Tough Mudder #ObstacleWeek – No. 3: Pyramid Scheme

Fan favorite #3 for Tough Mudder’s #ObstacleWeek, Pyramid Scheme, is the quintessential Tough Mudder obstacle, requiring teamwork and creativity to successfully scale the slick, slanted behemoth. Whether you use a tried and true method that hasn’t let you down or are a Tough Mudder virgin just trying not to kick someone in the face, you’ll have to rely on strangers and friends alike to conquer this beast.

Pyramid Scheme is one of those obstacles that benefits from spatial awareness and a background in construction. I firm base is necessary to support your pyramid, and be prepared to think outside of the box. Inappropriate touching is guaranteed – both by you and to you. Don’t hold it against your fellow legionnaires, scaling this slippery slope will take everything you have, including your dignity. The joy of victory awaits you at the top, where you’ll celebrate with your Mudder Family.

For tips on training for and conquering Pyramid Scheme, check out the Tough Mudder website. Which obstacle will be voted #2?

What’s your Pyramid Scheme story?
Tell us in the comments below

Tough Mudder #ObstacleWeek – No. 4: EVEREST 2.0

As Tough Mudder’s #ObstacleWeek continues, the countdown rises to new heights with Everest 2.0.  Everest 2.0 was voted the #4 fan favorite Tough Mudder obstacle in recent weeks by the legions who call themselves Mudders.  Whether you scale it with ease, linger to help others, or fight to conquer this monolith, Everest 2.0 will leave you feeling accomplished and part of your Tough Mudder family.

One of Tough Mudder’s signature obstacles, Everest got a facelift in 2015 and it’s been a big hit. Everest 2.0 has an additional 2′ lip at the top that requires more speed and lift to get a hold and scurry up its face. More challenging for those who were already scaling this beast, Everest 2.0 continues to deliver the camaraderie that made Tough Mudder famous. It’s not unusual to see legionnaires station themselves atop Everest 2.0 and remain there encouraging and assisting those who are daunted by Everest’s incline.

For tips on training for and summiting Everest 2.0, check out the Tough Mudder website. Which obstacle will be voted #3?

What’s your Everest 2.0 story?
Tell us in the comments below

Tough Mudder #ObstacleWeek – No. 5: ELECTROSHOCK THERAPY

As Tough Mudder’s #ObstacleWeek begins, the countdown starts with a blast…a blast of 10,000 volts.  Electroshock Therapy was voted the #5 fan favorite Tough Mudder obstacle in recent weeks by the legions who call Tough Mudder family.  Whether you love it, hate it, or fear it, Electroshock Therapy will get inside your head.

Tough Mudder’s signature obstacle since the beginning, the Electroshock Therapy of today is not the Electroshock Therapy of the past.  Improvements in technology allow for better voltage regulation and gone are the days when the wires were tied to a car battery with manual control of the “on/off” switch.  Today, lovers of this obstacle respect and honor its heritage by inventing ever-creative ways to face this beast head on.  Whether it’s a team of legionnaires linking arms and walking through blindfolded together, running backwards blindfolded, crossing the wire field wearing chains as accessories, or stopping in the wire field to crown a legionnaire who is completing his 25x Tough Mudder, Electroshock Therapy will continue to entertain and intimidate at Tough Mudder events.

For 5 tips on surviving Electroshock Therapy, check out the Tough Mudder website. Which obstacle will be voted #4?

What’s your Electroshock Therapy story?
Tell us in the comments below

HESCO BONEFROG Challenge: The Original (and only) Navy SEAL Owned and Operated OCR

HESCO BoneFrog Traverse

Back in 2012, some Navy SEALs decided they wanted to create their own obstacle course race to offer racers an opportunity to challenge themselves. The idea was to have a Navy SEAL owned, Navy SEAL designed, Navy SEAL operated, Navy SEAL Foundation supporting organization that was all about challenging limits. BONEFROG Challenge was born!

Now, it’s no secret that Navy SEAL training is extreme. The SEALs are elite tactical military who are expertly trained to deliver highly specialized, intensely challenging warfare capabilities that are beyond the means of standard military forces. Read this as ORGANIZED – COMMITTED – SKILLED! And that is exactly how Brian Carney – Founder and CEO – approaches every race. Brian and the BONEFROG team painstakingly plan and execute every BONEFROG event and have methodically grown the brand from a single event in September 2013 to the 6 events planned for 2016. Is it a plan for success? If the Navy SEALs have anything to say about it…you better believe it is. BONEFROG proudly announced it’s new partnership with HESCO Group just the other day, and it’s a partnership that reinforces HESCO BONEFROG’s dedication to the SEAL ethos.

Press Release: BONEFROG Challenge is proud to announce HESCO Group as our new Platinum Sponsor, creating the HESCO BONEFROG. Based in the UK and the US, HESCO Group is a leader in rapidly deployable, earth-filled barrier systems. Renowned for their military force protection and flood defense capabilities, and recently launched ultra-light body armor for protecting first responders.

