“My main message is: If you show up, you will finish. It is a life message.”

“Obstacles can be an inevitable deterrent to success, but when we see obstacles as opportunities, we more readily experience growth, development and attainment of our most aspirant goals.”

Motivating stuff? There is only more to come from chief inspirer and brand ambassador, Ricardo Gressel, also known as Warrior Ric, when he gets thousands of participants inspired from the start of the Warrior Race which takes places at Kwanyoni Lodge on September 24 and 25.

It will be the first time this popular event will be hosted in Mpumalanga, which boasts eight legs held throughout the year at different venues across the country.

Warrior Ric, originally from the United States, has been an integral part of the brand since its inception in 2013 and has been the start MC ever since, with occasional involvement at the finish, prize-giving and general motivation throughout the race.

“Chief inspirer refers to my role which goes beyond being just the MC to helping people move beyond their fears in order to succeed at the race and to enjoy it,” he says.

“My purpose is to transform lives; at Warrior through my corporate contracts, school talks and general speaking engagements. My main message is: If you show up, you will finish. It is a life message.”

He adds that the Warrior Race may seem too difficult, especially to first-timers, but there are a majority of elite athletes who also cannot finish the course.

“We want people to feel good about entering the race. We want them to know they will have support before, during and after. We want out warriors to tell others about the fun and exciting time they had and to participate in the next race too.”

Warrior Ric, who has over 20 years’ experience in marketing and communication, also says the race has a “fun element” which is lacking for the recreational athlete who is not interested in the daunting nature of triathlons.

“South Africans are adventurers and they love the outdoors. The Warrior Race, like any obstacle-course racing, requires only a pair of old tekkies, shorts and a T-shirt. It is a low barrier for entry in comparison to other adventure sports like cycling or mountain climbing,” he says.

“An obstacle-course racing athlete, regardless of experience or capability, is a unique breed of individual. It is someone with the soul of a soldier, ready to meet the challenge of any natural man-made obstacle – alone or with others.

“It is a person who is prepared to accept a deep sense of humility while in search of personal and professional greatness.”