It's the season for fun runs, mud runs and glitter runs. This year, a stunt run has been thrown in the mix for Utah—the ThrillSeeker Stunt Run, organized by Jared Willardsen, former stunt producer of Nitro Circus and Fuel TV's ThrillBillies, and Del Andrus. The two met when they were wreaking havoc at Brigham Young University. Now, their antics have been upgraded, researched and turned into obstacles meant for the brave of all ages. The run has been 3 1/2 years in the making, and will be hosted at Hee Haw Farms in Pleasant Grove on May 23. For more information, visit StuntRun.com.
What makes this stunt run different?
Jared Willardsen: A lot of our obstacles are designed to be chain-reactive: One obstacle is three obstacles in one. They are multi-faceted, like you would see on a cartoon.
Del Andrus: We created an experience that's not just heavily focused on running or on a challenge. It's more to give you adrenaline and a fun, exhilarating experience.
Why Utah County?
JW: A lot of us are from the area. I still live here, and a few members of the team are still here. Utah is such an athletic, outdoor community, it just makes sense to do one in our hometown.
DA: I went to school in Utah, enjoyed all of the great outdoor activities and the people in Utah. This is exactly the type of thing that Utah loves to do. It's totally in alignment with Utah culture. Coming back and providing something for a large, mass gathering is an exciting opportunity for me.
Why did you partner with the Guardian Angel Council?
JW: Most events go find a charity to help them out. Guardian Angel Council came to us to create awareness. That's a cool aspect of this. The charity is putting it on—it's not an event company with a charity slapped on the side.
DA: The Guardian Angel Council is adamantly trying to encourage more people to register on the database for Be the Match, who connect bone marrow donors with leukemia and lymphoma patients. One hundred percent of the charitable proceeds from ticket sales go to the council.
What shenanigans did you pull at BYU?
DA: The typical dinner and a movie wasn't in our DNA. We had to romp around in the mountains at night, or build a bonfire, dirt biking up the stairs. There's always some guy's friend who takes things too far, and we're guilty of having those people, too, but we really didn't try to hurt people.
JW: Race trash cans down Temple Hill, set off stink bombs in the library—dumb stuff like that. I got kicked out for doing gainers on the high dive. We would jump trucks down the Marriott Center, or take huge water-cannon grenades and race through campus in this old convertible we had. They knew it was us, but we were faster than them.
Do you pull these kinds of antics at the office?
JW: I'm not admitting to anything.
DA: I've had to be a lot more professional because of my position. But the problem is, with some of our group, if you do something, it gets escalated to the point where sometimes, it's just better not to poke a lion.
JW: He's afraid.