It’s another year of obstacle racing, the same races are on the market with either the same obstacles or same venues that we have seen every year. After a while it can get a little boring for those who have seen and done it all. If you are like me then you are looking for something new. Enter, War-X. I came across this new race company by word of mouth, I read their website description, I found it very interesting but a little confusing. They describe their venue as an obstacle course race with a war waging around you. I found that to be concerning and perplexing. So I got in touch with War-X Race Director Jake Moore to get a little more information.
What are the roots of War-X?
War-X started last year as a company offering a survival weekend that threw people into a scenario that truly challenged them. But for 2018 they decided to step into Obstacle Course market, being a company who is made up of former military and obstacle racing specialists, they wanted to blend the two, and create something completely different, a new evolution of obstacle course racing. They want to create an entire war zone atmosphere while you run a race. This is not the type of race where you can set your watch and estimate how long this 5k will take you, this race is built to test you. Obstacle races were almost all based on Navy Seal, Special Forces style obstacles, and they want to you to experience how these obstacles are under the stress they were designed for.
What are the obstacles, how are they different from what we have seen?
From War-X you will see the obstacles you are familiar with but they will be on a different scale. Being a race company that operates on private land they are making their obstacles on a bigger scale, and most likely by the time you have read the course map and seen the photos, watched the videos to prepare yourself, when you get to the obstacle it could be completely different from when it was originally announced. The race itself as a whole should be considered one giant obstacle from the start line to the finish line. Sure, there are rope climbs, walls, steep hills, and crawls. But you will come across parts of the race that is a live battlefield with injured soldiers seeking medical attention, simulated gunfire, air raid sirens, actual explosions going off around you. Some may think this sounds a little dangerous but be reassured you are 100% safe. This is all designed to test you and put you under stress to challenge you a little more than just a run through the mud.
How will this race operate? What are the rules? Are there burpees or bands?
Unlike other race series that punish you for failing obstacles or allowing you to simply step around and keep going. If you don’t make it across an obstacle, the failure is equal to the completion. If fall off an obstacle you are going to fall into the river (Don’t worry it’s not a far fall, but it will be cold water) or you will have to cross that section of the course in a different way. The race developers believe there is no need to be punished for failing an obstacle because the obstacles and terrain are punishment enough. For their upcoming Arctic Fever event, instead of a standard race time to see how long it will take to finish, this event will have a countdown timer, to when the clock hits zero, the course is turned up a little more!
War-X offers a 5k and a 10k option, the 10k race will start as one big group and will go off before the 5k race. Depending on the amount of 5k runners, they may be broken up into separate heats. On the course, you can run the race as an individual or you can stick with a friend because some of these obstacles will be better suited to have a helping hand with you. You can also register and run as a team, which will require you to stick together and finish as a unit.
For the medal addicts out there, for each event, you will receive a dog tag personalized to each event. But wait there’s more; War-X offers a trifecta style medal that is to die for! The War-X campaign medal is a big metal X that you will be able to hang you campaign medals from. When you complete one of the campaign races you receive a dog tag specific to the event you just completed. If you run all three of their events for 2018, Arctic Fever (Jan. 13), Jungle Ops (May 5), and Black Out (July 14), you will receive the War-X Campaign medal. To make an early prediction, I believe it will be one of the hottest medals on the market for 2018.
What Events are offered?
For 2018 War-X is offering 3 obstacle racing events. Kicking off their calendar year with Arctic Fever on January 13. This race is going to be cold, and unlike other major race series, this race you will be getting in the water at this event which means you will be extra cold, so dress accordingly. Doing a winter race out of the gate is a bold move and really sets the tone for the type of challenge War-X wants to offer. Their second race is Jungle Ops, which have you running through dense forest, thick mud, and wondering what is around the corner and where does this course actually go. The third and final race event of the year is Black Out, an obstacle race taking place at night. This event will have your senses turned up to 11 as you race through the woods and have to overcome the feeling of who is out in these woods with me.
For those seeking an extra challenge after they have finished the main course, at each race, War-X will offer a smaller course known as The Labyrinth. This isn’t a short course to be taken lightly; this short course is built to test you, a maze in the middle of the woods that is designed to be nearly impossible to finish. You cannot fail the Labyrinth obstacles, you must complete all of the obstacles in order to finish, and you must finish it in a certain amount of time. Completing the Labyrinth will earn you an extra dog tag specific to the Labyrinth.
Who is this race for?
This race is for those who want a real challenge and experience something they have never experienced before. The idea of this race makes me think of Spartan Race in its early years, a gritty race with elements of racing and theatrics that makes you feel like you are part of something bigger and something fun instead of just finishing in a certain amount of time or doing it for a medal, but finishing with a new experience and feeling of accomplishment that you can take with you and think back on.
As an experienced racer, I see War-X as being a new and exciting take on obstacle racing, offering a challenge that a lot of the big name races have moved away from to get more medals on necks and pictures on Facebook. War-X promises to be something you have never seen or experienced before, and I for one and excited to see what they bring to the sport and how they can possibly change the sport.
2018 Event Schedule:
Arctic Fever – January 13
Jungle Ops – May 5
Black Out – July 14
Apocalypse – Survival Weekend – September 22
Find out More About War-X Events