Ever wonder who is behind the courses you know and love? Well folks, wait no longer…
Don’t let the flora fool you. They are a lot tougher than they look.
Warrior Dash sat down for an interview with Terry McMahon (left) and Bryan Sechrist (right) to give you an inside look at some of the brains & brawn behind the Battleground. To start, enjoy a quick bio of the guys:
Bryan hails from Erie, Pennsylvania, and enjoys a good beer and classic action movie.
After graduating with his Master’s degree in architecture, Terry started his career in traditional architectural design, working on residential and commercial projects. When he needed something more exciting, he merged his passion for design with his passion for running & adventure and hasn’t looked back since!
*Note: some choice words may have been used in this interview- in order to preserve character, this content has not been removed ☺
Please describe the other person.
T: Bryan is the Ari Gold of construction. He’s the awesome personality and business-mind of our crew that keeps everything aligned and running smoothly but has a distinct character.
B: He [Terry] is creative and detailed. You can tell by all of his f***ing tattoos.
What, where, or who do you draw inspiration from?
T: The reality is we pull inspiration from everything. We look at obstacles in their true sense, but then we also look at things like playgrounds, gym equipment, etc. We find creative ways to make something ordinary challenging or to create a unique experience. For example, we wanted to build a cool water obstacle but it was difficult to find logs in every type of environment we’re in, so we started researching boat & removable docks. Boom! Alcatraz was born.
B: I guess we get our inspiration from our people. By listening to what participants say. Also a little bit from Kurt Russell. Really any 80’s star like Seagal, Norris, Stallone, or Swayze in Roadhouse.
What’s YOUR favorite obstacle?
T: F***, there’s so many. I like Pipeline; it’s a perfect example of trying to create a unique challenge that’s difficult to implement at a gym. Visually it looks really cool, and it’s also a lot tougher than you think it would be.
B: Gotta be Goliath, because it requires balance, upper body strength, and climbing all in one obstacle. It also incorporates fear, which is cool. Intimidation!
T: Also High Tension. It’s a very interactive obstacle due to the slack line. You can play around with the people in front of you. And it caters to your body type and athletic ability.
What is your best memory from creating a course?
T: It had to be when Bryan and I were cutting apart logs for the first Iron Warrior Dash. There were tons of them, like 100 pounds each, and we had drag all of them to the water. Well the first runner that came through destroyed the bundle and set the logs loose. They were all just floating around, but it actually still made for a good obstacle. Just goes to show that sometimes it doesn’t work out as you planned, and that isn’t always a bad thing.
B: Mine would be when I fell down Goliath at 10:30pm at night. It was just Terry and me in the pitch dark, and I slipped feet first into the water with all my shit on.
T: He was totally silent during the fall and I held my breath for a second, but he came up laughing. It was great.
On the other side of the coin, what is your favorite participant memory?
B: It had to be Warrior Dash East Texas probably 2-3 years ago. The whole course was under water; it flooded. A guy did the entire course in a wheelchair and it was the most badass thing I’ve ever seen.
T: It’s amazing to watch the different ways people utilize the course to create a challenge for themselves. I’ve seen people who’ve had a triple bypass out there, or those with a disability of some sort, or even teams of vision impaired individuals. It’s cool to build a race course in general, but when you are able to create something that can mean so many different things to people, you get a lot of pride from that. It’s great when participants share their Warrior stories.
What advice would you have for a first-time Warrior Dash participant?
T: The course is as challenging as you can make it for yourself. Have fun and go into it with the mindset of what you want to get out of it. Everyone’s goals are different and the course allows you to achieve what you want, whether it’s to make a certain time or simply just finish. You can get in the competitive wave or you can run in a tutu.
What do you have planned for 2016?
B: Nothing, we’re retiring.
Just kidding, we’re always thinking of new things- stay tuned!
What is your favorite Warrior Dash obstacle or memory of the course? Let us know below!
Warrior Dash Event Director