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.

SAVAGE RACE, Albrightsville PA, 6/28/14

One of the last "big" veteran nationwide OCR series that I hadn't gotten to do yet, I was as thrilled afterwards as I was leading up to it. I was glad to connect with the co-founders Sam and Lloyd, who were extremely gracious, interested, and available to make sure not just myself but the thousands of others racers that day were having a great time.  These guys have designed a perfect blend of competition and entertainment wrapped into an obstacle course race, and I'm just hoping that their series will soon be able to expand to other parts of the country, as most of their schedule this year and prior have been a little outside of my Northeast corner.

1. COURSE-  Part cross-country running trails, part thrill-ride obstacle stops.  While this 4.5 mile course was almost entirely flat as we zoomed around the Skirmish Paintball property, the challenges that were both large-scale and adrenaline-pumping were what make their grade here.  The premier 3 or 4 obstacles, including a 20 foot high jump into a muddy pool of water, an up/down/up/down monkey bar "Saw Tooth" climb, and their highlight half pipe "Colossus" that then finishes with a super slide on the other end, were all located at the center of the party area.  This handful of obstacles were so much fun and accessible that I went back after to do them ALL again after my race was over, which was even welcomed by the staff and volunteers- a sign that they're not just looking for your entry fee in exchange for a timing chip and tshirt, but that they want you to get as much of the race experience as you can out of that registration.  That attitude deserves lots of kudos!  Grade = A

2. FESTIVAL-  As I mentioned above, watching from the sidelines was like a front row seat to the amusement park of OCRs.  Great views from lots of spots, and was glad some friends and I got to take fun pics and video of obstacle shenanigans post-race.  A few vendor village tents provided just about the only shade on this very hot and sunny June Saturday, so that might be an area to improve on (at least my sunburned shoulders suggest that).  DJ'd music and food for sale, and the one free beer (which I forgot to have or give away), made for a fun party among what seemed to be a generally young and fit crowd.  I might have also liked to have seen some (unless I missed them) interactive games and contests that are always a sideshow compliment to the race itself and sometimes a fun chance to win merch, race entries, or just purely bragging rights.  Grade = B

3. SWAG-  Your finisher shirt and medal were both high quality and nicely designed, but generally standard level now for a race of this size and name.  I love the fact that this event, like last week's Merrell Down and Dirty, focuses mainly on awards for age groups, which allows many chances for competitors to win prizes (top 3's) among the many divisions.  These placing medals were a much heavier and thicker version of the finisher version, almost like an Olympic Games edition, in gold/silver/bronze.  Top overall trophies were an impressive looking plaque-mounted and engraved battle axe, given only to the #1 man and woman in the elite wave.  Grade = A