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.

SUPER SPARTAN, Miami FL, 2/24/13

An exciting event for so many reasons... Mudman's first race of the year, one of the initial Spartan events now under Reebok's umbrella, an excuse to travel south and escape the cold Northeast weather, and on and on... but much of the hype didn't hold up as this third time for SR in Miami wasn't quite up to the usual Spartan standard of OCR.

1. COURSE-  I've seen it from time to time, where the particular property for the race venue is designated as park land and, thus, includes a number of restrictions in what it can allow its patrons (or race participants) to do.  I will, however, never understand why a race like Spartan (known for fire jumping, spear throwing, and deep mud holes) would choose a site that wouldn't allow these staples of their event.  While the (8-10 mile?, see below) course did make good use of the natural terrain and landscape, with lots of water and interesting single track running through mangrove and forested areas, there were also a few roadblocks (literally) to making this a great race.  A number of runners got lost due to either poor markings or volunteer errors, and on Saturday's race apparently there was an uncontrolled fire that forced some to take detours and run different lengths.  The second day supposedly was over a mile longer as the course was adjusted, so impossible to compare stats across the weekend. Most of the mistakes were cleared up for Sunday, but not enough to make this as as exciting as past Spartan's I have done.  Grade = B

2. FESTIVAL-  Initially losing big points for the absence of everyone's favorite DJ/MC Billy Gotti, the overall festival was fun but with less energy than I would have expected, especially for those thrilled to be outside in 80 degree temps in February (I know I was!).  Music played all day while a handful of post-race challenges took place, like the slosh pipe press, traverse wall race, and pullups contest, and a new one with a sledgehammer swing.  I only had wished the festival would have been closer to a beach or water rather than a small grassy field- this was Miami after all.  Grade = B

3. SWAG-  With the new Reebok deal, the Spartan finish line shirts got an upgrade in quality.  Still, I wish they could try to put dates/locations on them, which is only better advertising anyway, right?  I'll end up doing around a dozen or so days of SR's this year, so it would be nice to not get all the same exact shirt.  The medals also got a small improvement with a nicer, color-matching ribbon with the printed race level on it ("Super Spartan").  The sad news is that apparently gone are the helmet and swords of the last few years for top overall winners, replaced with a wooden engraved plaque. Also worth noting is that the photo and video providers have changed, which there weren't many of on this course, but I can't complain too much since SR does give you all the images for "free".  Grade = A