Founded in 2011, Mud Hero is one of the first obstacle organizers based in Canada. A fan favorite, Mud Hero enters its fifth OCR season with excellent prospects for growth.
Obstacle Race World recently interviewed Ted McLeod, who co-founded Mud Hero. Many thanks for the interview, Ted!
ORW: Who were the founders of Mud Hero? What were their backgrounds before starting the series?
MH: Adam Ruppel and Ted McLeod are the co-founders of Mud Hero. Adam Ruppel owns and operates a very successful mountain bike event management company called Chico Racing in Ontario (and still does); Ted McLeod worked in various roles in the IT industry, and also worked with Adam for Chico Racing. Ted McLeod was also a ski patroller for 15 years in his spare time during the winter. In 2011, Adam and Ted joined forces to develop and create Mud Hero, and put on two events for the 2012 season. We have since grown to six events across Canada, and have an excellent team that helps us put all of these events on.
ORW: Tell me a little bit about your race series. What is unique about Mud Hero? Who is it best suited for?
MH: Mud Hero is in its fifth year of running events. It is a 6km obstacle course with over 18 obstacles with six events on the schedule for 2016. This year, we are expanding our Ultra 10k series to three events across Canada. Mud Hero is a great event for those who want to have a challenge, yet have fun at the same time. We have difficulty levels on many of our obstacles, so we can cater to a wide variety of participant’s fitness levels. We also promise to have the best mud on an obstacle course in Canada.
ORW: How many participants did you have in 2014 and 2015? How many since the race series started?
In 2014 we had over 45,000 participants; and in 2015 we had around 50,000. Over the entire series we have had around 140,000 participants in our series since we started in 2012.
ORW: What do you think are some of the challenges and opportunities for growth for the sport of obstacle racing?
MH: Obstacle course events in general are growing at an incredible rate – but we feel that rate of growth might be leveling off. I think one of the biggest challenges that the industry faces is ensuring that we have people coming back – keeping them interested and engaged, and making sure that we don’t fall into the ‘one and done’ category for people.
ORW: Any predictions for OCRs in 2016?
MH: The industry is still very much in its infancy. The good news with so many strong, innovative players, the sport will continue to evolve. What is becoming clear is that event companies are also understanding that discounting for late registrants might fill your event up, however long-term it is destructive to your brand, and doesn’t build consumer loyalty. Luckily we realized this early and stuck to a competitive price model off the start with very little discounting. If the consumers know that they are getting good value with a high quality event, they will return again and again.