Warrior Dash, touted as the world’s most extreme 5K run, will return to Coffee County’s Great Stage Park for the second time in two years Saturday.
The Warrior Dash first came to Manchester last year in September, drawing 30,000 (14,000 runners, 16,000 spectators) folks to the area for the day-long running event. This year, the event has just over 10,000 participants signed up so far. But that number could increase before race day.
Registration deadline was midnight Sept. 18.
“We have really revamped things in 2012,” said Matt Robinson with Red Frog Events, which produces the event. “We have brand new obstacles; at least 12 at every course. We have amped up the spectator experience with more interaction, giveaways, pyrotechnics and video.”
The first race will start at 8 a.m. and the last race is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. The races start in increments of 30 minutes with 550 people in each race.
“We don’t expect any problems,” said Coffee County Sheriff Steve Graves. “Traffic will pick up quite a bit on [New] Bushy Brandy Road but we will have officers [on site] and on Bushy Branch to try and keep traffic slowed down. We don’t expect any road closures.”
Admission is free but spectators do pay for parking.
This year, the event is multi-day and will include camping. Registration will be from 6-9 p.m. Friday and will resume Saturday morning. Camping will take place Friday night and Saturday night. All participants should be gone by noon Sunday, according to Robinson.
“It’s called Warrior Dash campground,” explained Robinson. “There will be music, people playing games and a big giant bonfire.”
Graves doesn’t expect large numbers to camp.
“We don’t expect that many to camp … maybe a few hundred,” Graves said.
Great State Park is the location of the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival.
Warrior Dash began in 2009 and this year will have 65 events in three different countries.
–Josh Peterson can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.