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.

SPARTAN SPRINT, Tuxedo NY, 6/2/12

For the very first chapter of Spartan Race "guest bloggers", this Mudman Report is written by 19-time (and counting) Spartan champion HOBIE CALL of South Jordan, Utah. Be sure to check out and for lots of his expertise on nutrition, gear, and training for obstacle races. I appreciate Hobie for his time in writing this up, and hope everyone enjoys...

I would like to thank Spartan Race for once again putting on a truly remarkable event. From the owners to the volunteers, everyone worked together to help make it happen. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, Spartan outdid themselves again. In 2011, I ranked Tuxedo as one of Spartan's top 3 races.

1. COURSE- The obstacles were plentiful, and proved to be as challenging as the mountain itself. This year with 20+ obstacles including new ones such as a rope climb, slippery slide, log hop, and tire flip, and one extra time up and down the mountain, the course proved to be more difficult and diverse than last year. For a guy who can run a 5-k under 15 minutes, and breeze through the obstacles as easily as anyone can, the fact that it took over 44 minutes to complete the roughly 3.5 mile course attests to its difficulty. Yet on the flipside, with all of the help and encouragement from fellow Spartans, the vast majority of people with adventurous spirits and relentless determination regardless of their less willing bodies, still managed to conquer the course. Another great thing about the race was Spartans ability to make such an obstacle intense course catering to nearly 12 thousand people in two days, without horrendous lines. Things ran quite smoothly with delays usually kept under a minute, at the most crowded obstacles. If you’re looking to test your fitness skills, this is one race that will let you know how good of shape you’re really in real quick. Another thing that I really liked about the course this year was how it went out and back a couple of times from the spectator areas. This provided a lot of action for the spectators and they were able follow the race more closely instead of just seeing the athletes at the start and then again at the end. GRADE = A+

2. FESTIVAL- The social atmosphere was actually really good. Spartan provided spectator contests throughout the day with decent prizes such as free season passes. The dj and announcer did a good job with the music and getting the racers pumped for their race. The food and the vendors were ok. If you want to compare this to a Tough Mudder, then the food and vendors is where Spartan lacks a little. But the focus of the festival area was really on the spectators being able to see so many obstacles from a small area which is one thing Spartan has really improved upon this year. GRADE = A-

3. SWAG- The swag is so so. Everyone does get a shirt. They’re nice, but just regular cotton. The finisher medals are good. The awards are impressive. The helmet and swords are real and are official authentic replicas of the swords and helmets used in the movie 300. But that’s about it. Maybe a few samples from Gaspari nutrition and something similar. GRADE = B