Recently, I had the pleasure of chatting with David Mainprize of Conquer the Gauntlet about his take on OCR. Conquer the Gauntlet recently announced a Pro Team with lots of familiar faces, including Christina Armstrong “Honey Badger/HB” of Death Race and TPK Endurance notoriety, Matt “The Mudder” Willis of the NBC Spartan Show, and Brenna “The Red Beast” Calvert of Broken Skull Challenge. I have the privilege of knowing these three, so when they attached their names to this series it made me take notice as a race I should be looking at, and I will at their Dallas Event on May 14th. This is an event that, by the way, is going to have some huge names not attached to the series participating. #EFFNorm hint hint among others.
I am always curious on what makes anyone want to start a Race Series. They story is fairly familiar, Warrior Dash came to town and changed this family’s lives at that first obstacle. Like the Beard, they crossed the finish line and knew this is where they wanted to put their focus. The Mainprize family is diverse, Courtney was in Public Administration and Logistics, David an Attorney and Stephen was in banking in Finance. That is a very strong skill pool to pull out of, no matter the industry you are creating a start up in.
“We’ve always been athletes and into outdoor adventures. We never pass up a challenge! As soon as we heard of OCR in 2010 when Warrior Dash came to Tulsa, we knew we had to create our own race. We knew we had the skills and drive necessary to make it happen. So we did!”
What makes Conquer the Gauntlet unique compared to other OCRs?
Why Conquer the Gauntlet and why not a TM Half? Well a big theme in OCR lately is people don’t like the corporate feel and want it to feel like a family, well you can’t get more of a family feel than having it family run with unique obstacles to boot.
“We started this race as a family and we’ve just expanded that family in every city where we hold a race. Our parents, cousins, friends, and fellow racers help on race day and you’ll always see a familiar face at each event.”
On top of that they lay claim some of the
“most unique, difficult, and fun obstacles around.”
What about growth and sustainability?
“In our first year, we had two races- in our hometown of Tulsa, and in Little Rock, Arkansas. Since then we have expanded to nine cities in the Midwest, but we still stay true to our roots and that family feel.” They are following a similar path that Savage Race has taken with no plans for ‘partners’ at this time. They want to have around 8-12 races per year in MidWest/Texas region with the goal to put on large scale, quality events. “We believe this best fits who we are and what we want to do.”
They plan on offering the same number of races next year as well but are open to mixing things location-wise if the community speaks up.
What can you expect out of a venue where Conquer the Gauntlet is setting up?
“Our number one priority is that we keep our reputation for having epic courses. We want to make sure there is enough land to do everything we want to do to give the runners a unique experience.”
They also take other factors into account as well to ensure the whole experience not just the course is positive. The goal is to provide their racers with the best all around experience possible.
When a Racer leaves a Conquer the Gauntlet event the experience they want for their racers is consistent.
“Whether you finish first, last, or not at all you are now part of the CTG family. We don’t care whether you are elite or not. We are here to inspire you, to connect with you. The three core principles of CTG are Character, Commitment, and Community. Those are the things you will leave with after running our race.”
A feeling I believe that also carries over with their charitable partners Folds of Honor, Operation Underground Railroad, and Good Spread.
You can find out all about these and all things CTG on their website- www.conquerthegauntlet.com.
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Use: OCRADDICT or CTG50 for a discount on the upcoming Dallas race