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.

MUDMANX, New Windsor NY, 6/8/13

Just to be clear once more, the name is just a coincidence and the Mudman really has no financial interest in the MudmanX race series, except, well... when he WINS it and pockets some cash!  Returning to Cousins Paintball Park for a second straight year with one purpose: to avenge my 4th place (and prize-less) finish last August- yours truly took home the overall top spot this time, but still left wishing to see more improvements in this race after moderate growth of this small-town-feel OCR.

1. COURSE-  A week after doing a tough, mountainous Spartan Race in nearby Tuxedo, it was funny that this flatter course of nearly the same distance took about half the time to complete.  With the space available, they did a good job fitting 3.5 miles of race course into the landscape of grass fields, rolling hills, forest, and ponds. However, they do need to get better at marking the course directions, as there were a few spots that got racers lost or stuck wondering where to go next. There was substantial rainfall the previous day or so, leaving this course very wet and muddy, but all the more fun!  My favorite aspects of this venue have always been the several water (pond) crossings, especially one called the "Frogger" with a challenging man-made lilypad hop of 3' x 3' floating plywood boards which sank as you stood/laid on them.  There weren't many obstacles overall, and many of the ones they had were fairly simple and also done low-budget, which was disappointing. I'm also not sure what was counted among their 25+ listed obstacles, but that number might have been a little inflated. The MMX tagline is "Conquering the Elements", but there no longer was any of the cool fire or wind (high power turbine fan) that they had incorporated previously.  The one ice crawl obstacle also melted into just cold water as it got warmer during the day, and it wasn't being maintained to keep it icy very long.  I just know that these guys can do a little better, and it seems like they were getting enough participants now to hopefully put more money back into the product.  Grade = C

2. FESTIVAL-  I had trouble remembering what the afterparty was like last year, but not much was going on this time around.  The highlight (which should not be THE highlight) seemed to be the US Marines vendor booth and their several fitness competitions going on to win some Marines gear and souvenirs.  Music played, but was interrupted each time the DJ/host had an announcement or got ready to send off a new wave of runners.  I didn't get to check out the food offerings, but it must have been worthwhile as the line to order was a good 20 people deep a few hours after the race began.  Having a giant party tent to save me from another post race sunburn was a plus, and although I didn't partake, the free beer ticket also gives them some needed Festival points.  Grade = C

3. SWAG-  Same as its been, though unfortunately the cash prizes shrunk to less than half what they were in 2012 as they went to a "pooled" elite money pot format (First Trax wave is an additional $10 entry). So, we assume then that prize amounts are based on the number of signups and not a flat amount. Tshirts are standard gray cotton, but with an updated and more modern (?) logo, and finishers all get a yellow MMX headband, similar to Tough Mudder's shtick.  What is nice about this being a smaller race is the more intimate and local feel to it- volunteers and staff are super friendly and eager to help, and every racer was treated like a guest and not a number, which I've seen way too many other series lose sight of.  Grade = B