Search Results for: z mud run

Z Mud Run NJ-Bagels, Yogurt, Chocolate Milk… And Mud

I went into the Z Mud Run with minimal background on the event itself. Turns out minimal background translates to minimal expectations. Whatever expectations I had pulling up to the event were blown away and then some. Here’s what I knew about the event based off a friend’s experience during last years Zmudrun and a brief glance at their website prior to race day.

  • All net proceeds go to a charity called “The Happy Home”. As per the website here’s the info on the cause…“The Happy Home” is  a growing orphanage that was started in southern India to care for children with HIV/AIDS  who have lost their parents and been abandoned by their extended families and in some cases left on the hospital’s doorstep.
  • Free onsite parking
  • Free bag check
  • Mud
  • Water

As for my experience itself, if you’ve glanced at my previous reviews, you know I’m a major advocate for having fun while competing. To me, fun is mud; fun is water; fun is all the things this sport allows us to do that we did as kids without a care in the world. I don’t need technical terrain. I don’t need intense, challenging obstacles(though that doesn’t hurt). I don’t need to feel I’m better than anyone based on placement. I need fun and fun was certainly provided on this day.

Zmudrun-Mud-Crawl Photo Credit:  Mathew Renk Photography

The first wave was filled with participants of all ages, from teens to middle aged. There were no egos, no brand promoting temp tats or supplement logoed headbands. There was laughing, smiling and the expectation of fun on every face in the wave. The race started after the national anthem. We headed off onto a straightaway stretch of grass that moments later lead you to a creek with water that came just above my knees. That was just the beginning of the days fun.

The obstacles were basic, but the course was loyal to the term “Mud Run”. There was multiple water crossings, one which required traversing over floating boards. Followed by a trek through waist deep water that had an unassuming amount of mud beneath the surface. So much so that you literally had to use your hands to lift each leg, step by step, if you didn’t move along at a brisk pace. The level of fun during this section was infectious. People falling into the mud left and right, causing laughter from those around, with a helping hand always stretched out.

Zmudrun-Mud-Pit Photo Credit: Mathew Renk Photography

After you made your way out of the water and back onto dry land you were led around the outside of a corn field. The transition of terrain was very much welcomed compared to an open view of a course that I often experience at events. A little side note, there was roughly 7 water stations throughout the 5k course that offered Gatorade or water. It was unheard of to be approaching a water station around nearly every turn, but awesome nonetheless.

As far as obstacles go, it was mostly terrain related with water and mud, short of a cement block drag through sand. One massive mud hill had a rope to assist in the climb but not before, you guessed it, a water/mud pit at the base of the hill. Several hay bale climbs, wall climb that provided three options for completion(tall wall-no assist, medium wall with foot supports and medium inclined wall with rope assist) and one of my event favorites, a water slide.

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One of the most welcoming aspects was the energetic, enthusiastic environment of the festival area where the finish line was located. After navigating the walls and water slide you come around a corner to see the final, fun-filled obstacle. You climb a small hill that leads you into water. Navigate through a tube crawl that allows just enough space for your neck up to be above water. After exiting the tube you crawl under a net, still submerged in water on your knees to another small mud mound to the finish.

Zmudrun-Final-Obstacle-Part-2

The event is untimed and not competitive, but the crowd an event like this attracted was so excited, they cheered me on and let me know I was the 2nd finisher to come through. The emcee was feeding off the crowds energy,so much so, he gathered the top three finishers to pose for pics at the top of the final mud mound. An energy level for self accomplishment I don’t often experience at non-competitive events.

After finishing and composing myself while standing with a friend, another racer approached us with a huge smile on his face. He wanted to congratulate us on our race and proceeded to inform us, this was his first race and he had so much fun, he “couldn’t wait to do another one”. That moment right there is what I hope for at every event and gives me hope for the future of the sport. But wait, there’s more!