Brian Carney, Founder and CEO of BONEFROG Challenge, welcomes the partnership with HESCO Group:

“HESCO BONEFROG is truly a unique experience which will challenge even the highest calibre athletes as well as be welcoming to new OCR racers. With our 3 course options, we truly have something for every racer and our Navy SEAL-style obstacles are the best in obstacle course racing.  As SEALs, we have used HESCO products in Iraq and Afghanistan countless times, and these products have even saved some of our lives. For this, there is no better company for BONEFROG to partner with other than HESCO Group.”

HESCO Bonefrog Jumbotron

May 21, 2016: New England – Berkshire East Ski Resort, Charlemont, MA
Celebrate Armed Forces Day with BONEFROG at their home course in Massachusetts. 9+ mile Challenge, 5+ mile Sprint, and Tier 1 races available. Prizes for all categories.

June 18, 2016: Atlantic City Sprint – Borgata Hotel and Casino, Atlantic City, NJ
$15,000 up for grabs at this special event.  Sprint distance only – about a 5k. Read The Borgata’s press release about the event.

July 23, 2016: South Carolina – Carolina Adventure World, Winnsboro, SC
New venue…new opportunities to challenge yourself. 9+ mile Challenge, 5+ mile Sprint, and Tier 1 races available. Prizes for all categories.

August 27, 2016: Atlanta – Highland Park Resort, Cedartown, GA
New venue…new opportunities to challenge yourself. 9+ mile Challenge, 5+ mile Sprint, and Tier 1 races available. Prizes for all categories.

September 24, 2016: Orlando – The Park at WildWood, WildWood, FL
New venue…new opportunities to challenge yourself. 9+ mile Challenge, 5+ mile Sprint, and Tier 1 races available. Prizes for all categories.

October 29, 2016: Bone Frog Championship – Berkshire East Ski Resort, Charlemont, MA
Qualify for the Championship Heat at another HESCO BONEFROG
Take on the 6+ mile Championship course at BONEFROG’s home in Massachusetts for the final race of the season. MORE MONEY!

A minimum of 10% of sales goes to the Navy SEAL Foundation.  For the 5 BONEFROG events held in 2013-2015, $55,000 has been donated (that’s an average of $11,000 per event). BONEFROG is committed to giving back and actually follows through.  The CEO, Brian Carney, doesn’t take a paycheck.  The HESCO BONEFROG was created by Navy SEALs to challenge, build and inspire participants to become better athletes and recognize that they can do anything they set their minds to while enjoying the camaraderie and teamwork usually reserved for active duty Navy SEALs.

Based on SEAL training, the obstacles can provide a unique challenge.  For instance, other races might ask you to complete a memory challenge, but the HESCO BONEFROG has Mindgames – a repeat until success memory challenge (there’s no easy in SEAL training).  Other races might have heavy carries, but the HESCO BONEFROG has the Ammo Carry – a heavy, awkward to carry water filled ammo box carried for some distance (SEALs hump it in and out).  The Monkey Rings and the Gauntlet are also waiting for you, and HESCO BONEFROG is rolling out new obstacles for 2017 at the 2016 Championships in October.  You can bet the obstacle development team is giving their all for the new designs.

HESCO BoneFrog Monkey Swing
HESCO BoneFrog Raft Crossing

With the bands vs. burpees debate, HESCO BONEFROG has their own missed obstacle penalties – calisthenics based penalties based on the muscle group of the particular obstacle. An upper body obstacle will have an upper body penalty, a lower body obstacle will have a lower body penalty – you get the picture.

Prizes are awarded to the top 3 finishing males and females in 6 categories – you read that right folks…36 awards every race day (with the exception of the Borgata Sprint, which is single distance):
Sprint Elite – cash and paddles
Sprint Open – paddles
Challenge Elite – cash and paddles
Challenge Open – paddles
Tier-1 Elite – cash and paddles
Tier-1 Open – paddles

HESCO BONEFROG is the only event I’m aware of that awards across such a wide breadth of categories.

So who is ready to race like a Navy SEAL?!

Bone Frog Challenge Discount Code

Bone Frog Challenge Discount Code

WTM – the Puzzle Within!

WTM 2015 Puzzle Piece #1


October through December is OCR championship season and one of the biggest events is just around the corner-World’s Toughest Mudder! WTM is billed as probably the toughest event on the planet, and with a 24hr clock and a history of pushing the envelope with obstacles, that moniker isn’t without merit.

Racers are used to the anticipation leading up to race day. The excitement of wondering what the course will look like – what obstacles will be on course. Well, TMHQ and course designer extraordinaire Brady Archer to be more specific don’t let any opportunity pass by.  In 2014, Brady concocted a BRILLIANT plan for the release of the WTM course map.  Piece by torturous little piece, Brady slowly fed the pieces of the puzzle to the ravenous participants who are part of the World’s Toughest Mudder Community group on Facebook.  The administrators of this site have done a great job of restricting membership of the group to only past and present competitors – and it’s a tight-knit community.  Members spent many hours matching the puzzle pieces up to Google Maps satellite pictures to try and get ahead of the information Brady released.


