I recently had a chance to chat with Jay wright and Steve Hornick, the team behind the creation and execution of the Mud Mulisha Obstacle Course Run series. Having just completed the Shawnigan Lake 6km Mud Mulisha obstacle course race with my husband, I wanted to understand why the team of Jay and Steve loved the mud so much, and why they decided to create a race series of their own.
What got you into the Obstacle Race Sport?
Actually a friend at the gym that wanted to put a team into a TM Whistler in 2012. It gave us a new goal for training, gave us a reason to get in better shape and our team trained so hard for that event. We had no idea what it was about but we wanted to win! After realizing very quickly in race day that it wasn’t about winning, we left that run wanting more, so we found Spartan Race and got hooked.
Always got in crap for getting dirty as a kid, staining my good clothes, too much laundry for mom! So I suppose this is somewhat rebellious in that we create an environment where nobody, not even mom or dad can give anyone crap for getting muddy, that’s the whole purpose!!! Plus, it’s sexy.
What made you want to create a race of your own?
Really after every race we did that year we sat around after thinking about what we liked and didn’t like about the race. Some of the obstacles, the ambiance, the energy, even the beer… and talked about what we’d do differently if we put on a race of our own.
With the Mud Mulisha Race Series you have created, what makes it unique?
We bring back the underground feel to the sport. Make it fun for everyone and allow whole families to get involved. Our courses are usually made with fresh cut trails and obstacles we know will be challenging, conquerable, and super fun! We allow the elites to compete for prizes but still keep most of the day about fun, to encourage involvement by everyone!
Of course! That’s the best part! We put a lot of thought into them before we build them, then once they’re built, we play.
What’s the weirdest thing about running your own race you have found?!
I’d say not being able to run on race day! Super weird because the love of the sport is why we do what we do, and in building courses we don’t get to compete on the day.
What makes a good obstacle?
Really it has to be fun, safe, and challenging. We’ve run races where they claim to have 55 obstacles over 7k and some of them you had no idea you just did an obstacle!!! So we always want people running our courses to know full well, that they’ve done an obstacle.
Well one that is unsafe for sure. But aside from that, one that provides no challenge or fun factor. We recently built a huge waterslide and although it wasn’t much of a challenge, it was super fun!! Our recent rope climb was 27′ out of 4′ of water, that’s a challenge and you damn well know you’ve done an obstacle;)
Any memorable stories from your races you want to share?
I’d have to say over all, meeting so many awesome people! We’ve made so many great friends building and hosting races so far. Being allowed the opportunity to get to know these people and their families through course builds and race days has been absolutely amazing!
Who if any are your racing heroes?!
C’mon, who doesn’t love Hobie?!? Got to meet him at a race in Washington a couple years ago too, great guy. Would love to have him test our courses one day!
Why chose the locations you do for your races?’
Trails and access are super important. We don’t like to have too much running between obstacles so we have to be able to get tools out in the bush to build or create exciting obstacles. We’re pretty comfortable cutting brand new trails so the venue has to be ok with us doing that too. It also helps if there’s an existing economy there as well as amenities on site that allow for things like food and beverage licensing, showers, accommodations if needed.
What should the OCR community expect to see from you in the future?!
We’re gonna keep building awesome courses!! Our belief is that if you put out an amazing product, people will enjoy and return again! We’re very proud of our grass roots approach and, as racers ourselves, being able to build courses we know fellow racers will love! We do have our eye on some cool new venues that will allow us to get pretty creative so stay tuned for that!!
For beginners in the sport what’s your best training advice?’
Probably to get involved with a local boot camp. We see that as such a successful way to train for these events. It not only helps get you fit but also gets you involved with some like-minded people that will hopefully be your team at the race