Tupper’s Warrior Run registration opens

TUPPER LAKE – Registration for the third annual Tupperpalooza Warrior Run began Sunday, and the event is shaping up to be a ramped-up version of its predecessor.

The 3.5-mile run has become a staple in Tupper Lake’s summer activity line-up, drawing hundreds of competitors to the Big Tupper Ski Area. The registration date marks the beginning of a six-month countdown leading up to the race, which will take place July 19.

Aside from the usual Warrior Run fare of mud, obstacles and mountain terrain, this year’s event will include a music festival featuring Albany jam band Formula 5 and five-piece Ithaca rock band The Blind Spots.

“We have a good start with the first two years, but one thing we realized last year was that when the event was over, everyone kind of cleared out, and it finished kind of early,” said Tupper Lake Chamber of Comerce President Adam Boudreau. “It’s a beautiful spot, so why not enjoy the afternoon up there? That’s what we want for this year – trying to keep it going, get that party atmosphere ratcheted up a little bit and also attract some spectators and patrons other than the participants themselves to enjoy the beautiful scenery, some beer and some good music.”

The music will begin with a yet-to-be-determined local band around 11:30 a.m., just as runners are finishing the grueling race. After a short break, the music will continue until about 5:30 p.m. Boudreau said that time might be later at future Warrior Runs if attendance is good this year.

The run will include many of the same obstacles as last year, but Boudreau warned that a couple of new obstacles will have more of an edge – a sharp, barbed wire edge.

“We want to do a Juno Beach barbed wire crawl,” Boudreau said. “We’ll have some barbed wire set up, maybe 18 or 24 inches off the ground, and force participants to get down and dirty in the mud to make their way through.”

Boudreau said there also might be a Spanish rider obstacle, which would be comprised of a 4-foot-high, tunnel-shaped frame with barbed wire crisscrossed throughout to make passage difficult.

A timber carry might also take place to test runners’ upper body strength. Although the details aren’t etched in wood yet, Boudreau said there will probably be different size logs for men and women, and longer, heavier logs for teams.

Runners must sign a waiver to participate, but they also have the option of skipping obstacles that seem particularly threatening.

“We obviously don’t want to see anybody get hurt, but as we look out at other races across the country, a lot of them have some really crazy obstacles,” Boudreau said. “We want to keep it practical for a local soccer mom who wants to go up and run it, but we also want to encourage a younger, rowdier crowd to come up and give it a shot.”

Part of the push for changes in this year’s Warrior Run is to attract more spectators to the event. Boudreau said he hopes to have a spectator map or board guiding attendees to various race viewing stations along the route.

“The pond is always interesting watch,” Boudreau said. “It’s usually about 60 degrees, and everybody freaks out when they hit the water.”

The chairlift might also be running to give spectators a bird’s-eye view of the mud runners in action.

“We want to make these events bigger and better every year,” Boudreau said. “That’s what draws the people here, and ultimately that’s what keeps people staying in hotels and eating at the restaurants.”

There will be an entrance fee for participants and spectators to help fund the all-day event.

Registration for individuals is $50; individuals on a team of three to 10 people pay $40 each. The price for spectators is $5 per person or $20 per car.

For more information, visit www.tupper-lake.com.