Zmudrun-Refreshments

As I approached the post race refreshment table for my water and banana, something caught my eye. Something…. Amazing… Something … Rare… Something unheard of…. It… Was…. Beautiful….. Bags and bags of bagels, pastries, gummy fruit snacks, varying flavors and brands of yogurts of the regular and Greek options. I was beside myself with joy. Not expecting anything to top this moment ….something marvelous happened… an angelic looking woman sought my attention… and she said to me… “We have chocolate milk over here… Follow me” …. And I did . Fast forward three cups of glorious chocolate milk later, I made my way to the stand up showers that actually had water pressure.

Zmudrun-Kids-Race

The kids race was well organized with fun obstacles for varying ages and enjoyed by all, evidenced by the sheer joy on the faces of the miniature athletes. The course was filled with families and large groups of friends. An event capable of catering to a broad range of athletes. Serving as a good reminder to the experienced athlete why we love the sport that affords us the opportunity to be a kid again

Z Mud Run had everything I look for in an event, and some things I never thought to look for.
Let us recap….

  • Free Parking
  • Free Bag Check
  • Great volunteers
  • Abundance of water stations
  • Mud
  • Family friendly
  • Water
  • Chocolate milk
  • Bagels
  • Above average medal
  • Chocolate milk
  • Mud
  • Chocolate milk

I certainly will be adding this to my 2017 race schedule when they announce next year’s event………………

Zmudrun-Potty
Last but not least…. They had some high quality crappers. Adequate amount for total participants and excellent level of cleanliness
💩💩💩💩 out 5…….Battlefrog would be proud (R.I.P.)

Muddy Warrior Run 2017

medal-Muddy-Warrior-Dean-Riggott
Before heading down to Chicago to tackle the Toughest Mudder, I made a pit stop outside of Rochester, MN and ran the Muddy Warrior Run.  The Muddy Warrior Run is a 5K locally-run OCR that’s very well-produced and designed, with some great obstacles and excellent use of the terrain at their venue.

Festival Area:

Everything was close together and easily accessible, with some food and nutrition vendors sprinkled throughout.  There was ample seating for people to hang out, and the bathroom/shower situation was solid.  Registration was done and over with quickly and smoothly.

Start-Line-Muddy-Warrior-Run-Me

Venue:

The race venue is about 1 ½ hrs. from the Twin Cities, on the NE corner of the Rochester area.  From the parking area (which has lots of room and within walking distance to the registration tent), it looks like just a grouping of trees in the middle of a wide-open field.  This misled yours truly to think there wasn’t going to be much in fun terrain for this course.  Boy, was I wrong!

Course:

The race started off with a very energetic emcee getting all the racers pumped up and ready to tackle the course.  After getting all pumped up, we were off!

Leading up to the race, there had been some rain, and it was still raining on & off throughout the course.  This made the “muddy” part of the Muddy Warrior Run easy to live up to!  Big clumps of mud stuck to me as I crawled out of the barb wire crawl & headed into the trees.  This is where I ate my first impressions of the venue, as it opened into some great double-wide track through creek beds, roots were strewn all over the trail, and some decent inclines.  My watch gathered around 600 feet of elevation change in roughly 3.5 miles (not sure how accurate that is, but that’s what I’m going with!) so the course designer made use of every inch they could!

Barb-Wire-Muddy-Warrior-Run-Facebook

 

Log-Squat-Muddy-Warrior-Dean-Riggott

Obstacles of Note

The log station, where we had to do 15 squats with the log & the Form Enforcer right there making sure we went deep enough on the squats (she was great!).  There were the normal walls to climb over but threw in a tall wall climb over and a traverse wall for a little bit of spiciness.  A couple of the most fun ones for me were the base jump into a pool of water, the straight pipe rig towards the end of the race, and the spear throw.

