New for 2015 – Winter Warrior in detail
We are really excited about 2015, there are a lot of new things on the horizon, new venue, new obstacles, new registration system, changes in competitor timing, vip hospitality and of course the all new and wondrous Winter Warrior!
There appears to be a real buzz about the new winter event, what can you tell us about the Winter Warrior?
We are really busy getting geared up for this one as its only a few weeks away. The event is brand new and we are really excited to be working with Donington Park, they have been extremely cooperative and supportive and seem equally excited to have our Xrunners on the course and are totally up for all the crazy stuff we want to do. The feature obstacle will be a massive new slide called the “Cresta Run” the slide will send you skidding around one hundred meters down the main straight on the race track.
We will be shifting around ten tonnes of earth to create the ‘Mud Mile’ and utilising over 2500 tyres and crash barriers to build obstacles on the race track itself. The race track is being completely resurfaced next year in preparation for the return of MOTOGP so this has allowed us to utilise the circuit and the official track start and finish lines which will give the runners a real sense of the race track experience. The feeling you get when you run round the circuit is quite amazing, the sheer size and scale of the place is extremely thrilling.
Will you still be creating your signature obstacle ‘Water Slides’?
Yes, whatever the weather we plan to include at least two slides, however instead of soaking or submerging people, we have redesigned the slides to use a minimal amount of water and are currently experimenting with foam for that added winter feeling. We don’t want hyperthermic runners, our events are all about fun and Winter Warrior will be no different. The main slide will be located close to the end of the course so you can enjoy it before the finish line and then get straight into the heated changing rooms and heated hospitality area to defrost. We should also mention that none of our obstacles are compulsory so if anyone (*excluding elite runners) wants to miss an obstacle out for any reason then you simply request to be directed safely around.
Also NEW for Winter Warrior is the ‘Climbing Zone’ this will be a large structure, six aisles wide, 30 meters long, 3 meters high and 8 meters wide, constructed mainly from timber. Agility will be essential! The whole concept was inspired by one of my favourite climbing spots in the Peaks and will include a traverse wall, balance zone and a mantle shelf, balance with core and upper body strength are a must for this one.
What happens if it snows, are you concerned about the weather?
No, we are not concerned about the weather, in fact it would be great if there is snow or ice on the ground, there is nothing better than going for a run on a crisp winters day. It’s probably going to be cold but we’ve chosen Donington for a reason and that is because the venue can handle the event whatever the weather. Parking and access is always a major concern at large outdoor events, however this venue has plenty of hard standing parking with excellent road access so unless the government issue a travel warning advisory then we are going ahead regardless of snow, ice and any other weather elements.
Will there be a lot of running on hard tarmac?
No, this will be kept to a minimum, you will run on the start and finish lines and across the track but almost all of the course will be grass, mud and gravel. We will also be using quite a few gravel traps which are actually around three meters deep, this presents and interesting entry for our risk assessment as its unknown what will happen after 4000 runners have been through deep soft gravel, expect it to be hard going, similar to running on the beach?
Xrunner is famous for fun, Winter Warrior sounds really tough?
The date of this event certainly lends a new element of challenge to Xrunner however we can assure you that there will still be plenty of squeal appeal on the course. It will be cold but you will be running so you should stay warm whilst on the course and we are not planning to submerge you or soak you completely. It’s what happens after the finish line that will matter most so we’re taking this very seriously as we still want to send everyone home with a smile on their face – not frozen on obviously!
You mentioned VIP Hospitality, what will this involve?
Once across the finish line, we will direct you into the pit lane where we are providing ample heated indoor changing rooms. There is the free option of a cold water shower to quickly rinse off the worst of the mud before putting your winter woollies back on or you can upgrade to VIP hot shower and luxuriate under warm water, these are £10 per person and must be booked in advance as places are limited.
Once you’re clean and dry we will direct you into the heated indoor hospitality suite which we have hired as a vast heated comfort station. You will collect your goodie bag then go through and join your team mates or spectator friends and enjoy the party atmosphere whilst getting your hands on a well deserved hot drink and food. Donington is a world class venue with first rate facilities and we are maximising everything we can to make this event enjoyable and keep everyone as comfortable as possible.
Are there any other new obstacles planned for next year, any info you can give us?
Yes, we are planning to add some really awesome new challenges in 2015 and will be investing heavily in this area of the business next year. The competition is hotting up in the obstacle racing world and to stay as one of the key players we are planning to up our game significantly.
