The race day weather in Virginia for the Rugged Maniac on Saturday, May 5th, 2018, was perfect. On this scenic day, it literally felt like an obstacle course racing family reunion, full of games like Cornhole, giant outdoor Beer Pong, fitness competitions, and food options galore. Sure, providing a festival area, which includes a mixture of activities at obstacle course races is nothing new. But, this was different. The Rugged Maniac, most likely due to its inviting 3.1-mile distance combined with 25 obstacles, attracts individuals, families, and groups of all walk's of life. This race series is an all-inclusive OCR that is designed to be for everyone. What better way for me to discuss this race than to talk about a few of my favorite obstacles at the Virginia Rugged Maniac.
The Gauntlet is an obstacle equivalent to the OCR version of escaping the “Temple of Doom” a la Indian Jones style. A participant is literally running over water with the shaky help of floating pads while these mammoth oversized punching bags swing back and forth. It's a combination of balance, vision, and timing. If you want to simply Juggernaut, X-Men style by plowing right through them. This obstacle was placed more than halfway through the race. So, if a person was feeling tired, or legs were a little fatigued, the probability of taking a tumble into the water.
This year Rugged Maniac is unloading a few new obstacles. I was pleased with the obstacle rightfully called Off the Rails. The goal was to get some momentum by getting a running start, and basically launching yourself off a muddy ledge while holding on to a rope for dear life. Off the Rails definitely channeled flashbacks of playing on the playground as a kid. Participants got to fling themselves over roughly 3 feet of water for about 15 feet with the purpose of hitting a bell. I want this obstacle in my life. Off the Rail to the car. Off the Rail to the bathroom. Off the Rail to work. Just as simple as that. I was also impressed with the photographers at this obstacle. Not only was the location of the obstacle perfect for photo's due to natural lighting, the photographer's seized every opportunity to get a great photo, almost as if they were paparazzi at the Grammy's.
The last obstacle I want to highlight is a twofer. One of the Rugged Maniac's signature combined obstacles, the Mount Maniac. The Mount Maniac is a combination of the Warped Wall and the Accelerator 3.0. A cargo net which people have to scale is what connects these two mighty obstacles together. The Mount Maniac is typically the last dozy of the race. The Warped Wall for a lot of participants can go a few different directions, it can be the easiest obstacle of the day for you, the make you feel good for helping other's obstacle of the day, or the immediate I'm going to feel this in the morning obstacle. Some of us have taken a little from column a, b, and c. Thankfully, the Virginia Rugged Maniac provided a conveniently flat running alley for individuals to get some momentum as they look to scale The Warped Wall in epic fashion. The Accelerator 3.0 is sort of deceptive. Your crawling up this inflatable slide expecting it to be just that a huge slide. But, there is a twist, a participate will find themselves going from 0 to 60 mph rather quickly. The Accelerator is high, fast, and ends with an awkward slash down into the water below every time.
As happy as I was with the obstacles mentioned, there was one obstacle that potentially could have made things more daring. The new obstacle Full Tilt needed a few more elements and it would have been the jam of the day. This obstacle is basically monkey bars that tilt based on the weight of the person climbing while inclining up to declining down. The movement of the monkey bars can be quite intimidating because of the abrupt shifting. For taller individuals, this obstacle was a breeze because there was virtually no clearance between the ground and feet. So, a person could simply walk under the obstacle, which was not intended. Since this obstacle is new, and I still got a thrill out of trying, I wouldn't be opposed to performing this obstacle over water. But, to each is own. I truly do appreciate Rugged Maniac's willingness to introduce new obstacles to the OCR world. So, Rugged Maniac, keep them coming.
In conclusion, I've alway's described the Rugged Maniac as a legit fun obstacle course race. I know for some, including OCR and fun in the same sentence is odd, but that is how Rugged Maniac continues to attract more people. But, on the other hand, for those of you looking for even more of a Rugged Maniac challenge, there is an Elite Wave, and a new Rugged Maniac X, which would allow a participant the opportunity to run the race consecutively. So, don't worry my OCR racer enthusiast, there are way more challenges waiting for you too. I would gladly run the Rugged Maniac again, it's reasonably priced, family oriented, and fun for all OCR levels. There are numerous locations remaining to run the Rugged Maniac in 2018. For regional action near Virginia, the Rugged Maniac will be unleashed again just a few miles up the beltway on October 6, 2018, at Budds Creek Motor Park Raceway, in Mechanicsville, MD.
Music/Picture/Video Credits: Derek Ross
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