Wall-Traverse-Muddy-Warrior-Dean-Riggott

Base-Jump-2-Muddy-Warrior-FB

Wall-Muddy-Warrio-Dean-Riggott

Rope-Muddy-Warrior-Dean-Riggott

Muddy Warrior Aftermath

After talking with some people that had done the course in previous years, they said this year’s course was much tougher than past years.  I also learned that the competitive wave people had bands, which meant it was mandatory obstacle completion.  They also had cash prizes for the top 3 overall, which is always great incentive to have the fast athletes show up.  Overall, everyone had mud on them, smiles on their faces, and phrases of “Can’t wait to do this again next year!” filling the air at Muddy Warrior Run!  Another great locally-run OCR in Minnesota is done and in the books!

End-Muddy-Warrior-Run-FB

Udder Mud Run – 2016

UdderMud Atlantatube3

PROLOGUE:
Saturday, August 6: Two knuckleheads eastbound and down on Highway 20 who are, as usual, hopelessly late for their assigned starting time…

“Okay so take the next exit and make a right.”

“You mean a left.”

“Nope. A right.”

“Dude, we have been to dozens of races out in this part of town. The horse park is to the left.”

“Yeah but this one’s at a different venue.”

“Wait a minute… A different venue? That’s just crazy.”

“I know right?”

REVIEW:
The Udder Mud Run took place in Covington, Georgia this past Saturday and for the first time I decided to participate. For the past couple years I’ve skipped this event because, well, their logo’s a cow… an upside down cow. I mean c’mon ORCs are supposed to invoke the imagery of ancient unshaven warriors. So how fierce could it be? But this year I decided to give it a go and what a fantastic decision that turned out to be. I’m sure a wiser man would learn something about judging books by covers or some other such nonsense because, as it turns out, The Udder Mud Run is a fabulous event that shouldn’t be missed by anyone.

The main course was just over 4 miles (7 km) long and consisted of roughly 40 obstacles. That’s right 40 obstacles. Most courses don’t come anywhere near that even when they’re twice the distance. The obstacles ranged from OCR standards such as 8 and 10 foot walls, low crawls, and mud trenches to the more unique such as the lube tube, rolling nightmare, and pipe web. More on those in a bit.

The race (and each successive wave) began with a thunderous firework exploding above the starting line. Pretty cool as long as you didn’t have a PTSD flashback of your time in The Nam. Within 20 feet of the start line was a small dirt mound. Ah, first obstacle easy-peasy. Little did one realize that this mound was perfectly hiding some thick ankle-deep mud. Well, let that set the tone for things to come as this course contained copious amounts of mud with over a dozen obstacles requiring you to be in it and a handful more landing you in should you fall off. Without a doubt the Udder Mud Run lived up to the “Mud” part of its name.

Udder-Mud-Atlanta-Mud

Other interesting obstacles include the Rolling Nightmare, a set of free spinning barrels strung across a waist-deep mud pit. In essence a smaller scale version of Tough Mudder’s Block Ness Monster that uses round blocks. This was a fun obstacle that for the overwhelming majority of people required assistance. During my run through I didn’t see anyone that could launch themselves past that critical point of no return and make it to the other side without help. Many tried but simply just wound up spinning the barrel and falling backwards in failure. Thankfully there was a mini contingent of Grey Berets helping folks over. I appreciated the assistance and do feel bad about kicking one in the head as I went over the top with all the poise and grace of a fish flopping on the dock. Sorry mate.