Our newest obstacle from last lear the ‘Human Cannonball’ was almost a year in development. We designed the idea, then we built the concept, then we tested it, we added tunnels, tested further, then added water, tested further and we didn’t release it until we were happy it would make people smile, which it did. It was fantastic to watch and listen to grown adults giggling like children. This obstacle idea has been developed further for the Winter Warrior, and will be the feature obstacle a massive slide with maximum squeal appeal, the “Cresta Run”
2015 will see the constant introduction of new obstacles throughout the year, the new ‘Climbing Zone’ will feature at all events and we are working on other new developments at the moment. Water is a constant theme at most of our events and we are working on some fantastic new water based obstacles, the first of which will be launched at the Wild Run in April in preparation for the full scale water based assault course at Water Wipeout in June 2015. So all in all we are very exited about next years obstacles as there are some dramatic and ambitious plans in the pipe line.
Next year we will also be setting three different difficulty levels or routes on some of the bigger obstacle, allowing runners to choose the blue, red or black route depending on ability. For example on the “Climbing Zone” there are effectively six traverse walls, six climbing boxes and six balance beams, so we cant set two lanes as moderate difficulty, two as severe and two as extreme, these will be coded blue, red, black respectively The black being the hardest will have a crux move requiring considerable skill to negotiate, competitors will be allowed three attempts before being allowed by. The black run will be compulsory for elite competitive runners competing for the glory but the majority will be able choose the route best suited to them, tough it up or take the chicken run!
You mentioned the change of competitors timing, what’s the thinking behind this?
It’s not really been fully our decision, we take feedback very seriously and welcome every comment, it’s how we strive to give a better experience! The majority of our runners feel that timing is not important to them and would prefer investment in new obstacles, it’s the challenge and the entire experience that most people love and more than 70% of our runners are running as a team, not an individual for an individual time or winning place. We know that we have a number of runners who are more competitive and still want the best time possible, so we have decided to keep the first wave as elite heats with timing for those who still want this part of the experience. The rest of the heats are non-competitive and we feel this will work well as the fun runners and the serious runners have a very different experience on the course and are essentially at odds with each other if on the course at the same time. Run for fun or run for a time, you still have the choice!
So how does the new registration system work, how does it benefit your customers?
We are continuing to use the same provider as they are the best in the market but the new system is effectively an upgrade so comes with new functions and more user friendly interface. There are quite a few improvements, mainly the self editing abilities and the team functions. Up until a designated time before race day, runners can access their own registrations and make amendments to their profile which include updating their contact details, emergency contact person, wave times or even substitute themselves for another runner should they need to pass on their ticket for any reason.
The team function is really useful, a designated team captain can register and then set up a team on their registration. They can then decide if the team is to be ‘open’ or ‘private’. Teams that are ‘open’ are great for larger groups, charitable groups, corporate groups etc… as it means that the team is open and accessible to anyone that wants to join. The ‘private’ teams mean that you have to be invited to join by the team captain, this works well for most people as they only invite (by email) the people they want on their team. There is a 10% discount for ‘private’ teams that recruit ten or more runners. Once all members are fully registered, let us know and we will refund the team captain with the discount amount.
You can also pre-pay for your team members to ensure everyone gets a space. You can register yourself then add on as many pre-paid places as you like, then invite people to come and join your team.
There is also an express registration option for registering on a smart phone, you can just pay to reserve your space then access your profile to input your details at a later date from another device. It’s really simple to use with tonnes of useful features and so far, our runners are getting on really well with the whole system!
Sounds like Xrunner is Extremely busy for the 2015 season, any more plans for Xpansion?
The obstacle racing and mud running community is the fastest growing event in the sports industry and Xrunner plans to expand with demand. 2015 will see a steady growth with the existing events, however we are aware that if we want Xtreme expansion we need to go nationwide so this year we are on the hunt for two new locations. We are looking into a venue in the south and a venue further north so watch this space as we plan to start dominating the obstacle racing scene nationwide!
*Elite Runners – Competitors must complete the full 10k race distance (two laps) and must complete every obstacle. Competitors are responsible for their own navigation, the course will be well marked, if you go the wrong way or miss an obstacle you will be disqualified from the competitive heat.
Winter Warrior Hospitality - Heated changing rooms, showers and heated hospitality suite, could this be the future of obstacle racing.
Showers / Washing Facilities – There are heated changing rooms and a heated hospitality suite for all competitors, these will have cold shower heads so you can rinse off the worst of the mud.
HOT showers are available at £10 each, these must be booked before the race, if you would like to reserve a hot shower please click below.
These individual shower units have there own shower cubical, they will be accessed through heated changing rooms. Limited availability, please book early to avoid disappointment.