Sunday, March 9, 2014

Dirty blog post! Aka the Rugged Maniac 5k

Brian and I had just started getting into running, and had run exactly 1 regular 5k in June. Why not just jump in head first and complete a 5k mud run? So, we signed up for the Rugged Maniac for the end up July, leaving us about 5 weeks to prepare for the race.
We trained by running a 5k distance or slightly greater 4-5 times a week and by completing the company’s rugged regime, which was conveniently a 5 week program.
On the day of the race, we were prepared but a little nervous. How would I react to being completed covered in mud? How long would it take us? Did we put in enough mileage?
We wore matching navy blue shirts, old gym pants, and old sneakers. I wore a bathing suit bottom under my pants which really came in handy during the race.  At 11am, we line up for our wave and our nerves immediately turned into excitement. There were people of all shapes, sizes, and ages there, all waiting to join forces and get through this course together. It seems that the mud run/obstacle race community is full of great people and we were glad to now become a part of it.
rugged maniac starting line
The clean before pic in the starting corral
The start was on a flat grassy area, gradually turning to mud in the first mile of the race. A little before the one mile mark, we approached our fist obstacle, which was some barricades to jump over. We cleared them without any issue, along with one or two other small obstacles, before arriving at the first water station. It would be the only water station we would see on the entire course, but we ended up not needing more.
After doing another small obstacle, we approached the slide. If anyone had managed not to get too muddy up until this point, it was all about to change. Without hesitation, we slid down into a giant muddy pool. Brian looked at me for my reaction, thinking I would be grossed out by the amount of mud covering every inch of our bodies. But, I was laughing! It was so much fun!
rugged maniac slide
Slide, one of the best obstacles on the course!

rugged maniac slide
Brian went down sideways!
After the slide, other obstacles started appearing one after the other, with only some running in between. The running we did have to do was up and down the hills of the motorcross track, which were extremely muddy, both on purpose from the course and with the help of the monsoon that came the night before. It was nearly impossible to keep a good running pace because the mud was so thick and deep that attempting to run would either get us stuck or remove our sneakers. At points, it was so thick that we had to crawl on our hands and knees!
We did barb wire crawls, tire carries, went through muddy tunnels, climbed over wooden walls and scaled larger walls with ropes. We jumped into and out of mud pits, crossed over mud pools with barricades and ran across balance beams. We had to wait in line for some of the obstacles, particularly the rope wall ones, and because of this the course took longer than anticipated. Our clothes were so muddy and heavy that they began falling off and dragging us down. I skinned my finger during one obstacle and obtained a battle wound. But, we were having so much fun we didn’t care!

rugged maniac barbed wire
Brian at the barbed wire crawl
The final two obstacles were jumping over a line of logs on fire, and then a cargo net climb over this huge structure which we ironically ran through at the starting line. We proudly cleared these obstacles and ran across the finish line, an hour and some minutes after we started.

rugged maniac fire jump
Jumping over fire, covered in mud

rugged maniac rope climb
Final rope climb
rugged maniac obstacle
Climbing down the final obstacle
 We grabbed some water and took obligatory post run pictures before lining up to use the showers. We deposited our dirty clothes into garbage bags and I threw out my old gym pants since they were previously ripped.  As we waited, the sky opened up and it started pouring. It was perfect timing! We quickly changed and headed back into the race festival for our free beer and to check out some of the vendors. This race in particular really knows how to put on a party with push up contests, free food/protein drink giveaways, a mechanical bull, etc.

rugged maniac after pic
The muddy after pic
We are happy to report that all the mud washed out of our clothes and they look as good as new! This has been our favorite race to date, and we can’t wait to participate in another mud run!

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