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.

TOUGH MUDDER, Pocono Manor PA, 4/29/12

Going for orange headband #2, and determined to avoid "the GoPro incident" of last November's Tri-State Tough Mudder (that's a whole other story!), we made the trip out to Pennsylvania to get our fix on their 12 mile, 23 obstacle course.  This apparently was a new location for PA, so the thousands of runners were all excited to get first crack at Pocono Manor for 2012.  And yes, along with my friend Joe, both myself AND the headcam made it through to the finish!

1. COURSE- Tough Mudder rarely disappoints in their creative and challenging courses, and gets better each time with their unannounced "mystery" obstacles.  Having some experience with the old ones from the NJ event, it was easier to handle the repeated cold, water, skills, and distance- which the latter (above 10k or so) is not typically my forte.  The course was surprisingly flat- ok, it was hilly but not mountainous like the previous PA event supposedly was.  I was expecting ski slopes, but it was instead mainly run literally around a golf course.  Still love the half-pipe Everest obstacle (especially making it up unassisted and on first try), but was foiled on two of my other personal favorite challenges:  the Funky Monkey and the new Hangin Tough rings traverse, due to hands that were just inoperable from the cold, even with gloves (or because of them?!).  Well done once again, but maybe try changing up the terrain a bit more to slow us down?  Fast course... 2hrs 10min for 12+ miles of mud- killed it!  GRADE = A

2. FESTIVAL- Much better turnout than the last TM I was at, probably helped by the 60 degree spring weather in PA and a better organized party scene.  Helps to mention that this venue also had a unique parking and shuttle setup, so folks pretty much had to hang around for a while before they could get bussed back to their car anyway, which was a good 15 minutes away.  Lots of good vendor and post-race stuff going on... keg tossing, Marines pullups (won a shirt!), and the popular mohawk/mullet tent provided something to do or just watch. No concert as I thought was promised (on Sunday at least) but the DJ mixing mash-up 80's tunes was rockin' the place anyway.  GRADE = A

3. SWAG-  Big upgrade on the shirts thanks to the massive partnership with Under Armour this year.  Really nice!!  Same orange headband as always, and wouldn't want that to change!  Also enjoyed the all-you-can-grab buffet of Clif protein bars, Sharkies packs, and various other "health snacks" to compliment the Dos Equis beer table.  Was lucky enough to do this race, err challenge, for free (re: again, "the GoPro incident" of 2011), but would still say everyone including myself got their money's worth. GRADE = A