Just when you think you're tough enough

Challenges Exclusive Interview

Exclusive Interview: Nick James – Founder of Warrior Trail

Warrior Trail2

Warrior Trail has been selected as an official OCR World Championship qualifying event and they hope to help create a team that will travel overseas and represent Malaysia.

The Warrior Trail race kicks off this weekend for two days on 30th and 31st Jan at Semenyih Ecoventure Resort in Selangor, Malaysia. Multiple participants from far and wide, including countries like Norway, Germany, Australia, Sweden, Poland and Ireland are eager to put the obstacles and themselves to a test of physique, endurance and strength.

Founder Nick James has been in Malaysia for a couple of weeks, building the course and many Obstacle Course Racing enthusiasts have signed up for their first race in Malaysia. Coming in from their race in Thailand last year, Nick has designed 30 obstacles to give people a serious (but fun) physical challenge.

“Our builders nearly had a heart attack just walking the course without obstacles so it really is going to be tough. There’s a couple of killer hills which really test the lungs,” as founder Nick James describes the course.

Warrior Trail Founders
Warrior Trail Founder, Nick James (right)

TA: What makes Warrior Trail stand out from the deluge of Obstacle Course races?

Nick: We recognise we’re entering a market that has suddenly become very crowded. Our initial problems will be showing people that we can bring something different to the industry and by proving that we’re a real deal obstacle course.

There’s good innovation happening in some races and better designs of obstacles can only be good for Malaysian runners. We need to show we can bring new and different things also. We’ve got 50 possible obstacle designs in the wings but these all have developmental costs and so much will depend on the success of our early races.

We’re putting everything we can into this race, but this really is Warrior Trail 1.0 and there’s much more to come if we can get a good level of support.

Here's a sneak peak at our jungle river section which features a small, but challenging waterfall to negotiate.
Here’s a sneak peak at our jungle river section which features a small, but challenging waterfall to negotiate.

TA: What did you consider building your first race in Malaysia?

Nick: We always select locations that are nice to run in. I called the company Warrior Trail, as I do want to take runners on a pleasant journey through picturesque trails, and then ruin it by making them climb things, roll in mud and carry heavy stuff!

We look for trails that have good shade from the canopy. It’s hot in this part of the world and keeping runners out of direct sunlight makes sense from a runner comfort and medical point of view. In short, we want the course to have variety and be part of the journey.

TA: Where did your inspiration come from?

Nick: I did a lot of obstacle courses when I was a kid and they were always in the forest or some nice setting. Our courses always include a rivers and streams and we actively seek waterfall settings.

I’ve been involved in obstacle course racing for over 15 years (on and off admittedly) so I feel I’ve got a good background knowledge of its history, development and where its going.

Warrior Trail

TA: What can racers look forward to in your Warrior Trail?

Nick: We’ve chosen not to use timing chips for our first race as there are so many opportunities to skip obstacles or cheat on exercise punishments, that it makes times hard to verify (when many people are attempting an obstacle). We’re working on a penalty loop system where runners will have extra distance to cover should they fail an obstacle.

Fast Lane – Higher risk, faster gain

We’ll also add fast lanes on certain obstacles (quicker but more chance of failure) that will provide elite performers an additional challenge if they want to gain an advantage/catch up.

We definitely want to help develop the top end of the sport and attract more top runners to the sport.

There’s plenty in the pipeline, but for our first race, we’re mostly concentrating on quality obstacles and good event management to show people what we can offer.

For more info and updates on their next race, follow Warrior Trail on Facebook.