With Battlefrog Race Series’ big announcement yesterday, they may have just cemented themselves as the fourth OCR event in what has been a 3 company race since the explosion of obstacle racing and mud runs in 2012.
When Battlefrog announced it’s first race at the end of March of this year, it was met with skepticism. The OCR world had just witnessed the much hyped, and quickly failed Extreme Nation. The community was also licking its wounds over many other race closings. So the promise of a new series with “big money backers” and fell mostly on deaf ears. Then, just a few weeks later, they put on a race worth talking about.
Their first event in Georgia on May 31st and June 1st was met with rave reviews. It had a few hiccups, but none of the usual BS excuses that so many badly executed races had given us in the past. (It was only our first race, our volunteers didn’t show up, etc). The obstacles were well built and challenging, the course was laid out well, and the volunteers were encouraging and informed.
The biggest impact was arguably made my the Battlefrog Staff itself. Battlefrog had a distinct advantage that no one saw coming, OCR experience.
When The Big 3 started, they essentially started in a vacuum, learning on the fly and creating a new genre of sport along the way. Battlefrog was able to tap into the OCR community and reap the benefits of hiring many who had been working in obstacle racing since the beginning. Some had worked at other OCR companies, and some had been highly active members in the community with no specific ties. So when the Battlefrog staff approached it’s consumers with a ton of enthusiasm and care, it was legit. Paul Jones of the New England Spahtens said of their August 2nd New Jersey race said the following: “The attention shown to the participants and athletes on race day was very reminiscent of Spartan Race, back in 2012 and 2013 – days when they were big enough to put on a show, but small enough to still know people’s names and interact on a personal level”. This sentiment was echoed by members of the Georgia Obstacle Racers and Mud Runners, amongst many others.
Battlefrog had around 1000 runners per day for all 6 of their 2014 races. This does not come close to equalling their marketing budget and race payouts. However, they’ve continued to advertise aggressively with all forms of media as well as putting together Battlefrog Superfans also known as their “Field Team” nationwide. (You’ve probably noticed your Facebook filled with BF codes lately).
On top of this was, of course, yesterday’s $1,000,000 payout announcement, which includes 13 races, a point series, and a year end championship race ala Tough Mudder, Spartan, and Warrior Dash.
Which brings us back to the question:
Is Battlefrog officially the 4th of the Big 4 or should we wait to make that call until their registration numbers match their massive plans?