Then there’s the Lube Tube or as I prefer to call it Porn Star Tryouts. What a clever obstacle this was. A PVC tube about 18 or so inches in diameter and a good 15 foot long situated over a mud puddle that racers needed to shimmy across from one end to the other. No problem right? Wrong. THESE PVC PIPES WERE GREASED! That’s right the pipes were as slippery as could be and simply staying atop them was, shall we say, problematic. But staying on top was just the beginning of the frustration – some form of forward movement was also needed. Of the two techniques I observed, the Bear Hug & Inch Worm Forward style didn’t appear work nearly as well as the Upright Ride’em Cowboy style. Thanks to the multitude of lovely racers for the demonstrations of proper technique. A big thumbs up to whatever evil genius devised this exercise in frustration.
Udder-Mud-Atlanta-tube-2

Udder-Mud-Atlanta-Fence-1

Overall The Udder Mud Run’s obstacles ranged from pretty easy to quite challenging to must get help. The array of obstacles were interesting in that they tended to be more balance and agility oriented with no heavy carries and few tests of upper strength. This resulted in an event where both men and women were pretty much on equal footing. But one thing did leave me a bit disappointed. With the races logo being upside down cow how could cow tipping would not be a featured obstacle on today’s course? Oh well, always room for improvement I guess.

And now for a quick look at how they handled the key basics:
SCORE CARD

Parking Parking was free and, unlike that other venue on this side of town, only a very short walk to check in
Check In If you printed out your ticket and waiver ahead of time, like the OCR pro you are, check in took all of 30 seconds.
Included Items Like all events you got a t-shirt, which was a nice quality cotton. For an extra $5 you could have upgraded to a dry fit material. While the cotton is nice I wish I had upgraded. Oh and extra credit for a shirt that’s an actual color as opposed to black or grey. The finisher medal was a little rinky dinky but still quite acceptable.
Freebies This was billed as a “family” event so no finisher beer this time. Instead they had ice cream. Now that’s an upgrade!
Volunteers All OCRs live and die by the quantity and quality of the volunteers. The Udder had a huge number of volunteers at every spot on the course. They all had very positive attitudes and in several places were right down in the mud with you to lend a helping hand. I can’t say enough positive about them. They made the event the success that it was. As a matter of fact there was one spot on the course where a volunteer saw me struggling up a particularly nasty little slope. He yelled many encouraging things including that there was plenty of cold water available just at the top. That helped me dig a little deeper. But when I got to the top, lo and behold waiting for me was not a much-needed water station but rather an arctic enema style ice bath. Well played, sir…well played.
Festival Grounds Fairly humble as one would expect at a local event. They were friendly to tents and such being set up.
Value for Dollar Excellent
Water Stations There were plenty of water stations throughout the course at roughly one-mile intervals. All stations were well-stocked with cups and water.

THE BOTTOM LINE
The Udder Mud Run is billed as a family-friendly fun event. And while it absolutely is, don’t be fooled into taking this event too lightly. This is a legit OCR from start to finish with parts that will both amuse and challenge you. I have to give it top marks and look forward to getting at it again next year. Ignore what Bart has to say…

Udder-Mud-Atlanta-Cow

Have a cow. Do the Udder Mud Run. 

Dirty Girl Mud Run – Killington

Dirty Girl Mud Run is a 5k, women’s only, obstacle course designed to get you muddy with your friends.  You will walk, run, climb, jump, and crawl your way to the finish line.  Not only that, but you get to support Bright Pink®, a national non-profit that is working to prevent and provide early detection of breast and ovarian cancer!Dirty-Girl-Mud-Run-Killington-Start

Dirty-Girl-Mud-Run-Killington-PoleI arrived on Saturday morning wondering what I had gotten myself into.  I am an avid obstacle racer who took part last year.  I wasn’t wondering if I would be able to do the obstacles, if I would have fun, if I would see any friends.  I was worried about the cold and the wind.  It had been in the 80’s and 90’s the last few weeks and was hovering in the upper 50’s when I arrived with crazy wind.

Parking was easy and free! I got to the top and found quite a few that had opened up after the first wave runners had left. I parked close enough that I didn’t need bag check and could just go back and forth to my car.

Dirty-Girl-Mud-Run-Killington-Utopian-tubesRegistration is so easy, you sign your waiver digitally and get a stamp, move to the next table and they assign your number right there, and you move on to the last table for swag.  This year the shirt was white and was glad my car was close to go put it away.  I was a little disappointed as last year we got a shirt, a bag, a necklace, and some sample shampoos and conditioner, that was all lacking save for the shirt.  It wasn’t a huge deal as I decided to wait and shower at home since it was so cold.

