Leave it to a group of former SEALs to take the hell out of Hell Week while trying to put the fun back into mud runs.
With a bubble-blowing nod to their frogman forefathers, the Navy special ops crew behind BattleFrog says that with obstacle course races getting increasingly hardcore, they hope their new race series will pull back a bit on the extreme throttle in favor of an adventure race that’s actually more … you know, enjoyable.
The goal of organizers was “to create an event that inspired — not punished — the racers” says BattleFrog spokesman Dan Curran. “BattleFrog chose to focus on the team-building and physical accomplishment aspects.”
But don’t mistake this race for a walk in the park; it’s still plenty intense.
“The obstacles are based on what SEALs encountered during their training. No other race event on the market today does any of that,” Curran says.
BattleFrog’s two inaugural competitions drew about 4,000 racers, split between events in Atlanta and South Carolina in recent weeks.
Upcoming events are:
* Greater Washington, D.C., area — July 19
* Greater New York City area — Aug. 2
* Pittsburgh — Sept. 27
* Miami — Nov. 15
More races are in the works for next year, with three events slated for Florida and Texas.
BattleFrog is led
was created by former SEAL Team 6 operator Don Mann. While probably best known as the author of “Inside SEAL Team Six: My Life and Missions with America’s Elite Warriors” and the fictional series of SEAL Team Six military thrillers, Mann is no newcomer to event racing.
Once a top-ranked triathlete, with more than 1,000 competitive races under his belt, more recently he has also produced and directed a variety of multiday, multisport, adventure races, triathlons and other SEAL-themed sporting events.
“BattleFrog was created as a tribute to our nation’s military and to help people learn about the work SEALs do,” Mann says. “Our events are unique because actual Navy SEALs are guiding and mentoring the racers who are learning how to push themselves beyond their personal physical limits.”
To get everyone motivated, each BattleFrog kicks off with a team of SEAL veterans fast-roping from a hovering helicopter.
In fact, each race will include 20 to 30 SEALs playing an active role in the event. Most are veterans, some are active duty.
The race series consists of three courses: the BattleFrog, a 15K race with about 25 obstacles; the BullFrog, a 15-obstacle 5K race geared to teenagers; and the Tadpole, a children’s 1K course. There’s also Tadpole Jr., a minicourse for the smallest racers.
The BattleFrog and BullFrog courses include elements of mud, running, climbing walls, crawling and swinging. Both courses can be run in teams or individually, though most participants probably will welcome some help on at least a few obstacles.
“The Tsunami,” one of the race’s signature obstacles, for example, is a 16-foot-high, triple-lane “wave wall” that requires racers to climb steep steps on one side, then water-slide down the other side.
Another obstacle, dubbed “The Hooyah,” is a 12-foot-high slant wall leading to a platform from which racers descend through dark tubes into a mud pit.
Participants can register online at battlefrogseries.com. The entry fee is $119 for BattleFrog, $80 for BullFrog, $30 for Tadpole and $20 for Tadpole Jr. With their entry fee, participants get a medal, T-shirt and race bib.
A cut of the proceeds from each event goes to support the SEAL Museum in Fort Pierce, Florida, and the Navy SEAL Foundation, among other military charities, organizers say.
Military Times readers can enter code MIL50 for 50% off entry fees for BattleFrog races.