Already boasting a diverse résumé, Ramiro Ortiz believes BattleFrog, a Navy SEALs-inspired obstacle course race (OCR) will provide the latest challenge to scratch his competitive itch.
As the newly appointed CEO of BattleFrog, Ortiz, whose professional background includes bank president, chairman of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce and Florida Boxing Hall of Fame inductee as a boxing historian, hopes to turn the fast-growing BattleFrog race series into the “must-do” participant sport.
“I’ve been blessed,” Ortiz said. “I had a career involved for many years on the business side, but sports has always been a passion. This was an opportunity to get involved in the sports industry with OCR racing, which is the fastest growing running event. It’s the perfect fit at this part of my life.”
BattleFrog, which includes four grueling courses specifically designed for participants ranging from age 4 to adult, makes the third of nine stops this year at Carter Stephens Farm, located outside of Boston, on July 25.
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The series arrives in Florida on Nov. 21 at Amelia Earhart Park in Miami before moving to the Orlando area on Dec. 12.
Ortiz said BattleFrog is set up to cater to everybody from the 8-year-old enduring mud crawls, climbing walls and slides in the bootcamp-style BullFrog Mile to the 8-kilometer race, where weekend warriors and world-class athletes push through more than 22 obstacles.
“The whole concept of OCR racing was inspired by a group of Navy SEALs and the concept was to replicate the kind of training that they go through,” Ortiz said. “The founders of our company were a group of Navy SEALs, and our obstacles were designed by them. We work hard at broadening our participant population. We want to cater to not just elite runners but we also want to make this a family-friendly environment.”
Ortiz believes three days of ESPN2 coverage in June for the inaugural BattleFrog College Championship series was a sign of things to come.
Ortiz said where OCR racing was once seen as a fringe sport, a spike in interest could lead to record numbers participating before long.
“In 2010 there were approximately 250,000 participants running OCR races,” Ortiz said. “The projection by Running USA in 2015 is over 5 million runners. It’s the fastest growing running sport in America. This generation of participants enjoys outdoors a whole lot more than sitting on the couch and watching television.”
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