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Dash of the Titan makes the best of a great venue

by Paul Hayward
Thursday 15th January 2015
Tags  Dash of the Titan   |   Paul Hayward   |   OCR

Race preview: Obstacle racing columnist Paul Hayward talks to Dash of the Titan’s race director ahead of their first 2015 race on April 4, 2015

Dash of the Titan - April 4, 2015

Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) is set to have a very exciting 2015 with over 250 races going head to head. With this in mind we spoke to one of the sport’s newest entrants - Dash of the Titan ahead of their first 2015 race on 4th April.

Dash of the Titan’s race director Mark, similar to other race directors, had competed in a number of obstacle course races and seen the best the sport has to offer, but sadly also the worst. He made the tough decision to hold his own event in 2014. Dash of the Titan was born and was attended by 600 people over the course of a weekend.

Mark admitted that their inaugural race had been an awful lot more than they (at the Titan team) had expected. Whilst Mark, who works in an insurance background, is accustomed to regulation, organising an OCR took this to a new level and caught him and his team by surprise somewhat with the amount of regulation needed from the Council for Health and Safety. "We knew we needed paramedics but some of the Council’s requirements were a steep learning curve for us”.

The race received some positive feedback with regard to the venue, mentioning that the location of the race in Nottingham offered excellent terrain, but the main criticism was that more obstacles were needed.

In order to address this Mark recruited two new race directors for the 2015 season. Firstly Mark recruited one of OCR’s most well known and charismatic figures, Alan Moore. In addition, David Poole of Custom Fitness was asked to lend his expertise to the Dash of the Titan team.

Mark explained that the venue offers “a genuinely picturesque location with country paths, woodland and stunning natural terrain. However  the feedback received was that we needed to improve the obstacles and take full advantage of the natural habitat. Alan and David have been brought in to help us achieve this with the aim of of offering a minimum of 30 obstacles across a 5 mile course”. 

Mark went on to explain that the terrain benefits from some really nasty ponds/bogs that can be supplemented by some really exciting obstacles. "We will include some standard obstacles like walls and barb wire crawls too, but there will be some really good challenges awaiting competitors. However these obstacles are not going to be located across the paths or trails. Instead they are all going to be integrated within the woodland, providing a really natural feel to the course.”

Dash of the Titan - April 4, 2015

At many events the race village can be located to the side of the course or actually away from it, meaning that spectators can be left frustrated, alienated and unable to watch the race as it takes place. This was an area that Rachel Young, Dash of the Titan’s logistics director and event manager, was keen to address.

"This is where Dash of the Titan is different," explained Mark. "Spectators will be able to access all of the course really easily and the race village itself will be right in the middle of the course. You will be able to witness a large section of the race from the comfort of the race village!”.

Mark is also going to allow “audience participation" on the course, with the chance for families to become involved with the course and the race as it unfolds. Quite what this will involve is uncertain, but you can be sure that your friends or family may only be too happy to hinder competitors’ progress to the finish.

I asked Mark what he would consider Dash of the Titan’s “Unique Selling Point” is. Mark laughed and responded: “It would have to be that as the race is set in some beautiful woodland, all of our obstacles are going to look like a natural extension of the environment that we are in. For example we are going to have obstacles coming out of the trees and competitors will not be faced with random walls in the middle of a field. It is going to be something really special. 

“The race is going to be testing due to the terrain, but we had got the balance right at our last race and we are hopeful that this should appeal to beginners and elite runners alike”.

In addition the race village will offer excellent facilities with activities for children to get involved with: "We want to give a festival feel that will provide them with a really good day”.

The build up to the event has begun and if the website and Facebook pages, managed by Kieren Key, are anything to go by, then the event will be one for the diary. I left the interview thinking that Dash of the Titan is set to offer an exciting experience through the combination of tough terrain with “natural obstacles”.

If Mark and his team are able to combine the obstacles within the environment; there could be some real potential to offer a unique and exciting OCR experience.

The decision to include the race village in the middle of the course is most welcome and means that both competitors and spectators can enjoy the event all day.

Dash of the Titan - April 4, 2015

I am pleased to confirm that Run247 readers have been offered the exclusive chance to race at Dash of the Titan with 10% discount off the normal price by entering the code TITAN247 at checkout.

More information of Dash of the Titan can be found at their website: www.dashofthetitan.com or their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/dashofthetitan


About The Author

Paul Hayward

I am 33 years old and spend the majority of my life within an office environment. Whilst I played football, I never really took an interest in sport let alone athletics. In 2011 I joined a gym as I was slightly concerned about my weight. However I was, like an awful lot of my colleagues, coasting and I considered spinning three times a week a workout.
This changed when I took up a circuits class and found myself entering Men’s Health Survival of the Fittest London in November 2011. I was assured by my friends that this was a good idea and would be a “challenge”.
I had never entered any form of competitive event before and training for this run changed me. I listened to my personal trainer, who assured me that if I quit drink I could be dangerous, and sorted out my diet, stopped drinking so much and focussed my training. I completed the race in just over an hour and I was instantly bitten by the racing bug, I loved the challenge the event offered. 
Nearly two years on I have completed a half marathon in 1hour 49 minutes, came 6th in the Rat Race Horseplay 5k event and usually come within the top 30% at Obstacle Course races. I am also a part time triathlete and I am lucky to find myself in a running club where we have a great coach and the focus is on members. If I am honest - I came to running through these events and I am not alone.
My aim through Run 247 is to promote, discuss and publicise Obstacle Course racing. It is becoming huge and over the coming months we will cover all of the major races and the new competitors entering the scene. 

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by ZeBeDe
16:54, Thursday 27th August 2015
Great read ahead of this weekends race.
TereréJordan Blood