The festival area had a great merch tent, ropes to climb, a bouncy house! Yes, a bouncy house! Several vendors and of course food and beer  in the lodge.  There were lots of people huddled up waiting for friends and family to race.

Dirty-Girl-Mud-Run-Killington-SlideI didn’t remember what time I signed up for, they didn’t tell me when I registered, it wasn’t written on my bib, so after wandering around checking things out, I lined up! It was great, they gave everyone a warm welcome, cheered members of Dirty Girl Nation who were back again, cheered even louder for the newbies ready to tackle their first mud run. We did a warm up which was so welcome, it was definitely cold standing still in the corral.

Dirty-Girl-Mud-Run-Killington-MudWith a countdown and really large bubble machine spewing bubbles, we were off.  Dirty Girl did a great job of using the wide roads, paths, and trails.  Things were a little slick with the off and on rain we had.  There was never a large back up of obstacles except at the slide.  They had one side shut down for some reason.  Keeping your feet picked up certainly made it faster but ouch when you hit the bottom.  The Utopian Tubes needed a bit of help when the wind managed to move the entire obstacle backwards and pull it off the blower keeping it up.  The staff was quick to respond and get it hooked back up.  The wind was fierce! We went up and down the mountain, although not to the degree that any other race does, rounding out a solid 3 miles.

The course was a blast, the 2nd to last obstacle was through a dumpster of dirty water, washing off much of the mud.  While I certainly appreciated this, I heard a few grumbles from those who wanted the truly muddy and dirty finisher photos.

The medal was awesome, a major upgrade from last year in weight and style.  Perfect for the bling whore in all of us.

Dirty-Girl-Mud-Run-Killington-MedalPhoto by Hannah Hawley

All in all, I had a great time, feel that it is a great race to bring your friends to who are intimidated by the harder courses.  It is also just a fun way to have fun in the mud.  Next year the weather better be warmer though!

Macon Mud Run 2016

Early on the morning of April 2nd 2016, three of my fellow OCR enthusiasts and I began the 2 hour trip southward toward the city of Macon Georgia. Spirits were high as we headed to get our mud on at the Macon Mud Run, a great local race where the proceeds help the Hephzibah Children’s Home and their ministry to fight the commercial sexual exploitation of children.

The venue was conveniently located just off I-475. There we were met by a friendly volunteer who directed us to the nearby FREE off-site parking (parking next to the venue cost $5), with shuttles quickly moving racers over to the race venue. We chose to take the short 5-minute trail walk which brought us to the check in table. Even at that early hour, the DJ was pumping out some great tunes and the energy level was very high. Things were buzzing! Check in was just a bit slow but everything we needed was in our bag once it was retrieved from the gym and we were set to start our adventure!

The main festival area was very nicely laid out with plenty of port-a -john facilities, seating under a giant tent, and various vendors scattered about. This race has a great family atmosphere, with plenty of friendly and helpful volunteers ready to answer any questions and make sure everybody got to where they needed to go!

