Yesterday, many athletes who had already signed up for a 2017 Rugged Maniac received the following email from Rob Dickens, the co-founder of Rugged Maniac. In the email participants who opted for a timing chip (an additional $10.00) were informed that moving forward the company would be removing timing chips and instead track athletes based on finish position similar to the way Warrior Dash operates their competitive heat.
Rugged Maniac took the path of some of the other big name events and used the International Horsepark in Conyers, GA for their location. Unlike the other events Rugged Maniac sticks to their distance. This was an actual 5K loaded with some really great obstacles. Besides having some really good obstacles, I will get to those in a minute. Rugged Maniac set up a great festival area with things for adults and kids; and adult kids. They even allow teams to set up tents to be able to hang out it. If you are planning on doing a Rugged Maniac, be smart and plan it as an all-day event. The party is worth it.
It is always so lovely to be in the swing of the season and see the OCR calendar come to life all over the world. In Australia, the bucket-list worthy True Grit had an amazing weekend, while in Canada, the XMan Race brought in impressive numbers. Dirty Dozen weekend in England, Warrior Race in South Africa...the entire planet appears to have been getting muddy this week!
The obstacle racing landscape is dominated, at least in the social media groups, by a few organizations. In reality, the obstacle racing landscape is vast and diverse, with everything from international corporations to local mom and pop races run by enthusiasts who want to share the love of OCR with those in their community. Then there are other events, ones which many may have heard of but never actually done.
The summer continues to roll on with obstacle races across the globe taking place every weekend. This past weekend OCR was everywhere from the Spartan Race European Championships, Terrain Races in Flagstaff, Arizona to BoneFrog Challenge in South Carolina. Rugged Maniac made a stop outside of Kansas City while Tough Mudder was outside of the Big Apple, with both a full course and a Tough Mudder half. With over 40 obstacle races and mud runs taking place this weekend around the globe, that is a lot of muddy, wet, and challenging obstacles to overcome.
For the past three years I have been trying to get to a Rugged Maniac and finally, this year, I was able to make that a reality. The race was held at the Chicopee Ski Resort in Kitchener, Ontario. This resort is steeped in history dating back to 1805. With multiple ski runs available, it provided racers with a variety of elevations that were well marked and evenly cleared.
The Cooldown:002 Big Sky Spartan, Rugged Maniac, Blind Obstacle Racers, and the Barkley of the west.
The Cooldown episode 2 features the news from the weekend, including an interview with Ryan Atkins coming off his win in Montana. we talked with Margaret Schlachter about Rugged Maniac in RIchmond, Virginia and finally interview "Sherpa John" the race director of Niwots Challenge, "The Barkley of the West," all in this episode of The Cooldown.
If there was ever any doubt that the obstacle racing season was in full swing this weekend with over 50 races around the world happening at the same time put all doubts to rest. Both Spartan Race and Tough Mudder were in three different locations over the weekend as well as all the other major American series racing around the country. Internationally, XMan Race Series was in Toronto, Toughest in Sweden, Rat Race Dirty Weekend in the United Kingdom and more. Mother's Day Weekend did not stop many of the top athletes around the world from toeing the line. We bring you some of the highlights from the weekend in this week's Last Week in OCR.
This is the race SO many of you have been waiting for since the season kicked off. While Saturday racers had to rely on the insanity of the course itself, Sunday racers were treated to proof that Norm Koch has indeed made some dirty deals with a particular underground entity. Rain, wind and cold took out many a racer on this already incredibly challenging course, and even without all that on Saturday, when it came to numbers on the UB, over 800 started, but less than half finished.
Year-in and year-out, Warrior Dash proves its worth as being one of the best mud runs for beginners, as I wrote in this article on that subject last year. One could argue their obstacles and event is somewhat formulaic, and that's exactly what I want! When I'm recommending a race for first-timers or fun-seekers - whether to millions of people* or a group of parents and teachers at my daughter's school, I want to know they are going to get a safe, fun, experience that I know each and every one of them can handle. Period.