Chris Kyle Memorial Run: Lone Star Spartans & the Glen Rose Spartan Beast

In the world of Obstacle Course Racing (OCR), the stories of inspiration abound, but none resonate within the community more than the stories of wounded warriors who have given everything CCMR - Shirt Backthey have to protect our country, only to return home and find the lives they fought to protect are now fractured and broken. Service starts at home, and Sean Valigura, of the Lone Star Spartans group, upon realizing that the Spartan Beast in Glen Rose, TX was held at Rough Creek Lodge – the exact same property where Navy SEAL Chris Kyle was shot and killed with his friend Chad Littlefield in February of 2013 – has spearheaded the Chris Kyle Memorial Run supporting the Guardian for Heroes Foundation.
As of July 2012, the Department of Defense reported that almost 50,000 U.S. service men and women have been injured in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation New Dawn. These Veterans suffer from a wide range of physical, mental, and physiological injuries that can make going for therapy or a workout difficult, uncomfortable or even impossible. Without the capability, how can they exercise, receive encouragement, or experience healing for their body and mind? The goal of the Guardian For Heroes Foundation is to provide the necessary equipment, support, and training to allow these individuals to pursue their recovery from the privacy of their own home. That is our specialty. Guardian for Heroes Foundation offers free, in-home fitness equipment, facilitation of donated health club memberships, individualized programs, personal training, as well as life coaching and comprehensive support to in-need Veterans with disabilities, Gold Star families, and those struggling with PTS. Our in-home gyms provide easy access and a more private environment to work out and work through some of these uncertainties.
For 2015 – Jeff Kyle will actually be running the event with LSS and a plethora of Elite OCR racers on both Saturday, October 31 and Sunday, November 1.  It’s going to be an emotional roller-coaster for all to be sure.

Chris Kyle was born and raised here in Texas. After a stint as a professional bronc rider, Chris joined the US Navy. After completing what is considered by many to be THE most difficult military training on the planet, Chris was given his Budweiser and assigned to SEAL Team 3. Four tours of duty later, including Ramadi and Fallujah, Chris had amassed a total of over 150 sniper kills – as well as surviving six different IED explosions and being shot twice himself. He is now widely considered to be the most prolific sniper in US military history.

After leaving the US Navy and the Teams in 2009, he returned to Midlothian, TX with his wife Taya and two children. He started a company called Craft International and served as its President. He also started a foundation called FITCO (now named the Guardian for Heroes Foundation) to provide personal training and life-coaching to in-need veterans with disabilities and those suffering from PTSD.

Despite some personal hesitation, he released his autobiography, American Sniper, in 2012. It was a blunt, raw, and painfully true depiction of not only what war is like in the modern age, but also the unseen effects on the family of service members. For those of us that have been there and done that, regardless of branch of service, it struck a powerful chord.

Then, on 02-Feb-13, while on a shooting day-trip to Rough Creek Ranch-Lodge to help a former combat Marine suffering from severe PTSD, Chris and his friend Chad Littlefield were shot and killed by the man they were attempting to help.  Chris’ memorial service was held in Cowboy stadium, attended by over 7,000 people…governors…business executives…teammates…and brothers in arms.  The funeral procession stretched over 200 miles all the way to Austin with thousands of citizens and veterans lining the bridges and overpasses of I-35 to wave flags and hang banners of support for a man who only ever flinched when he was called a hero.  Chris was laid to rest in the honored section of the Texas State Cemetery known as “Statesman’s Meadow” on 12-February-2013…not even a stone’s throw from the 9/11 monument.

So it was in June of last year that I had just completed the Austin Super and Sprint weekend as my initiation to the OCR universe.  After a bit of recovery, I started looking for the nearest Beast event to finish off my first trifecta.  I immediately found the Dallas Beast was being held in late November/early December and signed up immediately.  But, as I started to make hotel reservations I found that the exact location of the race was just outside the small town of Glen Rose, TX.  Being a Navy veteran with ties to Naval Special Warfare, this immediately struck a bell in my head.  When I dug a bit deeper, I found that the race venue was…Rough Creek Ranch-Lodge…the same location where Chris and Chad were shot and killed.

I brought these facts to the attention of the leadership of my race team, the Lone Star Spartans.  They, knowing my background, asked me to chair an effort to pay tribute to this great man and patriot.  I owe a great personal debt to Chris and those men like him.  This is MY way of trying to pay back a tiny amount of that debt. To that end, one piece of this charity strives to raise funds for The Guardians for Heroes.  Like last year, we are selling limited edition, commemorative t-shirts designed with the help of Chris’ younger brother Jeff…who will be running the event with us BOTH days this year!

Additionally, this year we have also introduced unique patch and decal designs.  Our second goal is to raise awareness for PTSD and all our brothers and sisters that may have returned from the war, but, also left something of themselves back there – whether physical or otherwise.

We humbly thank you for your support.

Sean L. Valigura
Chairperson – the Chris Kyle Memorial Run

Chris Kyle Memorial Run - KK Stewart-PaulChris Kyle Memorial Run - Chris AcordChris Kyle Memorial Run - Coach Pain Dewayne MontgomeryCKMR Patches