After each mud run or obstacle race I compete in, you'll get my review and grades for each event to help you decide which ones you might want to sign up for. The following categories will be discussed:

1. COURSE- the design, venue, and setup of the race itself- how creative/ adventurous/ difficult the obstacles were, and obviously... how was the MUD?!?

2. FESTIVAL- all the fun beyond the actual race- the social atmosphere which usually includes food, beer garden, dj/ music/ concert, contests, vendors, and more during the after-party

3. SWAG- the included goodie bag and prizes up for grabs- all the "free" stuff that comes with price of entry and the quality of awards, shirts, and other giveaways

Feel free to use the search box to read up on any past topics you might be looking for.

SAVAGE RACE, Dade City FL, 3/18/17

The Mudman Report has finally returned after a brief racing/writing hiatus!  And with the winter doldrums in the Northeast getting to be just about enough already, the timing couldn't be better for my usual Spring Break OCR trip to Florida.  I've only run Savage Race previously in PA, back in 2014 and 2016 (that's the closest to NY they have set up at so far), so it was great to see what product they might put out in the warm Sunshine State.

1. COURSE-  If there's ever been a race series who were most progressive with keeping its events fresh and exciting, with new inventive obstacles, its these guys.  Just like Six Flags, every year there seems to be a new thrill ride (or several!) waiting for us to get all pumped about.  All winter long, their website (also probably the best among OCRs) and social media have teased us with previews of new obstacles such as Hangarang, Tree Hugger, Twin Peaks (more on that one later), and a few bonus versions of their ninja-level challenging Savage Rigs.  As for the course, set on Little Everglades Park (no alligators that I saw though) in the rural Tampa outskirts, it was as pristine a venue as I've ever been to, which I assume the owners pride themselves in just as much as Sam and Lloyd do of their Savage brand. Being flat ranch farmland, the race was also a super fast pace with really nothing to slow runners down but the obstacles themselves (or watery pools below) and a few damp patches of muddy swamp trekking.  The lone scratch on this otherwise clean race came with a few hundred yards til the finish (for the early Pro wave at least), where the double quarter pipe Twin Peaks second ramp was super wet and slick, making it nearly impossible to conquer until the sun and some toweling off made it manageable for a small number to reach the top and go on.   GRADE = A

2. FESTIVAL-  The area was big and spread out, with no clear perimeter around the many vendor booths and spectator picnic tables, but allowed all of its patrons to venture around and see for themselves what they wanted to do post-race.  Plenty of food options, obstacle displays, and great views of both the start and finish lines are all accompanied by fun music heard throughout the festival.  Savage and their emcee puts on one of the best award podium ceremonies, with categories for overall, masters, and age group winners, which keeps the crowd (and worthy competitors, like yours truly!) entertained as well.  And just like your entrance, before leaving you need to funnel through the merch tent, which had a great selection of new gear (and a buy two, get one free tshirt deal!).  GRADE = A

3. SWAG-  Great to see a new (and dated 2017) shirt, which is back in their classic blue color, different than the couple others I have (see previous year reviews below).  But, what we really need to talk about is the hardware you see here.  The standard finisher medal looks about similar in size to last year, but with colors reversed, and now with an upgraded attachment piece to the ribbon.  I ran two laps on Saturday, so also picked up their vastly redesigned Syndicate medal (and state pin), which is again a "spinner" style but much more intricate than last year's inaugural edition.  Luckily, I also was able to retain my white SavagePro wristband (with mandatory completion of all obstacles) and then also go on to finish first in my age group, hence that big chunk of solid gold blinding you in the pic. ;)  GRADE = A


Sign up for a 2017 Savage Race and save 15% with code "MUDMAN17"

Previous year events:



GEAR REVIEW: Reebok All-Terrain Super 3.0 (OCR) shoes

Though you can't purchase these probably until this March, we got a special pre-holiday delivery of Reebok's upcoming next generation of All-Terrain "Super" obstacle/trail running shoes to try out.  Already, I see a bunch of great improvements that should address the primary complaints many Spartan Racers and myself have had on their last few models.  If you want to read up on those earlier model shoes too, check out my past articles below:






1.  FIT/FEEL-  Each of Reebok's editions of their All-Terrain shoes could probably still fit (loosely) into the "minimalist" category, when compared to competitor brands that are much more solid, bulky, and then also typically heavier.  That still holds true with the light and airy 3.0's, but they seem to have softened up even more with a material feel that now doesn't remind you as much of wearing just a thin sheet of leather on your feet.  As far as comfort, this was a step in the right direction, since after all an obstacle racer is going to need these on for usually an hour or more during the nastiest and dirtiest conditions our events will throw at us, and we'll want a smooth ride for that trip.  GRADE = B

2.  FUNCTION-  All-Terrains have always been known for their "H2O Drain" side ports to expel water after even just a few steps out of a muddy pond, and that feature of course returns on these new editions.  The same solid bottom lug arrangement also remains, and now adds a higher area of traction on the toes and arch, with the "RopePro" zone to assist with better climbing footholds. The predecessor "OR" model experimented with a string quick lacing style, which I was just not a fan of (sorry all you Solomon lovers). Thankfully these 3.0's not only went back to typical laces, but also an improved tongue that attaches the full length of the upper and now can't slide down to inside the shoe. GRADE = A

3.  FASHION-  For the first time in this All-Terrain series, we can actually recognize these shoes by their addition of the large triangle Reebok logo on the sides.  It may be only this particular sample they sent out, but the gray/blue were a far cry from the wild flashy explosion of color that my OR's had (see at top of this article).  We'll see if other color varieties are available when these hit online shelves in the Spring.  GRADE = B