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, 8/9/14

I had a "MudmanX family" reunion only 3 weeks ago at their Jersey Shore event at the PNC Bank Arts Center, but it was great to meet up again so soon.  Already I was glad to see some suggestions of mine and other racers' being put into effect from back at that race, and also to see improvements for this particular course that MMX (and myself) have visited this Cousin's Paintball venue for 3 years running.

1. COURSE- While mostly flat, the type of running terrain is so varied that it you will get a little taste of almost everything here.  What I probably liked most, as my race was a late 9:30 start for the first wave of the day, was the constant in and out of shaded areas.  It was easily in the 80's already and getting hot, so any break from sun exposure was a gift, particularly because our competitive heat was running two laps of the 5k course.  There was water scattered throughout the trails, but the best sections were in the last 1/4 mile (of each lap) and were the most refreshing yet at the same time probably the most challenging.  Loved the plywood lily pad hop and waist high pond hurdles, though they gassed me more than any of the running.  The majority of the other obstacles were fairly simple and easy, and I wish they had kept a few more of those from the NJ event last month.  I'll take credit (and apologize at the same time) for them now instituting a 10 burpee penalty for failed obstacles- something that I think is necessary at any OCR at least for the competitive racers, only because cash is at stake and no penalties leaves a lot of wiggle room for bypassing or not fully completing what you're supposed to do on course.  The runner-types were glad to see virtually no heavy tasks (sandbag carry) and the gymnasts only had their moment on one bar-hanging traverse.  Besides that, it was trail running with some rolling hills, but along the way a nice splattering of muddy stops- none better than the last low crawl that nearly took my shoes.  Grade = B

2. FESTIVAL-  Set up a little differently than 2013, as the giant party tent area was now where the start and finish line resided.  It would have been good to have it today, as most of us got a little sunburn on the shoulders without much shade besides a few closeby trees.  As usual, the US Marines were there to hold their pullup contest and group warmups before racing.  It seemed like last year there were more vendors with samples, so I hope they can pick up some more in the future, like they did 3 weeks ago at PNC.  Either way, the free beer was all that seemed to matter to most of the participants after crossing the finish line.  Grade = B

3. SWAG-  For what is still a smaller series compared to the industry giants, both the competitive and fun runners get quite a good amount of "free" stuff.  Their developing Elite heat has always awarded money (which I became $200 richer by grabbing 2nd overall!), but upgraded medals are given out to age group top 3's as well, all in addition to a dated finisher dog tag souvenir.  Shirts stayed the same as the year's earlier races, so I just took the opportunity to donate this one to a friend.  This may be my last MudmanX of the year, but I'm still interested to see what goodies come with completing their Superfecta (3 out of their 4 Tri-State area events).  Grade = B