Lake Norman & Mooresville

Rural Hill to host its fifth Warrior Dash

Huntersville’s Historic Rural Hill will host the Warrior Dash, a well-known obstacle racing event that calls its course “the Battleground,” on June 6. The event, which raises funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, will offer a 5K course with about 10 obstacles for participants to conquer this year. Some obstacles are constructed while others, like the mud pit, are created on Rural Hill’s property.

Rural Hill executive director Jeff Fissel said that past Warrior Dash events at Rural Hill have attracted as many as 15,000 participants.

The course starts runners in waves every 15 minutes from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. A competitive wave of the race will begin at 8:30 a.m. The top 25 male and female runners will qualify for the Warrior Dash World Championship, to be held in October in Tennessee.

Nonprofit organization Historic Rural Hill, Inc. has hosted the Dash on its property since 2011, making this the fifth year that it has been the chosen Carolina location for the Warrior Dash course.

“It started off really big right away,” said Fissel of the event.

Each year, the course has started with a blast of flames. It unfolds with obstacles ranging from army crawling through mud to leaping over flames. Participants climb over walls, master balance challenges and take slides that end in pits of mud.

This year, the course in Huntersville will offer obstacles with such titles as “Muddy Mayhem,” “Deadman’s Drop,” “Road Rage,” “Great Warrior Wall,” “Chaotic Cargo” and “Goliath.”

Participants, referred to as “warriors,” usually emerge from the event covered in mud. “People seem to enjoy wearing the mud as a trophy,” Fissel said. “People seem infatuated with this race.”

The Warrior Dash has raised over $10 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which fights pediatric cancer, since its inception. There have been about 200 days of Warrior Dash events since 2009.

The organization’s goal is to raise $25 million.

Race registrants are treated to a free beer, a fuzzy helmet, a Warrior Dash T-shirt, a finisher medal, post-race water as well as water throughout the course and a race bib. Registration is available the day of the event and costs $90. Food, drinks and live music are offered at the end of the course.

“We love bringing a bunch of people to Rural Hill,” Fissel said. “They really enjoy the course and as a result they really enjoy the property…It exposes a new crowd of people to Rural Hill who will hopefully come back for other events the rest of the year.”

Marjorie Dana is a freelance writer. Have a story for Marjorie? Email her at

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