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.

RUGGED MANIAC, Brooklyn NY, 11/19/11

Being the last mud run of the season for me and hoping to end on a high note (with BIG shoes to fill just a week after Tough Mudder Tri-State), Rugged Maniac just couldn't live up to the expectations.  When the inaugural 2010 NY Spartan Race was held here at Aviator Sports Complex, a lesson was learned that Brooklyn might just not be an ideal place to hold this type of event.  I guess Rugged Maniac skipped class that day, hence the grades earned below.

1. COURSE- The first rule of mud runs... is that there certainly should, without question, at some point in the race, include one necessary part: MUD!  And there was none.  And I cannot include the stretches of dirt where wet sneakers caused the ground to be slightly moist.  I've since heard that because the site is dedicated parkland or something along those lines, that they couldn't "have" mud on the course.  Well then why the heck would this be a location to hold this race?  Obstacles were run-of-the-mill and honestly, very low-budget attempts to copy what other races have done before- not even worth the blog space to go through all of that.  What also struck me was the poor staffing on the course, without anyone to give directions or instructions at obstacles.  Supposedly there were also a good number of shortcut cheaters or accidental detours which completely screwed up the true timing of the race.  All of which could have been prevented if the few teenage volunteers were at stations rather than the one water station or finish line.  But still, I can't get over the fact that we would finish the race not covered in sticky brown muck.  Thats what we pay for, is it not?  This is a generous mark only because its their first time around in NY... GRADE = C

2. FESTIVAL-  For mid-November with temps in the 50's, not a bad job.  The 2000 or so that showed up looked to be having a good time in the fenced off beer garden/live concert area, with hot food and a number of vendors and souvenir stands.  Nothing really special to speak of, but a better organized section than their actual race, sadly.  GRADE = B

3. SWAG-  Disappointing here, too.  Cotton t-shirt (pictured below, showing back because front was only plain) was all you got besides the one pint of Harpoon lager.  No finisher medal, and not even sure if there were or will be awards as advertised due to the reasons mentioned above in the "course" review.  Saw more people wearing Spartan, Tough Mudder, or Warrior Dash gear than the stuff they gave out today.  GRADE = C