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Ascarate's boom in obstacle races, revenues

By Andrew J. Polk, Multimedia Journalist, andrew.polk@kvia.com
Published On: Feb 27 2014 08:01:21 PM CST
Updated On: Mar 11 2014 12:14:22 PM CDT

Another Jailbreak run was announced for Ascarate Park today, and the park has experienced a boom in the number of similar obstacle races in the past few years. ABC 7's Andrew J. Polk reports.

EL PASO, Texas -

Another muddy, obstacle-based 5K race was announced for Ascarate Park on Thursday, and the park's calendar is filling up with similar events, stretching through November.

The Jailbreak run will be returning with its prison-escape themed 5K run, along with some new features and challenges for participants.

"So after they've gone through the three miles and 18 muddy, wet, fun, crazy obstacles," Tim Scrivner, president of Jailbreak Racing Events said, "they're going to have the option to take a little detour. If they take that detour, they've got two miles of they don't know what - surprise, hardcore, gut-busting, soul-crushing obstacles."

It's the second year in a row the run will be held at Ascarate. Organizers say they're returning because of the great response last year, and the support they received from the park.

"They've absolutely been phenomenal - to be honest with you, more than we ever would have thought to ask or hope, " Scrivner said. "They were absolutely a great partner. They only problem I have is that now it seems like everybody's doing something out there."

And that's a growing trend. The park itself has experienced an explosion of these events in just the past two years.

"There were over 20 of those types of events when you count in the 5Ks, when you count in the cause runs, such as the glow-stick, the color runs," Park Manager Rey Chavez said.

That nearly doubled from the previous year, and Ascarate is on track to meet or even exceed that mark this season.

"The park's getting filled," Chavez said. "The park is getting filled. We have unfortunately had to turn back some of these events."

While the calendar fills up, revenues and attendance are increasing as well. Entrance fees collected by the park jumped more than $40,000 last year, and the park's staff said about 300,000 visitors came through the gates.

Overall revenues collected by the county have taken a sharp increase as well, going from about $180,000 in 2012 to more than $230,000 last year. Officials said that was due in part to the entrance fees of $1 per car and rentals of the park's pavillion.

Chavez said that with all the people coming into the park for the runs and events, they're also getting exposed to what else Ascarate has to offer.

"And we get the comments," Chavez said. "We get the comments from people saying 'We didn't know this was here."

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