Climbing over walls, crawling through mud and jumping over fire are just some of the obstacles that participants face in Rugged Races’ obstacle courses.
On April 25, Brad Scudder, CEO, and his COO, Rob Dickens, face another obstacle: the investors on Shark Tank.
Here’s what you need to know about the extreme-sport enthusiast who decided to change career paths and put all his money into a daring idea.
1. He Was Hesitant to Go on ‘Shark Tank’
The producers of the reality show actually reached out to Rugged Races, asking them to be contestants.
“At first we were hesitant, because we didn’t feel we needed or wanted an investment, but eventually we decided it was too good a marketing opportunity to pass up,” Scudder told Heavy.
Before that, he hadn’t really watched the show, and had only seen clips. The night before he went on, he was sure to watch it more seriously.
He admitted that he didn’t know as much as he should have before facing the sharks.
“I was a bit arrogant and hardly prepared — I was still memorizing my pitch a few minutes before we walked on stage,” he said.
2. His Company Is Built Upon a 5K Obstacle Course
Scudder explained his company as “chock-full of the best obstacles in the industry.”
There are as many as 10 obstacles per mile. He explained his course stands out from the others that consist of “a few boring miles between obstacles.”
According to the CEO, his company’s events are extremely social and people are known to make friends as a result. It helps that the demographic is young men and women.
He explained that they can “bump into each other at the after party where they share war stories over beers.”
3. The Obstacles Were First Designed by Navy SEALs
— Daniel Gomez (@eckomandg) November 15, 2013
Some parts of the event can include a cargo climb, 7-foot and 4-foot walls, tubes to run through, water obstacles, a pit of fire, a 50-foot water slide, mud pits and tire obstacles.
When he started the design process, Scudder got help from two real-life Navy SEALs.
Now, because the company has grown so much, three full-time employees to work on the designing.
“It’s my favorite part of the company, so I’m still very involved in the process,” Scudder said of designing.
In an interview with Scholars and Rogues, he said:
We’re like a circus. We ship in and throw it up, break it down and get ready for the next stop. I work endlessly. I never stop working.
— MUD CRAZY (@Musak1721) April 19, 2014
4. He’s Also CEO of The Great Bull Run
The idea came to him and Dickens one night over drinks. Since they had always wanted to run with the bulls in Pamplona, they figured others must share that passion.
The event usually consists of up to 600 participants and 18 bulls. Professional bull handlers and medics and are site to ensure safety throughout the quarter-mile track.
Their website describes the event like this:
This isn’t a charity 5k or a simulated bull run with people dressed in bull costumes chasing you down the street. This is the real deal, modeled after the famous San Fermin festival in Pamplona, Spain, but without all the time and money required for a trip to Europe!
5. He’s a Former Lawyer
The former attorney attended Stonehill College and UConn law school. “I got tired of being between people’s problems,” he said.
He continued, “There’s a lot of paperwork and writing and there’s not a lot of glamour to it. I wasn’t dealing with constitutional issues and I wasn’t changing the world. I wanted to get out.”
Before his foray into extreme sporting events, Dickens was a corporate lawyer on Wall Street.
I financed the company with every cent I’ve ever earned from two years of practicing law. My family thought I was crazy. But, they were not surprised.