Rugged Maniac recently stopped in Los Angeles and was a blast! I first heard of this race a few years ago on Shark Tank when Mark Cuban invested $1.75 million into the company. I was excited to head to my third Rugged Maniac. From start to finish Rugged Maniac offered a fun race, food trucks, festival contests, cool swag, cold beer, and new obstacles. Rugged Maniac athletes were all around showing off their medals and swag with Sierra Nevada in hand.

Los Angeles is the second largest city in the United States playing host to the most recent Rugged Maniac. The city is home to over four million people. It is best known as the home of movie stars, Hollywood, palm trees, In n Out burgers, Muscle Beach, and never-ending traffic. The city has an endless supply of entertainment. My trip to Los Angeles was topped off by Rugged Maniac obstacle race.

The Terrain & Course

It was a sunny day in the mid-80s. We started off with a sprint along the sands of the lake until reaching a series of fire jumps. At the last fire jump, a cameraman was ready to capture your best pose. Most of the obstacles were a variety of trenches, barricades, speed traps, walls and cargo nets.

One obstacle that stood out was the shoe catcher which included a couple tunnels with slimy and gunky mud in them. If you didn't move fast enough the mud would gobble your legs up and eat your shoes for breakfast. The trick was to stick to the side of the tunnel walls. Although it was challenging, everyone had huge smiles on their faces.

Halfway through the race the obstacles increases in difficulty and included ballerina frog hops, circus ring swings, the gladiator ballon gauntlet, trampoline anti-gravity jumps, crash course noodle crags, the Anytime Fitness weight pulls and the grand finale water slide accelerator 3.0. All of which was loads of fun!

The race had one uphill climb about 150 ft high that was called “quad burner.” It definitely lived up to its name. Other than the one climb most of the course offered moderate terrain suitable for athletes of all abilities.


What’s New?

Rugged Maniac is always improving and in0vating their obstacle. In 2018, they introduced a few new obstacles including pole position. Pole Position uses your upper body strength to climb up a 5-foot platform then slide down a pole of your choice like a fireman. The second new obstacle was Off The Rails. This was so much fun! The obstacle is a take on a zip line. While most zip lines go downhill, Off The Rails, requires momentum to slide uphill far enough to ring a bell at the end. In the end, you drop into the water. The third new obstacle was Full Tilt, Rugged Maniac's take on monkey bars. The goal is to climb up the tilted bars to the middle then hold on as the ladders gravity tilts the bars down as you finish the climb.

All the new obstacles offer some challenge but not too challenging to scare away obstacle racers new to the industry. While many looked intimidating conquering them was easier than the look.


Event Festival:

Rugged Maniac always puts on a great festival, unlike many races they want participants to stick around for the whole day and enjoy an array of activities. The festival included a pie eating contest, pull up bar contest, and more throughout the day on stage. For adults over the age of 21 a Huge beer garden was hosted by Sierra Nevada. Even a mechanical bull was around for the adrenaline junkies, not something you see at most obstacle races. I gave it a go and lasted about 12 seconds.

The festival had a bunch of festival tents offering free samples including Rip It Energy, Body Armour, and Quest protein bars. Three food trucks offered BBQ, shaved ice flavors and one truck offered organic farm grown food. The merchandise tent well stocked with Rugged Maniac branded gear. My only wish is Rugged Maniac would make venue specified shirts in the future.

Overall the event was well organized. I enjoyed the fitness gear booth. The wash stations were easy to access and clean. Bag check was a breeze and medical staff on standby.


I had an awesome time. This was my 3rd Rugged Maniac. This race is one of the best 5k obstacle course races out there. It is very well priced and Rugged Maniac is known as one of the best values in the industry. The new medals are amazing.

This race will challenge you and show you that nothing can stop you. Stay rugged everyone! Never stop conquering your goals. One muddy step at a time.


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Rating: 4/5


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