Rugged Races (Rugged Maniac)

Pitch obstacle course race event company
EntrepreneurRob Dickens and Brad Scudder
Asked For$1,000,000 for 10%
Deal$1,750,000 for 25%
SharkMark Cuban
StatusAcquired, In Business

Company Background

What is Rugged Races?

Rugged Races (aka Rugged Maniac) turns a boring 5-mile park run into an exciting obstacle course filled with challenges, everything from wall climbs to slides, spider webs, and crawling through mud. Events are held over varying distances for teams or as singles and competitors compete over timed obstacle courses, similar to what you’d see on Survivor, the hit TV series.

Who are the Rugged Races Founders?

Rob Dickens and Brad Scudder founded Rugged Maniac, the holding company for Rugged Races, in 2010. Both Rob and Brad come from backgrounds as lawyers.

Rob gained his law degree at the Washington and Lee University of Law and worked for a New York Law firm. He remains with the company, holding the titles COO and CMO.

Brad attended the University of Connecticut Law School and worked as an attorney for a firm in Massachusetts. He left Rugged Races in 2020 and now works for a corporate developmental company.

Founder’s Story

Anyone who has read a John Grisham novel will draw similarities with a few of his protagonists and Brad’s inspiring story. A lawyer working for a lucrative law firm, Brad soon got burned out by the 100 hour work weeks, either sleeping at the office, constantly traveling, or getting home at 03:00 am in the evenings.

An outdoorsy, fit guy, Brad entered an obstacle race course over 10 miles one weekend and thoroughly loved it. In his spare time, which he had minimal, he envisioned his own obstacle course, with the idea of it becoming a business. He found a venue, started building obstacles, got a website live, and quit his six-figure a year job four months later to focus on it full time—much to the astonishment of friends and family.

Living rough for a few months in a flat-share, he was soon up and running and holding about 15 events a year. Not long afterward, Rob did the same and came to join him. They managed to keep the business going for about three years, barely making a profit but thoroughly enjoying themselves. It was now time to get an investor on board to grow the company.

Rugged Races Shark Tank Update

Is Rugged Races Still in Business?

Rugged Races has continued to grow in popularity since appearing on Shark Tank. In 2018, New Media Investment Group—aka Gatehouse&mdash, acquired around 80% of the shares in Rugged Maniac.

Despite COVID frustrations synonymous with large crowd/public events these days, the company remains in business and has a 2021 schedule listed on its website—offering full refunds if events get canceled.

Many upcoming events have upwards of more than 50% in ticket sales. It has since expanded to 28+ cities and now employs about 20 full-time staff. At one point, they had 200,000+ people participating annually in their events.

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