Race Recap: Tougher Mudder Virginia 2019
If you are a connoisseur of obstacle course races, the Tough Mudder OCR series must be on your proverbial to-do list. To miss out on participating in a Tough Mudder is simply just not right. On Saturday, June 1st, 2019 at Silver Lake Regional Park in Haymarket, Virginia, Tough Mudder brought the challenge and the turnout was ridiculous.
Utilizing the Community
To get to the Silver Lake Regional Park location involved a lot of preparation and cooperation from the Haymarket community. This detailed setup included using two local school's, Ronald Wilson Regan Middle School and Battlefield High School. Arriving early guaranteed parking in a specific “colored” parking lot at Battlefield High School. An 8 to 10 min mandatory bus ride dropped us off and picked us up from Reagan Middle. The relaxing coach bus ride through an immaculate Haymarket neighborhood cleverly disguised the OCR energy percolating at the lake.
The Tougher Mudder Competitive Wave
The Tougher Mudder is one of many varied distances the Tough Mudder has to offer. The classic at Virginia involved 25 obstacles and roughly 9 miles of terrain. In the competitive wave, the ability to do obstacles that are typically meant for assistance from groups was a daunting task. Oddly, even during the competitive wave, Tough Mudder encourages sportsmanship and promote helping others. The toughest obstacle to complete without the help of other's was the cult classic Blockness Monster. In addition, the 6 feet under trenches and the new 2019 obstacle Leap of Faith made for an epic race story.
Early Race Access, Less Wait?!?
The ultimate goal of signing up for the competitive wave is to see where you stand at athletically in attempts to win a medal. It is also no secret that running the first, or earliest waves means, less interference from participants while running. The Saturday, June 1st day for Tough Mudder had extremely long lines at specific points. The start gate coral and Everest were two locations that stood out. Ironically, a sign located next to the start read “Standby.” That sign alone explained the whole day for individual's encountering extremely long waits at the race.
The Mudder Observation
Simply put, participating in a Tough Mudder is like reenacting “Die Hard” movie scenes. This reenactment would also include cliche one liner's as you enter Electroshock Therapy. Overall, the Virginia Tough Mudder in Haymarket was a success. The balance of water obstacles mixed with a high degree of difficulty was prevalent. As expected, the somewhat flat course kept the pace fast. More importantly, the Festival Area was popping and the vendors were actively trying to keep up with the large crowds. Lastly, the transport from the race was organized and the security while retrieving bags from bag check was top flight.
On a positive note, the early morning participants had a great time. When it comes to OCR, they truly don't make them like this anymore. Basically, all inclusive with a touch of headband and vest swag that is synonymous with the Tough Mudder brand. But, I regret, the long wait for various obstacles at the Virginia Tough Mudder was hard to ignore. Thankfully, Tough Mudder was at that location for two straight day's, which meant more opportunities to run the course. Overall, I would gladly run this race again, especially in the same Haymarket, Virginia location.
Boost in Rating
Honestly, because of the wait times, I was going to give this race a 3 out of 5. But, Tough Mudder in an open email apologized to it's Virginia racers. This email also included a discounted race code for 2020. Transparency means a lot, and we OCR faithful's appreciate the honesty. Thank you Tough Mudder. Special shoutout to the volunteers.
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This author is part of the Mud Run Crew and received a free race entry in return for an independent review. All opinions are those of the author and were not influenced by the race sponsor or Mud Run Guide.