Survival Race to bring mud, obstacles to Toledo Sept. 29Written by Staff Reports | | firstname.lastname@example.org
By Yaneek Smith, Toledo Free Press Staff Writer
A three-mile obstacle course filled with slip ’n slides, mud pits and a cargo-net climb? It’s all part of The Survival Race, coming to Toledo on Sept. 29.
Taglined “The Original Family-Style 5K, Obstacle Course & Mud Run,” The Survival Race is a family-friendly event featuring a 5K race filled with obstacles as part of a fun-filled day that usually ends with people covered in mud but having an enjoyable time, said Dean Del Prete.
Del Prete, 48, is president of Cousins Management Group, a paintball company based in Medford, N.Y., that operates The Survival Race. He opened a paintball park in Toledo five years ago and chose the city as a destination for this event.
The Survival Race has taken place in a number of other locations this season, among them Dallas, New Windsor, N.Y., Manchester, N.J., and Long Island, and finishes the season with the festivities in Toledo.
Del Prete said Survival Race is growing in popularity.
“The first thing is, the race is really fun,” he said. “People get out there and have a good time. It’s more about completing the event than competing. The people range from the athletic to adventurous to the couch potato that wants to have fun.
“[People] want to challenge themselves, they want to have fun, have a laugh. No one takes [the event] too serious. We don’t make the obstacles too challenging. Everything has a bail-out, so if you get sick doing the event, you can stop. It’s more about fun than anything else.”
Del Prete will have a group of five to six employees on site helping to coordinate the event, and will rely on an assorted group of volunteers and workers to help the race run smoothly.
The event, which takes place at 8721 Airport Hwy., in Holland, costs $60. Runners will leave in 30-minute waves between 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Registration ends Sept. 26. Spectators are welcome.
Del Prete said more than 1,800 applicants hailing from Columbus to Grand Rapids, Mich., have signed up and he expects that number to climb to roughly 2,200 by race day. He said the event helps local businesses for the weekend.
“The hotels and restaurants are gonna love it,” he said. “I hire local bands and a local brewer is going to be supplying beer. It’s gonna be great for business.”
Del Prete is not only confident the event will be a success, but that it will grow in the years to come. In Dallas, 800 people showed up for the event in 2011 and the number grew to 2,700 this year, he said.
Del Prete knows a thing or two about simple ideas growing from something minor into a successful industry and believes that, over time, the same will happen with events like Survival Race.
“I was one of the pioneers with paintball,” Del Prete said. “I played [years ago] and I knew it would take off. And that’s what is happening with this mud race. This is a game-changer. With the [wide-ranging] demographics, the potential here is so much greater.”
Although comparisons have been made between The Survival Race and Warrior Dash, and there are some similarities, Del Prete notes that his mud run is much more family friendly.
“I didn’t want this to be like the Warrior Dash,” he said. “I wanted it to be my own thing. I thought, ‘How do I differentiate myself? Why can’t I have the family race? Why can’t I be the 9-99 age group?’ It’s like the Warrior Dash, but their demographic is different. Theirs is more of the party animal and college crowd variety. Our course is easier and we’re more family oriented. That’s something that we pride ourselves in.
“We’re not gonna be the strongest, toughest event. … We’re fun; we’re not fierce. It’s not perfect for everybody, but for us, it works.”
For more information, details and pictures of previous races, visit thesurvivalrace.com or www.facebook.com/TheSurvivalRace.