With the increasing popularity of obstacle course racing, there is no shortage of race gear options. It can all be a little daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. If you want to run in something that is versatile, comfortable and unique, look no further than your underwear drawer. What may seem kind of crazy and wholly attention-seeking is actually completely rational and only somewhat attention-seeking. I am speaking from experience when I say there is nothing better to do an OCR in than your skivvies.

Make friends.

Mud runs are about the community. If you’re reading this, you are involved in an interesting sport that attracts an amazingly diverse group of people. Whether you’re running with a team or alone, it’s awesome to meet and talk to folks you don’t know. I can almost guarantee someone in your heat is in some sector of the armed services, so why not find him or her and thank them for their service? I’ve talked to people running with their parents, for a cause and for the first time. Meeting your fellow mudders is easy when your, ahem, icebreaker is there for the world to see. (Never mind the shrinkage.)

nuvision_action_image_storefront_1467208Run faster.

Don’t you hate when you exit an obstacle, and you’re weighed down by the mud and water in your pockets? Of course, you do, because “mud in the pockets” is every OCR athlete’s worst nightmare (and not something that is easily solvable by simply turning your pockets inside-out). Okay, it’s not that big an issue but it can be annoying.

Crawl faster.

The barb wire crawl is easily my least favorite obstacle on any course. As unimpressive as my butt may be, I seem to have a tough time getting it down. The last thing I need is extra material to get snagged on those jagged barbs. Sleek and streamlined, underwear is just what the doctor ordered to make your way through to the other side (unless you do manage to get caught, in which case the doctor will probably order a tetanus shot).

Get more pics.

Following the Spartan Race’s lead, other OCRs are providing free photos to entrants. This policy totally rocks, as long as there are some choice shots of you doing some badass shit. To paraphrase a philosophical cliché: if you jump over a fire but don’t have any pictures to post to Facebook, did you get burned? Wear something bold, bright and, well, barely there to get the photographers’ attention.

Get your head right.

That’s not an innuendo, I swear. (Although, definitely get comfy before the race.) Mud runs are an amazing physical and mental challenge that you have to work your butt off to prepare for, but mostly mud runs are fun! Wearing something outlandish will remind you that finishing with a good time is a lot less important than having a good time. Getting down and dirty in your underwear is nothing if not delightful. That is as true in OCR as it is in life.

Increase your swagger.

Part of getting over that wall or across those monkey bars is knowing you can. You need the confidence to keep going, to not let go when it feels like your strength is sapped. Wearing underwear where you’re not supposed to (you know, in public), forces you to feel confident. You’ll get a few sideways glances and think, “damn right.” But mostly you’ll get smiles and think, “daaaaamn right.” And remember, even if you fall there won’t be any mud or water in your pockets to interfere with your swag.

It’s cheap and easy.

It’s underwear. You need new underwear, anyway. They will be embarrassingly brown after your mud run, but unlike other mud runs you can plan ahead. Don't wear white before or after Labor Day. Or you can just save them for another OCR and smile whenever you see them hiding in your underwear drawer, a (perhaps) frilly reminder of all the obstacles you conquered and good times you had.

Embarrass your in-laws. (Or whoever.)

Because that’s just funny.


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