Warrior Dash shook the obstacle racing world today with their announcement of the 2014 Warrior Dash World Championship.  This was startling on a couple of fronts – first, entering the world of highly competitive racing veers from their “beer-drinking, costume-wearing, party atmosphere.” Second, and perhaps the most controversial, is that it is scheduled on the same date (Oct 18th) as the previously announced OCR World Championships.  That stirred a lot of questions, so I emailed Adrian Bijanada a list of those questions and he graciously responded to them quickly.

Did you know about the Warrior Dash World Championship before they announced it?
“I did. I had a call with them prior to Christmas when they looped me in. And to be very clear, we harbor no ill will towards Warrior Dash. If their championship increases participation in OCR then it’ll be good for everyone, including us. It’s not ideal due to the date on which it falls, but that’s an issue for my company. But me as an athlete, I love it.”

How does the announcement of the Warrior Dash World Championship occurring on the same date as the OCR World Championships affect your event?
“This could be me being very naive, but I don’t think it’ll have too much of an impact. I actually think we offer VERY different racing experiences.  For example, our event is entirely results driven. The only way to get in is by meeting the results criteria at a growing number of qualifying races and for that reason we will host a broader field of athletes. We want the 45-year-old male from Tennessee who was a top ten finisher at Superhero Scramble going up against a competitor who qualified at Atlas. Or the 30 woman who qualified at True Grit in Australia to compete against her counterpart from the Netherlands (yes, we have a qualifying race series in the Netherlands to announce!).Second, we offer a longer course with 30+ obstacles. If there’s one thing I’ve heard OVER AND OVER from athletes it’s that they want it’s plenty of serious obstacles. And that’s exactly we will deliver.”

Do you anticipate ‘losing’ some racers to the Warrior Dash World Championship?
“Possibly, but truthfully that would happen with any weekend we chose in this market. Yes, there will be some speedy 5K runners out there that will opt for Warrior Dash, but I think we are offering something much bigger. Take the cash payout for example–Warrior Dash offers 10 cash eligible spots. As of right now, we offer 54 and that’s likely to grow. We also offer team and Journeymen divisions, both of which highlight two of the best parts of OCR.”

Is Warrior Dash chip-timing their races again?
“I don’t believe so. Their website seems to indicate that they’ve eliminated timing for all their 2014 events.”

From the business perspective, will Warrior Dashes still count as qualifying events for the OCR World Championships?
“Yes, but only their Competitive Wave due to the lack of timing.”

Do you think that the majority of the elite OCR athletes will choose the OCR World Championships despite the large cash prizes for Warrior Dash’s event?
“I do, but I also understand the draw of a large cash prize. With that said, we also haven’t released our cash prizes yet so I think we’ll have to wait and see. 🙂      All in all, choices are good for consumers and it creates more of them.  And I think that’s something both us and Warrior Dash can appreciate.”

2014 is shaping up to be an extremely interesting year for competitive racers: several ‘championship’ races and the re-birth of Extreme Nation.  Hang on, everyone., It’s going to be a wild ride!