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.


No Spartan guest blogger on this one, so you poor folks are stuck with an "original" Mudman Report as the last one for the 2012 season.  A truly unique event to finish the year on, in very aspect of the race.  My first visions beforehand were that of the Men's Health Urbanathlons, which typically are a road race with stops into sports arenas or other famous city buildings. This was different though, as the entire event was housed inside the Red Sox ballpark.  Being the first (of a series, perhaps?) of Spartan's stadium time trial events, there were a few things that could have been improved, logistics-wise.  It will be interesting to see if this idea takes off in other cities, or if other race companies also try to do a similar format next year. And while the Mudman left his first race with clean clothes (there was NO mud!), the best thoughts of this race were the amazing views and access to one of the country's top sports landmarks. And that's even coming from a Yankees fan, too!

1. COURSE-  How do you fit 2.75 miles of a running race completely inside a baseball stadium?  By covering every square inch of it, that's how.  It was impressive to see how many obstacles were jam-packed into the many crevices and corners of the building.  I expected there to be lots of stairs, which there were, but due to the short stadium steps it wasn't too grueling with the incline/declines.  This event definitely catered to the strength athlete with the density of stops to perform various tasks beyond the running components.  Most obstacles were familiar to previous Spartan Racers, but this was the first where I saw the Concept2 rower and box jumps introduced, much to the delight of CrossFitters (and the opposite for those who didn't know how to do them).  Other new ones included the carnival-style ball toss, a heavy jump roping exercise, and now a required (not as a penalty) 30 burpee station.  So was this actually a race or a WOD?  Grade = B

2. FESTIVAL-  This is where Spartan didn't quite "aim their spear."  After the race finished with a run around the field's warning track and exiting to the field level concourse, it seemed many people were confused on what to do next.  Typically at any race, the afterparty has got some combination of music, food, beer, games and such, but many were lost and weren't sure where to go or what was available.  Fenway is obviously an "outdoor arena", so the mid-November chill didn't draw people to sunbathe and bask in their racing glory anyway.  I wonder how many thought they could take a nap on the pitcher's mound or David Ortiz's locker afterwards (thought the home dugout was open for urination pics).  Either way, it was fun to just walk the perimeter and soak up the history on the park's 100th anniversary, if nothing else.  Grade = C

3. SWAG-  I think Spartan Race has been listening to me, and made improvements on the quality of their shirt giveaway (and thankful it was not another of the same one I got the last half dozen SR's this year!). The softer cotton shirt with special Fenway logo on the back, which also matches the other side of the unique finisher's medal, was a welcomed addition to the race shirt collection.  Though I didn't volunteer, it looked like they got hooked up pretty well with Spartan gear to keep warm (hats).  I'm hoping the trend will continue on the race swag offerings, as Spartan's competitors were starting to one-up them. Photo includes a special Fenway souvenir, the closest thing to mud that could be found ;)  Grade = A