VIP athletes get special bibs that designate them as VIP.

If you have purchased a Rugged Maniac entry this year, you may have noticed an add-on to your race registration called “The VIP Experience.”  Here’s what the VIP package costs, what it gets you, how that looks on race day and who should sign up for it.

Another wave starts at OKC's event.

The Cost and Perks:

The VIP package costs an additional $39 and gives you $90 worth of extra perks.  Included in this package is:

  1. Automatic preference of start time (even if it’s sold out)
  2. VIP Check-In: Your own check-in line (typically with little to no people at it).
  3. VIP Bag Check: A special area that is only for VIPs to check their bags.
  4. Standard Parking Pass
  5. $20 in Rugged Bucks: $20 of store credit to spend at the merchandise shop.
  6. +1 More Free Beer: A second beer that you add to your first free beer that’s included in normal race registration.

For an additional $10 you can get VIP Plus which includes preferred parking.

VIP Bag Check (smaller, no line, and in its own area), right next to the VIP check-in.

Who should pay for the upgrade?

Honestly, this is a pretty great deal, and you will most likely benefit from adding this to your registration regardless of who you are.  However, if you fit into one of these categories it’s a good sign you will get your money’s worth and then some.

The Rugged Fan:  If you are the type of person who knows they are going to spend money in the merch shop, then definitely buy the VIP.  With $20 in store credit and $10 in parking (or $15 if you waited until the day of), you’ll come close to breaking even almost immediately.

The Late Registrant aka The Procrastinator:  If you waited until the last minute to sign up, the VIP Experience lets you access waves that are full allowing you to run whenever you want.

The Rugged Partier:  If you are sticking around to really experience the party, you’ll want the upgrade.  The beer and parking perks will pay for themselves.  You’ll enjoy the much shorter walk (stumble?) to your car, as your designated driver takes you home.

The Late Runner:  The better parking gets exponentially more beneficial the later in the day you run.  Therefore, if you are in the 9:15 AM wave, you might skip the VIP Plus with the better parking.  However, if you are running at 11 AM, you’ll enjoy the super close parking and laughing at your friends who have to park in the far corner of the lot as well as being able to skip any lines that may form during registration.

One of Rugged's new obstacles, Double Cross, a high wire/low wire or Tyrolean traverse.

My Experience: 

I upgraded for the recent Rugged Maniac Oklahoma and with 90-degree weather, I was glad I did!  It put my car super close to the festival allowing my wife/kids to go back easily and cool down in the air conditioning when needed.  The beer coupon we actually traded in for ice-cold Gatorades.  Plus, after me spending the morning running around, my kids were more than happy to pick up some merchandise.  I combined my prize for podium finishing with the VIP perks to get some Rugged Maniac shorts as well as headbands that my daughter proceeded to wear for the next week non-stop.  In the end, it was worth every penny and then some.

VIP Parking, insanely close to the start and festival area.


The VIP Experience is a welcome addition to Rugged Maniac (read my review of Rugged Maniac Oklahoma City on Mud Run Guide).  If you are like me who drags their family to races, this is a nice treat to say thank you.  Closer parking, fewer lines, cold drinks and some merch for the family make this bonus essentially pay for itself.  If your plan is to #GetRugged in 2021, you might as well get rugged in style with the VIP Experience.

The final massive obstacle Mount Maniac concludes with a slide right before the finish.

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