the current extreme fitness trend.
Location of the 2011 Warrior Dash in Michigan
E.A. Cummings Center, AKA Genesee County Fairgrounds, location of the 2011 Warrior Dash in Michigan