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July 12, 2012
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Kosama Warrior Water Run

By Jared Curtis

Competitors battle the mud during May’s Kosama Warrior Mud Run. The Kosama Warrior Water Run on Saturday, July 14 at Sleepy Hollow Sports Park, 4051 Dean Ave., will feature various water-related obstacles. For more information, visit

Get wet and test your endurance

Sleepy Hollow Sports Park has led the local endurance race scene, offering four different races this year including the upcoming Aspen Warrior Fire Run (Aug. 25) and the Run of the Living Dead (Oct. 13). On Saturday, July 14, the park will hold its second event of the season as organizers use the life force of Poseidon, the God of Sea, for the Kosama Warrior Water Run.

“Last year we did an event that had some water elements to it, including a Slip-and-Slide, but this year we have expanded the course and brought in some new water-related obstacles,” said Max Kenkel, general manager of Sleepy Hollow Sports Park. “We’ll have the Slip-and-Slide back, but this year we really went all out.”

This is the first year the park will hold this many events. Kenkel says the location is ideal and will allow them to grow and build the newly-established races, as well as create new ones.

“We have 80 acres offering the most veritable terrain in Iowa, so it’s the perfect location to hold a number of endurance races,” he said. “With so much space, putting together a 5K race is pretty easy. Not only is it fun for the competitors, but it’s a lot of fun for us to create the obstacles.”

The event will feature a number of water-related obstacles including the La Brea Tar Pits, the Cannonball Run, the Dog Wash, numerous creeks and ponds, Viagra Falls (“it’s hard to get up”) and the aforementioned Slip-and-Slide.

“Last year’s Slip-and-Slide was good, but this year it’s even better. We worked a long time on it for this race and ended up creating a giant, 300-foot Slip-and-Slide,” Kenkel said. “We also have some high-powered water cannons for a section we call ‘The Gauntlet.’ ”

The event begins Saturday, July 14, with the first heats starting at 10 a.m. interested participants can register ($65) online at (put in the code kosama12 for $5 off) or register the day of the event starting at 8 a.m. The top finishers in each age group (including a kid’s one-mile run) will receive prizes. At the end of the race, Sleepy Hollow will provide free beer and food for competitors with live music from North of Grand. A costume contest will also be held, with prizes given.

“We want to create a fun atmosphere and encourage people to hang out with their friends after the race and let off some steam,” Kenkel said. “We had a great turnout during the last race, and people hung out for a while, so we’re hoping for a similar turnout.”

Another endurance race is taking place the same day outside of the city but is put on by out-of-state organizers, who Kenkel says will disappear as fast as they showed up.” Sleepy Hollow will offer anyone who has signed up for that event the chance to participate in the Kosama Warrior Run for free.

“All they have to do is call us (515-262-4100) and RSVP, and we’ll let them run for free, as long as they can prove they participated in the other race,” Kenkel said. “The national event offers less obstacles, charges more and all of the money leaves the state. Ours is a local event that helps support the local community.”

Athletes or couch potatoes of all skill levels are encouraged to get wet.

“You don’t need to be in shape to participate. It’s a challenge as some obstacles are tougher than others, but that’s why we encourage groups to run it together, so your friends can help and motivate you through the course,” Kenkel said. “The Kosama Warrior Water Run is much more than a race; it’s an adventure.” CV

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