Imagine, 10 miles into an exhausting race, coming up on a row of rings hanging from an overhead rope—half that line up with your arms and half that line up with your feet.
Imagine having to navigate your way through these rings without falling into a water pit below. And if you get through it, you keep on going for up to 10 more miles—with even more obstacles along the way.
This is the Warrior Dash to the extreme—and one of two new race series that Red Frog Events, the creators of Warrior Dash, is debuting in 2013.
The Iron Warrior Dash will be a course between 15 and 20 miles long with 26 obstacles—including the aforementioned "Iron Crossing"—along the way. That's at least five times longer than the normal Warrior Dash course, with twice as many obstacles.
Another series, the Urban Warrior Dash, is a 5-mile run through city streets complete with 14 urban-themed obstacles along the way.
"We really pride ourselves in listening to our warriors," said Alex Yount, race director for the Iron Warrior Dash. "We've been getting emails about a longer-distance race or one in the city or even crazier ideas than that."
The original Warrior Dash is a course roughly 5K in distance that features 12 obstacles, including mud, fire, cargo nets, walls and more. The Iron Warrior Dash will debut with a 15.2-mile course in Smithville, Texas (near Austin) on March 16.
As you might imagine, running in excess of 15 miles and taking on 26 physically grueling obstacles along the way isn't for the casual endurance athlete.
"People are going to have to be in pretty good shape to get through it and accomplish it," Yount said. "It's significantly more difficult than our standard Warrior Dash."
If the city life is more your thing, the Urban Warrior Dash is going to keep the big-city streets in mind when the race series debuts on March 2nd in downtown San Diego. Obstacles that will dot the 5-mile route include an "impound" obstacle that resembles a junkyard (including old tires to dance through), a "tightrope" made out of concrete barriers, and more.
"We're getting rid of the fire, getting rid of the mud, but it will still very much have that Warrior Dash feel," Yount said. "We're taking what we've established out on the trails and bringing it to the heart of the city."
The two new race series are the Warrior Dash's answer to the exploding popularity of obstacle-course races—and the diversified interests of participants that come with the bigger numbers.
"We really wanted to give everyone an opportunity to experience Warrior Dash," Yount said, "in a new way."join the MOB.