How to Overcome the Obstacles You Didn’t Think You Could Do- Matt Davis, Terry McMahon, John Sheryak

Have you run a Warrior Dash?

The Warrior Dash is a part of this fantastic trend of obstacle races, a running race that combines all sorts of physical feats to spice up your run. They will show you that no matter what you look like or how fast you are, you CAN succeed and accomplish things you never thought you could.

These obstacles mean a diverse group of people can tackle one goal together at a fun, challenging event that gets you out of your comfort zone.

Obstacle races and team challenges attract runners (and non runners) from all walks of life, and for many of these people it turns into something that’s so much more than just running.

I have three guests on today, Matt Davis, Terry McMahon, and John Sheryak, all of whom are responsible for designing unique running events all over the country.

As runners, we are always looking for challenges.

Today’s episode is all about how you can bring a new level of adventure to your next race and why it is more about the experience than just the shiny new medal. It is about the trial, the endurance, the lack of sleep, the scenery….and of course the Bourbon or Beer to discuss it all at the other end.

Running isn't just about the medals or the rewards. It is about the camaraderie, the trial, the endurance, the lack of sleep, the scenery, and of course, the socializing with friends with a glass of beer (or bourbon) after the race. These unique events are fun and will change your perspective on just what you can overcome. No matter what level or speed you are, these races are about a diverse group of people tackling one goal. If you love a challenge, you will love this episode!

Here are some of the topics we’ll discuss today:

  • Ways to change up your racing style
  • The different kinds of obstacle racing available to you (and where to find them!)
  • Some of the 12 obstacles of in Terry’s Warrior Dash
  • How hard it is for the obstacle racing to break into the fitness industry
  • Each of John’s, Terry’s, and Matt’s favorite quotes, blogs, and running products.

Questions John, Matt, and Terry are asked:

4:00 If you found a dead insect in your food, what would you do?

5:35 What are each of your running backgrounds?

8:24 What kind of runners are looking to add obstacles to their races?

10:10 What is the non-judgmental community of obstacle runners like?

12:30 John breaks down the Kentucky Bourbon Chase

15:33 How do you get sleep on overnight relays like the Bourbon Chase?

16:50 Can you drink bourbon on the Bourbon Chase?

17:53 Matt talks about why starting OCR was a fun idea

21:00 What are Matt’s thoughts on the cancellation of BattleFrog?

23:50 What does Terry think about BattleFrog?

24:40 Terry discusses how dirty Warrior Dash really gets with 12 obstacles

26:28 How does Terry design these obstacles?

28:22 Why does Terry do surveys after every race?

30:50 How does TV impact obstacle racing?

32:12 How popular is obstacle racing becoming?

34:00 Why should runners start considering obstacle racing?

36:20 What makes discomfort so enjoyable sometimes?

41:41 What’s the future for obstacle racing?

45:23 How has the running space changed over the years?

48:30 Did you know there was a beer half-marathon?

49:40 What should my listeners check out on each of your websites?

54:46 The Final Kick Round

[bctt tweet=”What a fun podcast! I wanna sign up for one of these unique events!” username=”Runners_Connect”]

John, Terry, and Matt’s best quotes:

“The fitness industry in general has gotten so diverse, with CrossFit blowing up and cycling…so I think some people come from the more lifting, obstacle-style background and add the running into it, too.” Matt

“The camaraderie at our events and the diverse group of people, it’s so much more communal and it has such a bigger impact.” John

“Many more people read a blog than listen to a podcast, but the people who do listen to the podcast are some of the most loyal.” Matt

“It definitely takes you out of your daily, normal life. That’s our goal, to create a fun, challenging event that gets you out of the norm.” Terry

“We’re selling an experience, not a typical 5K or 10K run.” John  

“The running space has definitely diversified over the last 5-6 years.” Matt

Take a Listen on Your Next Run

Want more awesome interviews and advice? Subscribe to our iTunes channel


Last week’s episode with Pete Magill

Warrior Dash

Warrior Dash Video

Obstacle Racing Media

Matt Davis’ Podcast

Kentucky Bourbon Chase

Rise of the Sufferfest

Born to Run

Run with Champions


Tim Ferriss – 4 Hour Workweek

Thank you to our sponsor EnduroPacks for their support of the podcast

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We really hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of Run to the Top.

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