The popularity of the Warrior Dash was shocking in my mind to say the least. How… what… why? This probably is because it seems less than challenging, granted, as CrossFitters, we all know the challenge lies in how hard you go. But myself and my friends “use” our fitness to race in the woods for up to 30 hours straight. To me, that is challenging.
So the Warrior Dash, not so much. Spartan Race, Tough Mudder… more so. But what is this whole getting muddy, for the purpose of getting mussy thing? Seems like ruining perfectly good Inov-8′s would be less than enticing for the sake of ruining them. Nonetheless, they are crazy popular. So we began looking at them… and sure enough, I can totally see the lure. For the average person who has totally lost their glory days, this is a first step in the right direction. For an avid athlete, it is an outlet for competition which is much more enticing than simply running a 5k. For a CrossFitter, it is an opportunity to test yet another set of skills.
We had purchased the domain name for Firebreather Challenge more than a year prior to even thinking about obstacles. At the time we had pegged a more appropriate use of the name. An elite event with tasks so difficult that we would surely give away all profit just securing the appropriate insurance for the event. An absolute test not only of fitness, but of guts. We still are working on something like this, but realized that everyone has a little Firebreather in them, and we want to introduce them to what that means.
So the development of an obstacle course race began. One with similar obstacles as what you might see in the Spartan or Tough Mudder races. Decent distances with 5-10 miles being the average plan. Carrying, pulling, dragging, lifting would all be incorporated as well. But then we come up with the next idea.
In as many cases as we can, partner with a local CrossFit box in the locale that we are hosting the event, market outside of the CrossFit community, then drive people to want to explore a “What is CrossFit” booth, web-site FAQ, or other setup designed to answer initial questions. In addition, co run a Garage Games CrossFit event, with a beginner division that is SO beginner, that anyone can come try to compete, and feel a taste of CrossFit.
Our best attempt at this (well, we are kind of green, so I could be wrong) will be at the Metropolis, IL Superman Celebration on June 9th. The Firebreather Challenge will be set up as a full blown obstacle course race. In addition, we have a hardcore Garage Games Event going on, “Kryptonite”. But we have this really easy, one day only, beginner comp, that adds two short events after the Firebreather Challenge. It will be run with the logistics allowing people to “add on” the beginner comp, the DAY OF the competition. Everyone running the Firebreather will be asked “would you like to add on the Garage Games, a CrossFit style competition, for $20?” Then given an explanation of what that means.
So we’ll see. We are currently working to put a $10,000 advertising budget into that event, to drive the Firebreather, and the beginner division. We hope to get a HUGE RX group too, so that newcomers can see what true elite fitness looks like. But only time will tell how well attended that side of the event will be. So, we are looking at putting these events all over the country. And partnering with CF Boxes to get the word out and draw the masses. We can see that Reebok and CrossFit HQ are really spreading the word, to me that is a sign that we need to pick up our swords and join the battle. Hope ya’ll are with us!
That is why we are running one at Beast of The East, and at our Biloxi event as well. We’ll keep adding them, but will keep adding them where we can bring people in to see CrossFit at work as well!
Thanks for loving the sport. - Dr. E