In one of OCRs biggest and most positive announcements in recent memory, two of the sport’s strongest names, Sidney ‘Coach Sid’ Morris and David Mainprize, have officially joined forces to create Battle of the Lions, a competitive experience serving tried-and-true OCR fanatics in the South, Midwest, and beyond. Sharing a genuine passion for the sport and people of OCR, it was only a matter of time before these two met and something awesome happened - something that would make us all jump at the opportunity to shell out some of our hard earned cash in exchange for start line jitters, bleeding hands, and that coveted race SWAG. Throw in some serious coin for elite finishers, and you have the makings of an instant classic!
The summary seems simple, but mastering The Battle of the Lions is another story entirely. That’s because each tour stop emphasizes different specialties. So, the ninja who crushes Dallas’ GRIP BATTLE in May might get crushed by powerful CrossFitters at Kansas City’s STRENGTH BATTLE. More machine than beast? Show up in Oklahoma City with a full tank for the ENDURANCE BATTLE. Finally, only the most well-rounded racers will prevail in Little Rock for a truly unique format. More on that later.
THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY
Before we explain what to expect from the last location, we have to ask, “HOW?” How does a brand new race series deliver 30-40 legit obstacles in its debut season while, at the same time, alternating format/emphasis and offering a payout to elite winners? We have a few theories:
- Theory 1: Big Money. We’ve seen it before - deep pockets with no knowledge or care for the sport. For them, it’s just another investment. These never last.
- Theory 2: Nice but Negligent. There've been a handful of these mud run enthusiasts who throw obstacles together using little more than barbed wire and bubble gum (don’t forget the duct tape).
- Theory 3: EXPERIENCE. You know it when you see it. These are the folks who know what the OCR community loves and how to deliver a safe and incredible experience.
Spoiler Alert. We know it is the build and organizational experience of the founders that will set The Battle of the Lions apart from other past and present obstacle course races.
When it comes to dynamic OCR duos, Dave and Coach Sid bring almost unmatched OCR resumes and skill sets. David Mainprize (#TEAMADMIN) is one of the original founders of Conquer The Gauntlet and, since his departure from the brand in 2017, has created the nationwide youth OCR series Young Lions OCR. He also owns and operates a fixed OCR & Ninja training and events facility in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, and has played a key role in numerous other events and endeavors including OCRWC & others. Sidney Paul Morris (#TEAMBUILD) is the founder and owner of Battle OCR, headquartered in Louisiana. Since 2015, he’s put on hundreds of events including 13 full Battle OCR events which consist of a 3-5 mile course with over 50 massive structures in his signature scaffolding design. Coach Sid is also known worldwide for his extensive build knowledge, endless energy, and most of all, his heart for the people of OCR. He’s had a hand in the design and build for the OCR World Championships since 2018, and has brought his own obstacles to build for numerous other events.
Dave and Coach Sid heard stories about each other for years, but operating their own events had always prevented them from attending each others’. However, this cruel conundrum was remedied when the shutdown of 2020 forced event owners across the country to cancel events, scramble, pivot, and hustle extra hard to ensure their race companies survived the season that wasn’t. In a twist of irony that only OCR could provide, this shutdown led these two to take on an ROTC course build job hundreds of miles from the location of any known obstacle course race, in Laredo, Texas. It was there, in this dusty, often dangerous border town that the history of OCR was forever altered. Not surprisingly, it was the Punk Daddy of all things OCR, Brett Stewart, that facilitated this scenario by bringing in the two for the build.
Within minutes of meeting, Coach Sid and Dave deeply connected over their shared passion/experiences and almost immediately began planning an OCR.
What do their collective years of experience mean for Battle of the Lions and, more specifically, you? Expect safe and solid obstacles from professional obstacle builders. Enjoy creative and challenging courses designed by experts who love running them. Lastly, if you’ve ever been to a bad race event, you’ll appreciate the BOTL team’s experience in mastering the little things. From parking to registration and volunteer coordination, these are the extras that make for a truly enjoyable event.
SOMETHING FOR EVERYBODY
Okay, back to the race. Sure The Battle of the Lions OCR Tour is tough, but so are you. Whether you show up to compete or complete, just SHOW UP! BOTL has something for everyone. Open divisions are challenging, safe, manageable, and FUN. If you’re feeling especially explosive, sign-up in the elite pack to battle it out for cash.
Expect each tour stop to have at least 30 obstacles spread across 4 miles of runnable, but potentially brutal terrain. We already know there will be 40 obstacles at the GRIP BATTLE event. The real unknown comes in Little Rock. That seems to be the dealer’s choice of obstacles. However, in this case, YOU’RE THE DEALER! Little Rock will have all of the standard obstacles you’ve come to know and love...with a special twist. You get to help decide which add-on obstacles make it onto the course! For every 100 registrations, BOTL will add an obstacle to their course. The list of potential obstacles these guys can build following YOUR recommendations falls somewhere between AWESOME and TERRIFYING!
GEAR UP FOR BOTL WITH MUDGEAR
2020 was a battle, but 2021 will be a Battle of the Lions - and MudGear is excited! In fact, you’ll find custom BOTL MudGear Socks coming soon to their website. You can also gear up head-to-toe by adding performance shorts and a custom BOTL top right here at MudGear.com. Use promo code BOTL at checkout to get 10% off today’s order.
Beyond that, MudGear will be on location at each BOTL event pulling for Coach Sid, Dave, and the entire Battle of the Lions team. As we know all too well, operating a profitable OCR is no easy task; it requires an incredible amount of money, blood, sweat and tears, plus so much more. So some skepticism is to be expected. We’ve had our hearts broken too many times (RIP BattleFrog, Warrior Dash, Atlas, to name just a few), but in this case, both men have proven the ability to produce incredible courses and brands that remain profitable throughout the ups and downs of the early years of the industry. They aren’t here to make a quick buck. They’ve been fighting the battle for years, and they’re going to conquer... no matter what it takes.