Grit ‘N Wit was a combination of physical obstacles and mental challenges. The idea was great and the execution was pretty good for a brand new race. Unfortunately, turn-out was not high, but hopefully we will see this race back again next year as there are plans in the works for a spring race.
This race was 4.15 miles, 30+ obstacles, and had 12 mud/water pits. The Mainprize brothers definitely made this race their toughest event yet. This race was not set up for time purposes but completion purposes. The Tiger Trap on this course was the deepest mud pit I've been in so far.
For the fifth consecutive year, the Reebok Spartan Race brought their 3+ mile event back to the New England area. The wildly popular race series spanned two days and was also being filmed by NBC for a future broadcast. After putting in a full day volunteering on Saturday, I was excited to return on Sunday to tackle the course that many were claiming was the toughest sprint distance race every held in the area.
New Jersey based MudManX held it’s second event of the year on August 9th in New Windsor, NY at the sight previously used for Survival Race, Cousins Paintball. With this location having a mixture of permanent structures and those brought in by MudManX, the course was slammed packed with obstacles at every turn. The rolling hills through a variety of different terrain was challenging enough to keep your heart pounding through this 3.1 mile course.
It's one week before the first obstacle race of the season, I check the weather and UGH, it's gonna be cold and damp! Welcome to racing in Canada. We are the only country it seems where we can go from frost bite to sunburn in one day. We load the car and head off to the Hamilton/Niagara region, about a 4 hour drive.
The Dirty Dash racing series recently brought their 5k fun run to the New England area for the first time. Leading up to the event, a few other national races of similar ilk had fallen on tough times. The female only Dirty Girl race series, which held 50 events last year, cut that number in half for this year and recently cancelled a few upcoming races. The 5k Foam Fest that was affiliated with the same company as Dirty Dash also announced that they were closing its doors. This led to speculation on social media that the Dirty Dash race was in jeopardy. However, about a week before the scheduled event, we received an email with race logistics which quelled some of the fears.
Off to Tweed, Ontario we go. The location for the Doomsday Race was at the Trudeau's Park Resort about 20 minutes north of Napanee on Stoco Lake. This is a beautiful setting with a breeze coming off the water to keep racers cool. I had spoken with the Race Director a few weeks prior and he had some concerns with the amount of rain that they had been having, but he felt that they could accommodate the racers but may need to change some of the parking areas.
The Samurai Sprint Mud Run recently held their inaugural event in New England. The local race boasts a combination of outdoor elements and challenging obstacles spread over a 5k course. In an attempt to appeal to runners of all abilities, they also offered a relay race option in which teams compete together in the running aspect of the race, while a few select team members tackle the more demanding obstacles. With the ever growing popularity of the sport, it is becoming more and more difficult for new races to establish a presence.
Mud Ninja is a small, local race that offers just about everything that the “Big Boys” of OCRs have to offer without the exorbitant prices and huge crowds that can make running in national races a bit of a headache at times.
The course was 3.2 miles long and only had 12 obstacles. All in all that's a decent obstacle to distance ratio. However, the layout made it worse because of the way the obstacles were bunched together. Half of the obstacles were bunched on top of each other over the last 300 yards of the course and these were the best obstacles. More on that in a minute.