The race is divided into two different categories that racers could choose. There were 2 competitive 7k waves, then multiple 5k open waves. We made our way over to the start for the first competitive wave ….and the muddiness began in earnest. The starting ‘corral’ was actually a long mud pit with knee deep water with a steep muddy-bank climb out the far end!Macon-Mud-Run-2016-Trenches
The wide, clearly marked trails were freshly cut and really did a great job utilizing the natural terrain. And, due partly to a week of rain, were plenty muddy. Thankfully the pesky roots and stumps had been marked with red paint to make things a little safer for those less fleet of foot. We wound through some really pretty woods, where runners were able to spread out quickly, eliminating any back-ups at obstacles. The 7k course took us through some fun easy challenges, including a short point-to-point sandbag carry, eventually bringing us to the first of two lake crossings. A sturdy hand rope helped make this first chest-deep crossing feel a little safer, and the bright sunshine on the far shore really felt good coming out of the cold water. And there were mud pits everywhere! The race website claims over 100 muddy pits, which was probably pretty accurate. And that doesn’t count carrying around the extra 5 pounds of mud stuck to each shoe for the whole race, which made for some very tired and sore legs! Some of the other favorite obstacles included drops down into and rope assisted climbs out of several steep ravines and a challenging ‘stump jump’ which required major balancing skills. One of the more physical challenges of the day was the MUDDY tractor tire flip. And yes, they were full of water and very heavy! More mud pits, nice trails, then even more mud pits (are you detecting a pattern here?). Up and down in and out of that thick red Georgia clay/mud. Most of us just gave up trying to navigate the ‘down hills’, opting to sit and slide instead. Oh well, those shorts were old anyway…no use worrying about all the holes I was ripping in the backside!Macon-Mud-Run-2016-Mudslide
Another challenging obstacle was the traverse wall. These were set up pretty high on picnic table tops, which I really didn’t like very much, and may be an area for MMR to rethink and hopefully modify for next year. A slip off the muddy footholds would cause a pretty good drop onto the hard-packed crushed gravel below, likely with shin/knee/crotch/belly contact with that foothold on the way down. There was one volunteer acting as spotter, but that left 3 others without help. Maybe lower those just a little next year?

Another favorite was the 2nd lake crossing, this time through deep water necessitating a swim to get across, and an opportunity to wash off some of that mud! Again there was a sturdy rope with floating noodles along its length for assistance, lifeguards standing closely by, and as always, a walk-around bypass for those not comfortable with their swimming skills. A speedy water slide down a steep bank brought us back near the festival area.Macon-Mud-Run-2016-Stump-Jump
After a long 30′ balance beam traverse over a muddy water pit we soon arrived at the much anticipated “Major Mud”. A devious and carefully designed twisted trail of up and over and under and round and through twists and turns consisting of steep climbs, pipe crawls, slippery slides, grave-hops, and waist deep water crossings. One mentally challenging segment was wisely modified by the volunteers on site. It consisted of several lengths of wire cage placed over the top of the water filled ditch that racers had to pull themselves under while trying to keep their faces out of the water to be able to breathe. But due to the recent rains there was just too much water in the trenches and no space between the cage and the water. Kudos to the crew for making the adjustment on the fly and keeping the racers safe!Macon-Mud-Run-2016-quarter-pipe

After making it through that muddy maze it was only a short trip over to the final 2 challenges. The first, and probably my favorite all day, was a 10′ quarter-pipe wall cut into the red clay bank. It required a good running start to be able to make it up the slick muddy wall unassisted, but later open waves had plenty of fellow racers waiting at the top to lend a helping hand. A final water slide back down the hill and there was the finish line! Man oh man were we muddy! And smiling! Taking a few minutes to see the Finisher Awards being given to top 3 Male and Female Overall Winners and it was time to hit the showers! Or maybe not. Hey that was so much fun….lets do it again! And so we did.

Making the rounds once more, this time on a later 5k open wave, we were amazed how much the course had changed. The first wave was muddy for sure, but after several hundred people slogged through and churned up the trails, there was a really big difference the feel of all that beautiful red mud…Now THIS was some really fun stuff. All the pits and slides and hills were the texture of blended mortar mix and we spent lots of time just rolling around and playing in it. If we were looking for mud, we had definitely found the mother lode!

Finally, after a million laughs and too much mud to remember, we made it back to the finish line and over to the rinse station. It would take a lot of water pressure to get this much mud off, and the showers did the job perfectly. Having them on the asphalt parking lot made them a whole lot more user-friendly, too. Another nice touch MMR! Changing tents and bag retrieval were close by and then, sadly, it was time to go.

