Gladiator Rock’n Run coming to Georgia

Jeff Pomeroy

Are you extreme enough to want to battle fire, ice, mud and every other kind of “insane” obstacle that you can imagine across 3.5 miles in an attempt to find your inner Gladiator? If so, Nitro may have just what you are looking for. Former American Gladiator Dan “Nitro” Clark has created a 17-event obstacle course called the Gladiator Rock’n Run that is making its way to Moreland, Ga., on Sept. 8.

Clark, a former NFL player-turned-America Gladiator-turned-writer/director/producer, created the Gladiator Rock’n Run back in December 2010 in California and the event has taken off as people thirst to take part in events such as the Gladiator BBQ, the Polar Bear Plunge, the Pit, the Beast and Tube Steak.

“It is a fire-leaping, mud-slinging, spandex-clinging run from Hell with beer,” said Clark. “You go out and swim through freezing water, jump through fire, climb walls, slide down mudslides and then have a beer afterwards.”

Clark said the inspiration came when he was training for a triathlon.

“I felt like with the running, something was missing,” said Clark. “The idea of running and just going around in a circle wasn’t satisfying. I’m an adrenaline, extreme junkie.”

Clark thought about what he wanted out of a training experience and the Gladiator Rock’n Run was created.

“I created something that involved running but also tested almost every single physical skill that you had, whether it’s climbing crawling, running, jumping,” said Clark. “But I also believe in having a great freaking time.”

Clark said he wanted to do something that isn’t painful, but rather challenging and enjoyable.

The Gladiator Rock’n Run benefits Talk About Curing Autism (TACA), an organization dedicated to educating, empowering and supporting families affected by autism, a cause near to Clark’s heart.

“I have three friends from college who have autistic kids including my college roommate whose son was diagnosed when he was two,” said Clark. “When I built this business I wanted to base it on doing good. I wanted it to have that philanthropic side to it.”

TACA aims to speed up the cycle time from the autism diagnosis to effective treatments. Clark said last year, the Rock’n Run helped keep a few TACA chapters open and help families.

The event, which started in Clark’s backyard, has taken on a life of its own, growing to nearly 7500 competitors at each of 15 stops. This will be the first time the event has come to Georgia’s Bear Creek Farm.

“Jacky Moore (TACA’s National Director) kept calling me, saying ‘you have to come to Atlanta,’” said Clark. “She was the driving force for bringing it to the south. Once I got out here and I saw the large plots of land and got a taste of the spirit of the people, we put the resources towards coming to the south.”

The event will take place at the Bear Creek Hounds hunting club over 1100 acres with trees, ponds, rivers and hills. The competition will begin at 8:00 a.m. with shifts of 500 competitors going at a time. The bands will start playing around 9:00 a.m. For more information, click here.


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