Continuing with my recent trend of great back-to-the-roots races, I attended the Nightmare Challenge last weekend in Nashport, OH. It was a race that I would honestly have been unaware of had it not been featured as the final race of the Ohio OCR Grand Slam and was brought to my attention by a trainer at the gym I attend.
Savage Race returned to the Chicago area over the weekend for another strong showing for the series. The race took place a little over an hour north of the Chicago metro, close to the Wisconsin border, an area not particularly known for rough terrain or hills so participants knew they were in for one blistering fast race
It seems year after year, I can’t say enough about Indian Mud Run. I believe last year I affectionately referenced it as “The Little Race That Could,” guess I’ll have to find some new endearing phrase because IMR 2017 was anything but little. Though, before we can go forward, we must go back. Indian Mud Run was founded in 2012 in an effort to raise funds for the local levy in Coshocton, Ohio that had recently failed.
It finally happened, after 5 seasons in obstacle course racing, I finally made my way to a Tough Mudder event. For years now I've been saying the only event they put on that I am interested in is the annual World's Toughest Mudder but this year they changed that with the introduction of their 6 race America's Toughest Mudder series. After the "South" event, I can now say that I am officially onboard with Mudder Nation.
I have been looking forward to Conquer the Gauntlet since the series announced that they would be expanding to have events across the nation this year. I eagerly checked the schedule and found the venue closest to myself; looks like I’m going to Louisville, Kentucky.
Mud Ninja is a little race in little itty-bitty South Salem, OH. Or so that’s how it seems when you take a look at their website which hasn’t seen a real update in years. You decide, it’ll be fun to get a small local event in and not take things so seriously for a weekend, so you register and plan for a casual weekend amongst all the machismo, competitiveness, and brutal courses in this sport.
After years of running around Haspin Acres in Laurel, IN for the Indianapolis Sprint, Spartan pulled a fast one on us all and changed the venue to Perfect North Slopes in Lawrenceburg, IN. The initial reactions were negative, there was no way they found a venue that would be more challenging than Haspin which was often regarded as one of the toughest sprints and also, what was the deal with moving the event to a site that is actually far closer to Cincinnati, OH than it is to Indianapolis as the name implies?
Indian Mud Run is the epitome of the term “Home-grown race.” Founded in 2012 in an effort to raise funds for the local levy that had recently failed, it has seen steady growth in each subsequent year. This year the race boasted 700+ participants, sure that’s far cry from the numbers that Spartan Race pulls week after week, but when you dig a little deeper you find that 20 different states were represented among the runners. What in the world could be bringing in racers from all across the country in what otherwise seems to be a small and obscure event?
The Ohio Savage Race is an event that I have been looking forward to all year after having attended last year at the same venue. Those of you following along at home may remember that last year I gave high praise to the event and was so bold to suggest that Savage may need to be considered a serious contender to “The Big Three”. I can firmly say that numbers be damned, Savage is securely one of the top obstacle course racing series in the business.
Black Swamp Runner was a small event in northern OH last weekend with a much larger vision. The epitome of “grassroots,” the event is the brainchild of just two people. A husband and wife team of Troy and Sandy Anthony can be credited as the builders, designers, organizers, and any other hat they may need to don on that day to make the event successful.