Hats off to first-year RD Valerie Smith and all the crew and many volunteers at Hephzibah Children’s Home for making this year’s MMR even bigger and better than before! Everything was very well organized and every aspect of the race experience was run very smoothly. With over a thousand runners in 2016, this is becoming one of the local favorites! Folks if your looking for a fun, old-school MUD RUN that hasn’t bought into the current trend of the ‘ninjafication of OCR’ …one without the pressure of rigs, ropes, rings, swings, high climbs, and long heavy carries, then I encourage you to check out the 2017 Macon Mud Run! You’ll be glad you did!Macon-Mud-Run-2016-Muddy-Runners

Tacoma Metro Parks Mud Run – A Success!

Nothing makes me happier than a race director that can take constructive criticism, accept it for what it is, reach out for additional feedback, and make an event better because of it. The Tacoma Mud Run’s race director Ralph Thomas deserves some incredible recognition for his ability to adapt and deliver. 2015 was the first year I participated in the Tacoma Metro Parks Mud Run, and I really enjoyed it. When I wrote about my experience, Ralph contacted me to learn exactly how they could improve… and improve they did!

Tacoma Mud Run Fire Jump

The 2016 Tacoma Metro Parks Mud Run was held at the same location as last year’s event: Swan Creek Park, Tacoma WA. The race site is an old neighborhood that was raised years ago and was turned into a community park that is known for its biking trails. The old neighborhood streets still exist in the park and make for easy parking nearby the registration tent and starting corral. Last year registration was a weak point. There were long lines that moves slowly. This year they clearly marked the registration lines alphabetically and broke the alphabet up into more lines. This had a tremendous effect on registration efficiency. They also had you chose a race time frame when pre-registering which helped break up the mad rush at the beginning of the event. Ralph took my feedback from last year and perfectly implemented the changes.

Tacoma Mud Run Mud Pit

This year the event also had a food and drink vendor, D.J. spinning some music for everyone to enjoy while waiting for their wave, and a booth for a new local indoor obstacle race training concept called Infinite Obstacles. This was a great improvement as well. Because this race occurs at the beginning of Spring in the Pacific Northwest, chances are good there will be rain, wind, and cold weather. Having coffee and food as well as a couple vendor tents to hang out under was a great addition.

Tacoma Mud Run Wall

What impressed me the most about the improvements this year was the addition of new obstacles that were high quality and built by Infinite Obstacles. Most of the obstacle from last year were still there. There were varieties of mud pits, vertical walls, tires to flip and pull, and sand bags to carry. However, the obstacles built by Infinite Obstacles really helped to step the event up to another level. They built a set of Spear Throw targets and Spears, Slosh pipes that had to be carried, Inverted Walls and balance beams. One of my favorite aspects of this race though is that it is family friendly. Kids as young as 5 are allowed to participate. It is also very affordable with registration prices from $25-$35 depending on when you register. I bring this up because Ralph and Infinite Obstacles worked together to create kid sized versions of the same obstacles. My son loved it as did all of the other kids I saw. They were able to compete at their own level! How cool for a kid to have obstacles just like mom and dad that they can do on their own. Huge win by Metro Parks Tacoma Mud Run!

Tacoma Mud Run Mud Pit

If you live in the North West, you must try this event. The 2-mile course is perfect for kids but long enough to kick off your OCR season and get those joints moving after hibernating over the wet and cool winters of Western Washington. Ralph Thomas at Tacoma Metro Parks has done an awesome job and is open to feedback and making the event better while Infinite Obstacles helped make obstacles that even a diehard Spartan Racer could enjoy.

Tacoma Mud Run Hockey Check

Check out http://www.metroparkstacoma.org/mud-run#.VvI6h5X2YlY for the course map and to see what else Tacoma Metro Parks has in store for 2016.

Photo Credit: Russ Carmack