It has been a big couple of weeks for BattleFrog Series between the expansion to 44-races throughout the United States and Canada in 2016 as well as the announcement of their championship race in December. Today in a Mud Run Guide exclusive, BattleFrog announced that it has hired, Ryan Atkins and Marco Bedard to design future BattleFrog courses in 2016.
“Our company is making a major leap forward by employing the creativity, experience and passion of these brilliant stars to design BattleFrog courses,” said BattleFrog CEO Ramiro Ortiz. “We are adding a new element to what was already the finest design team in the industry. Our customers will be thrilled by their BattleFrog experience as we grow into exciting new markets.”
Both Atkins and Bedard emphasize the overall customer experience and draw on past experiences to give participants the best courses. They both bring to the table unique attributes and experiences that BattleFrog says will continue to raise the quality of the racer experience. Olympian Marco Bedard said of his future course designs:
“Between OCR, cross-country skiing and biking I’ve participated in over 800 races. I’ve planned, budgeted, trained and had high expectations for races, so I understand the elements of a complete customer experience. I’ll be designing exciting, smooth courses. They will challenge athletes who push themselves and will be enjoyable for first-time athletes. Everyone will have bragging rights at the finish line.”
For Atkins, the position will allow him to expand on his experience in trail building, landscape design, and mechanical engineering. In the past, Atkins has helped in obstacle construction and course layout for Canadian race series, Mud Hero. His trail building experience also extends to trails for private property owners as well as building sections of the Trans-Canada trail. In speaking with Atkins, he sent us a photo of one of the recent trails he built. Atkins commented on his trail design:
“We are in the most beautiful places on this great continent, so of course I will emphasize the terrain and create an amazing outdoor experience.”
To Atkins, BattleFrog is the ultimate family experience. “BattleFrog is a health and fitness lifestyle rooted in family and country. I am designing courses around these core values. I want to inspire friends and families to get outside and share exciting memories. Come and join us at BattleFrog and experience greatness outdoors.”
BattleFrog’s Site Selection and Pro Team Director Ben Killary compared Atkins and Bedard to top golfers designing courses. “This is a huge step forward for OCR,” said Killary. “Most of the best golf courses in the world are designed by top golfers because they’ve played everywhere and know what works for an amazing experience. Now you will be able to run a Ryan Atkins signature course. How cool is that? Our racers know: You Gotta Live it! ™”
Naturally, the OCR community will be talking about the fact two of the most decorated athletes in OCR will be racing and designing courses. We asked about their future as racers and course designers. Both said they plan to continue racing as BattleFrog Pro Athletes in 2016, though not competitively on courses they design. Athletes don't have to worry about trying to beat Atkins on his own course.
Bedard said on racing courses he or Atkins designs: “I’m not sure it would be fair to race a course we designed ourselves. So maybe instead I’ll post a practice time, and we’ll give a special medal or prize if you can beat me or Ryan's test run on our courses.”
This will surely open the podium up for new athletes who can try to best Bedard's or Atkin's times on one of their signature courses in 2016. Atkins and Bedard will start work following obstacle racing’s major championships, including The BattleFrog Series Championship in Orlando, Florida on December 12. Their first courses will be announced in early 2016, Mud Run Guide will update as soon as we know which course will be designed by whom.
Are you looking forward to running an Atkins or Bedard designed course?
What makes a good course for you?