Insight into Hard As Nails (by founder and race director – Joshua Baruch)

We are in the two-week countdown to the inaugural Hard As Nails Obstacle Mud Race Event on May 10th, 2014! Here is some Insight into Hard As Nails (by founder and race director – Joshua Baruch).  This has been a few years in the making. To see this event move from idea to reality is very exciting. Having designed hundreds of events for corporate entities and both amateur and professional athletes, I’ve realized the processes for designing and making a great event are the same, but each event and company takes on a personality of its own. It has been a lot of work but also a great deal of fun to create Hard As Nails and we are looking forward to seeing how the event matures and develops come race day and beyond.

Hard As Nails is an event for Coloradoans — and those who love Colorado — by those who call Colorado home. We currently have seven states represented at this year’s event: Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, Wyoming, Tennessee, Illinois, and Virginia. In succeeding years, we want to make this event a regional draw for those who want to experience a great obstacle mud race event for first timers, veteran obstacle and mud racers, and youth, whose participation will help develop the sport. If you have feedback to make things better, please let us know. We are constantly improving and want this event to be dynamic and great.

We have some very good events that show up in Colorado, but many of the events are run by organizations outside of Colorado with no vested interest in the state or this area. We want to help develop an event for the community with the benefits supporting the local community through the development of sustainable partnerships and outreach – social charities, infrastructure, tax base, chamber of commerce, environmental causes.   While all events need to be financially viable and sound, our true goal is to create the best obstacle mud race in the state. With a long-term commitment by the community and City of Westminster, we know we have the opportunity to make Hard As Nails better and more exciting each year.

We want to thank the partners who really made this happen: Colorado Wilderness Rides and Guides (the awesome CWRAG team), The Westin Westminster Hotel (the truly amazing Mike Case and one of two original event visionaries – Brandon Hendricks), The City of Westminster (Jason Genck, Don Tripp, Heather Hammarstrom, Chris Johnson, Tim Lachermeier, and other staff). The majority of this core team has been meeting every two weeks since late last summer to help make this event a reality.

In addition to the event partners, we want to thank our Sponsors for their generosity and vision in helping to make this event a reality. Without their donations and cash support, we would not be able to pull this off. Thank you Colorado Wilderness Rides And Guides (Adult and Event Sponsor), The City of Westminster, The Westin Westminster Hotel, Sage Hospitality, Butterfly Pavilion (Youth Course Title Sponsor), First Bank, Pepsi, Boulder Beer, Waste Connections, North Metro Chamber of Commerce, Fit Physical Therapy, PSAV, Sports Authority, Eclipse Design, Chris’s Custom Carpentry, and 105.5 ESPN (Media Sponsor).

Last week, after doing another walk through of the course area, I saw a group of 12-14 runners on the trails of City Park Westminster. I thought to myself, they have no idea what is in store for this area in the coming weeks. What this event represents is the opportunity to experience what is in our back yard that we do not normally see and another way to look at the same area differently. In some ways, this is a vision change for many of us. Similar to putting on a pair of glasses, when we change our lenses, we see and experience a new way of doing things and experiencing the world. I learned this lesson from a climbing partner of mine in California. He used to visit Yosemite Valley with his family and kids each year and hike all the trails in the area. In his late 30’s, he tried climbing for the first time. After a handful of experiences, he became hooked by the sport. Fast forward five years — he returned to the valley on vacation and instead of taking to the trails, he took to the walls. He realized he was a kid again. Climbing offered him a different way to experience the same place and everything was new again. The lens through which he viewed the world had changed and opened up to the potential and possibility that exist in each and every experience, day, and area. He was instrumental in teaching this to me and I am forever grateful. Climbing did and has changed my life – forever. But the idea of experiencing the same places differently has had an equally profound influence on me. I have used this knowledge when revisiting a place on foot, bike, rope, raft, or with a rod. Each time changing the lenses allows us a glimpse into ourselves and the opportunity to change for the better. Our event in and around City Park Westminster is just that, an opportunity to see the world with a different lens and for a while to experience the world as a kid again and just be.

Come join us!

I had a conversation with Jim Courier (former Number 1 tennis player in the world) when he was at his peak about what had changed in him and that allowed him to achieve the level he was at. He told me “I stopped competing against others and solely focused on doing the best I could do. I shifted my paradigm and tried to just control how I reacted to a situation rather than worry about trying to control it.” He had done what we all strive to do, be present and let the chips fall where they may.  It is this lens change that we hope for you as well. Obstacle racing, while it can be competitive, is designed to foster a sense of community. Hard As Nails participants who work with others will be faster and complete the course quicker. It is teamwork that will be rewarded. Come build yourself. Come build your community.