Posts Tagged Obstacle Runs
I am up and clean after the Merrell Down & Dirty rocked Aurora Sports Park yesterday. The race is especially unique because of the military personell volunteering at the race. At each obstacle they were there to not only encourage us but push us event if it meant push ups! My running quickly came to a stop as I approached an obstacle that required us to pick up two heavy sand bags and maneuver around cones. “Don’t slow your pace, come on and keep running.” I looked up at a man decked out in his full Army gear and realized he was right. Thinking of everything our miltary endures, I picked up those sand bags and ran through the next obstacle. At each checkpoint from there I looked forward to the tough encouragment. From climbing cargo nets, through tunnels and even sand I gained energy.
And boy was I ready for the after party. This is not event to head into with an agenda to speed out of. The grills are fired up and the speakers are blasting. Obstacle and adventure style races have to compete just as much as the next guy to get racers to this event. This family friendly course has definitely met it’s niche.
I also had the chance to interview Scott Roegner with Merrell Down and Dirty to find out what else makes this race stand out.
Rule number one of the Tough Mudder- it’s a challenge not a race. This challenge has made a bold name for itself as one of the biggest and baddest. In fact, only 80% of participants finish. The course tests teamwork, toughness, fitness, strength and mental grit. Time is not of the essence- there is not even a clock to time participants. The point is to promote teamwork and camaraderie. Finishing is a victory in it’s own right.
About the course: Distances range between 10 and 12 miles and are spiced up with challenges and obstacles. Although the exact challenges for each event are different- expect hills, mud, water, ropes, walls and a dance over fire. You will also come face to face with fears- whether it’s heights, claustrophobia or running through electrical wires. Yes, electrical wires. ZZZAAAP!
How did the Tough Mudder get so tough? The CEO of the company, Will Dean, was in Harvard Business School when he started visioning the race. A college professor snuffed his idea, telling people would shy away from participating if the race wasn’t timed. With fire still burning, he decided to keep on keeping on and put on a race in Allentown, PA in 2010. He didn’t quite meet his goal of 400 participants. Turns out, he far exceed it when over 5,000 people showed up to claim Tough Mudder status.
Since the inaugural race, the numbers of participants continues to grow so quickly it’s hard to keep up. This year, there are 35 scheduled events. With an ambitious team behind Tough Mudder, they thought why not double it? That’s right, next years slate includes 70 events including every state and several other countries.
Oldies but Goodies:
If you are 80 years or older you race for free! Tough Mudder was so inspired after an 81-year-old man rocked the course and will be back out again this year.
The set up for Rugged Maniac is no picnic in the park. The crew heads West a week before the race to start constructing the obstacles. “Our obstacles are some of the biggest and baddest,” says COO of Rugged Maniac, Rob Dickens. How could you argue when they are designed by Navy Seals?
Dickens says the intensity of the obstacles is similar to what you will find at Tough Mudder, with one exception. “Rugged Maniac is a distance people can handle, so it’s more accessible to people.” The course zooms by with twenty obstacles packed into a 5k course. A new obstacle this year will challenge racers by climbing ladders up and over massive stacked shipping containers. They will also encounter the Normandy Crawl, reminiscent of World War II; guiding racers to climb under wires and through mud filled tubes. Not to worry you won’t be in the crosshairs of fire, but go quick and watch your hands and feet!
Pump up the jams, because the after party has a reputation for being a rockin’ good time and if the race wasn’t enough of a gut check, the party will be! Once the kegs are tapped the beer won’t stop flowing until it’s gone, with music blasting and people cheering. Look for the mechanical bull, beer pong tables and inflatables to keep everyone in the party going strong.
To register visit: RuggedManiac.com
A good vacation begins with the sand between your toes. The Columbia Muddy Buddy must be some kind of vacation because this rings true just one step into the race, which starts by running in the Boulder Reservoir.
This is a race that falls out of the ordinary. Founder, Bob Babbitt, generated the idea after running a race called the “Run and Tie.” Two partners switched off running and riding a horse. But if your hearts not pumping the entire time, something has got to change, especially if you are a seasoned athlete like Babbitt.
He liked the idea of partners constantly switching activities, but traded the horse for a bike. One partner on the bike, the other on foot for a total of six miles, facing challenges along the way.
Inflatable obstacles and slides, cargo nets and of course the signature mud pit. And there is no cheating on this one, banners lay low to the pit, forcing you to crawl through. No matter what, it keeps you on your sandy toes.
It’s a day Babbitt says is about “fitness, fun & giving back.” Babbitt knows firsthand the richness sports and fitness bring to your life. Growing up in Chicago, he calls himself the “organizer” of the gang. Orchestrating baseball games and outdoor activities made him a leader. His enthusiasm kept on and he landed a job teaching sports camps to kids. Babbitt eventually excelled further by bringing the glory of sports to disabled athletes.
Some of the proceeds from the Columbia Muddy Buddy benefit the Challenge Athletes Foundation, co-founded by Babbitt. He saw an urgent nee to help disabled athletes purchase prosthetic limbs that allow them to participate in sports like running, cycling, skiing and more. Adaptive equipment is extremely expensive and is often not covered by insurance because insurance companies don’t cover that type of prosthetic.
Enough money has been raised by the Challenge Athletes Foundation to grant 900 athletes running prosthetics. People like David Rozelle, one of the participants of this year’s Columbia Muddy Buddy, are able to stay in the game.
Rozelle lost his leg in Iraq eight years ago after he ran over a landmine in a humvee. He says when he looks in the mirror he misses his leg but with his running prosthetic he doesn’t have to miss running.
The Boulder, Colorado Muddy Buddy may be over until next year, but still check out:
Minneapolis, MN Aug, 28, 2011
Portland, OR Sep. 18, 2011
San Jose, CA Oct. 09, 2011
DaDallas, TX Oct. 16, 2011
Los Angeles, CA Nov. 6, 2011
Miami FL, Nov. 20, 2011