After such a successful launch in 2013, Warrior Run has become one of the biggest obstacle run events in the South of England. And unlike other events it is only a stone’s throw away from Brighton, taking place just 5 miles North at Qleisure. The first event this year takes place on
Sunday 30th March and we recently had the pleasure of interviewing event organiser Ross Peacock to learn more about how he found last year’s events, how preparations are coming along for March’s Warrior Run, along with any surprises that you can expect on the day
Hi Ross! You had two Warrior Run events in 2013: One in April and one in October. How did you first your first year?
It was a really good first year for Warrior Run, much better than we expected it to be given that we were still trying out ideas to see what would work best, especially for the first event.
For the launch event in April we did a good job of promoting things and the turnout was fantastic, again better than we had hoped for. It was a busy summer for our Qleisure facility so we didn’t have as much time to promote the October event as we would have liked, but even still we had more people register for this event than the first. Most importantly though we had a lot of people returning for a second time having taken part in our April event.
For last year’s October event we made some changes that we felt needed to be done: We made sure the registration process was easier for people turning up on the day and also made sure that we were clear when different heats were starting. We also built more obstacles as opposed to what we had at our launch event. This broke up some of the running and made things much more exciting for people.
Everyone said that the October event was much better than our launch event in April, which was to be expected. Now though we are fully aware with what works and what doesn’t, and most importantly what people want to see in the 2014 Warrior Run events!
The first Warrior Run event of 2014 takes place on Sunday 30th March. Given everything you have leaned from year one, how are you going to approach this event?
The way we set up the registration desks at the October event worked, so we will keep this the same. As for the course, we plan to make it bigger, better and even more fun!
We know now how to make the course flow as it should, and our March event really will have everything set in place as it should be. We brought the March event forward slightly so as to not clash with the Brighton Marathon, and so that the event will be a bit wetter with more mud fun.
We plan to build even more obstacles for our March event, but know now exactly where to put them and how to have them spaced out. For example, an obstacle that can only cater for a small group of people at one time we will put nearer the end of the run when groups have spread out a bit. Having it at the start would just mean that people would be queuing to have a go. Bigger obstacles that can hold more people will be nearer the start of the event instead.
We’re still working on some plans for some new obstacles that will really push the boat out. We don’t want to give too much away, only to say that there will be a few twists to March’s events that people haven’t seen before.
For last year’s launch event we felt that there was a bit of an anti-climax at the end, but we rectified this in our October event with one final obstacle for people to conquer – a dash up a water ridden slide followed by a jump down into a pool. People loved it and it really helped crowds gather to cheer on their friends as they tackled the final hurdle. We will definitely be keeping this for March’s event.
You mentioned more obstacles and a few surprises. How else will the March event differ from last year’s?
Last year’s year’s events were hosted in two different weather seasons, so this year we know exactly how to make this work with us. You can expect more pools of water to wade though and more piles of mud to crawl through. We will also be making improvements to some of are already popular obstacles such as the slip and slide. We really want the slip and slide to stand out in people’s mind so will be making sure that people fly down it!
Are you incorporating any electrical obstacles into this year’s events?
No. When we did our research into launching the event a lot of people said that electrical obstacle were a turn off and that they didn’t enjoy them. We don’t have any plans to incorporate them this year.
In 2013 there was a real mixture of age groups taking part in the Warrior Run. Are you going to continue to be encompassing of all ages?
Absolutely! That’s what we want, to keep it open to everyone. That’s what we think makes our obstacle run stand out, and is another reason why we don’t want to incorporate electrical obstacles.
Warrior Run really is catered for everyone. If you want to run the event at your own pace with friends you can. And likewise if you are competitive then by all means you can fly off into the distance and try to get a good time (we offer chip timing free of charge!).
It’s our goal to make sure that everyone gets something out of taking part in Warrior Run. If the every day person does something that they feel challenged them then they will feel extra proud about themselves. That’s what we want to help them achieve.
What if someone can’t do an obstacle?
Just like last year’s events we do not force people to do the obstacles. That military mindset is not what we’re about. If someone can’t do an obstacle then that’s fine. They have the choice to complete a set of bodyweight exercises such as burpees or press ups that will be assigned by one of our marshals on the station. Or if they can’t do those then they can run around the obstacle and carry on with the event, it’s completely their choice.
Of course it would be great if people could give the obstacles a try, and if they don’t make it then at least they can say they gave it a go. But we’re not the army, and won’t force anyone to do an obstacle they can’t do.
People have said they loved the Warrior Run because it has brought the local fitness community together. How does it feel knowing that has been said about you?
It really does feel great to know that that’s what people have been saying. That was one of the things that we set out to achieve in the first place.
We know that some business that attend Warrior Run, whether they be gyms or Personal Trainer, are normally rivals in day to day life. But it’s great to see them be brought together and for them all to get along.
At the end of the day it’s all about everyone having fun together, not about competing to see who is the best. Knowing that that has been said about us means that we’re doing our job well.
Last year’s events saw the Warrior Run Village give people the opportunity to have a drink and relax before and after their heat. Do you have any plans for the Village this year?
We are looking to make the Village grow for our events in 2014. You’re right, people can grab a drink, and they can also have a bite to eat and chat to some of our partners that have their own stalls there on the day. This year it’s our goal to really turn things into more of a festival feel. There will be music pumping as always, but we have some more ideas to help things grow and to give people more things to do on the day.
How many entrants would you like to see for the March event?
It would be fantastic to hit the 1,000 mark! So far we already have a number of heats that have sold out, so this could very well happen.
We are so excited for March’s Warrior Run event. Last year was great, but it all has been paving the way for this next event. Book your place and get in one the fun!