Gladiator Dash draws 1,200 runners, raises $50,000 for Newman Athletics


On June 9, 2012, nearly 1,200 people converged on Sedgwick County Park in Wichita with one goal in mind: Conquer a grueling 5k obstacle course at the first-ever Wichita Gladiator Dash.

The Dash, which raised close to $50,000 to support Newman University Athletics and more than $5,200 for the Child Advocacy Center of Sedgwick County, was patterned after Warrior Dashes, extreme obstacle course races staged in many cities across the country. The 5-kilometer race, which was packed with mud crawling, water traversing, and over-and-under obstacles involving hay bales, tires and other materials, tried the strength and endurance of competitors hoping to prove themselves on the field of battle. The event drew more than 1,000 spectators who, along with competitors, filled the park with high energy.

“The turnout for the Gladiator Dash was phenomenal,” said event co-director Dan Giroux ‘96, Newman Athletic Club president and partner in the Wichita law firm Prochaska, Giroux & Howell LLC. “We started this with the idea that we would be ecstatic if we could get 300 participants. To get close to 1,200 was beyond our wildest dreams.”

Every participant in the Dash successfully completed the event, which featured 12 obstacles over the course of 3.1 miles. Obstacles included the PGH Law Crawl, the Humidor Smoky Forest, the Doonan Trucking Trailer Hop, the Miller Lite Mountain, Spangles’ Mudslide, the Reddi Industries Victory Wall, and the Tiresome Tires obstacle. All participants received Nike Dri-Fit T-shirts and commemorative dog tags.

The Gladiator Dash will return to Sedgwick County Park on June 8, 2013. Participants must be 16 or older. Registration for The Dash is now under way at Wichita Genesis Health Clubs or GoRun locations, or online at

“We are definitely looking forward to a bigger, better event this summer!” Giroux said.