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

CIVILIAN MILITARY COMBINE, Camelback PA, 5/19/12

Rarely does a "new" race impress the Mudman as much as this!  A hybrid of CrossFit and obstacle racing, CMC certainly is a unique event and has capitalized on the growth of both those emerging sports.  In talking with the creators of this event, they stress that they want to be different and not necessarily compete with the Spartans and Tough Mudders, but I think they may have that innovation and interest to already.  While they have only three dates on their 2012 schedule so far, I'm sure CMC will expand beyond just the eastern seaboard soon enough.  They will continue to evolve and improve, but I can't say there's much they need to work on at this point, anyway.

1. COURSE-  The entire event is comprised of essentially two parts- an interval training "Pit" of four, all-out 90 second exercise sprints, followed then by a grueling 5+ mile race.  For the Report, we'll focus on just the race course, thought it is worth mentioning that the box jump/thruster/burpee/kettlebell swing stations beforehand are a great equalizer for the runners of all types who compete here.  After finishing the Pit and a short recovery period, you're sent on a brutal 1 hour+ run up-down-every-which-way on Camelback Mountain, a legitimate major ski resort with plenty of steep "black diamond's" to break you down (often running the wrong way- uphill- of course!).  I was delightfully surprised with the number of obstacles spread over the trails, which were both unique and challenging.  Of course you have the standard wall climbs and belly crawls, but tiptoeing through a bubbling brook and pitch black tunnels in water were awesome!  Maybe the coolest feature of the course design included the base area's water fun park- a wave pool near the start and lazy river toward the finish line were refreshing and something that I haven't seen at any other races.  GRADE = A

2. FESTIVAL- Being held at a ski resort, the base lodge area location was ideal for the afterparty.  Too many post-race festivals are haphazardly set up in a muddy field or parking lot.  Situated right at the finish line, CMC's "Liquid Lightning" party came complete! Plenty of tables, chairs, umbrellas (which we needed in the 80 degree scorching sun!) and a large bar area with areas to sit and lounge around was a great way to relax after the competition.  Good DJ had music blasting on top of his tricked out Hummer, and lots of quality vendors had samples to enjoy or purchase.  GRADE = A

3. SWAG- No need for big prizes really- the reward was experiencing what military training is like and to honor those that go through it and have dedicated so much to protecting us civilians.  Still, you get a badass t-shirt after you've earned it at the end, and a high quality dogtag finisher medal (in sticking with the military theme).  Awards were equally nice (won a couple myself for team and individual!), which was another even fancier, engraved, dogtag for top 3's.   GRADE = A


OVERALL GRADE = A