This summer, Nebraska will host its first-ever Warrior Dash, an international race series complete with mud, fire, barbed wire and 11 other "obstacles from hell."
Thousands of people already have volunteered to run, climb and crawl through the 5K course in Louisville, Nebraska.
In fact, within two weeks of the launch, 8,500 people had signed up for the June 9 event. That's a Warrior Dash record. Now, just a week later, that number is nearing 13,000. The Nebraska event is so popular, organizers have decided to open the course on June 10, too.
"We're so excited to see the positive response," said Matthew Robinson, a Warrior Dash race director.
But not surprised, he added. Nebraskans have lobbied for a local race and travelled in large numbers to attend other locations in the Midwest.
He was part of the search committee that scoured Nebraska for a suitable venue. The group found it at the Mad Cow Paintball field in Louisville, which is 30 miles south of Omaha. Robinson said the location has the space to accommodate the large number of participants and the terrain to support the action-packed obstacles.
Among other things, Nebraska "warriors" will crawl under barbed wire, scale wooden barricades, balance on tight ropes, slosh through mud pits and leap over real flames. That particular obstacle is called the warrior roast. "And it's as hot as it sounds," Robinson laughed.
The timed race may sound intense - and it is - but it shouldn't intimidate anyone, he said. "We like Warrior Dash to be a competitive event, but it's also something anyone can run. It's a time to let loose, to have the craziest freaking day of your life."
Safety, though, is the first priority, Robinson said. Paramedics are stationed through the course, just in case.
Casual competitors can take to the 3.3-mile course to laugh and sweat with friends. The zealous athlete can vie for the top prize: an engraved steel helmet. Either way, everyone who finishes earns bragging rights and access to the after-party.
It costs $50 to sign up. The fee covers a warrior helmet, T-shirt, finishers' medal, post-race snacks and a beer for those who are of legal age. Nebraska's Warrior Dash lists 21 start-times on Saturday and on Sunday, which will allow more than 12,000 people to participate each day.
Registration is open online through May 28. It will close early if the Warrior Dash reaches full capacity. Those who sign up on the final day of registration must pay $60.
For more information or to register, click here.
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