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.


Right about this time last year I did my first local (Long Island NY) obstacle course race at the Rugged Run for Respect, an easy and not super competitive race for charity.  This event looked to offer more of the same style racing, but had a lot of extra fun and games, literally, thrown in that wasn't expected. In between last week's NJ Super Spartan and next weekend's VT Spartan Beast, this race was a great tuneup, and nice to just have only a quick drive on the LI Expressway.

1.  COURSE-  Anyone familiar with my neck of the woods knows Long Island is pretty flat, which for the few races that come here, that means some pretty fast-paced running.  This 3.8 mile course out on the Eastern parts of Suffolk County was exactly that, though I was surprised the field wasn't more flooded with cross-country tracksters. What I loved, as I'm not one of those 5 minute miler guys, was the variety of really unique (though not extremely difficult) tasks and obstacles that slowed down the pure runner even on these super flat trails.  This race offered as much physical tasks (rope climbing, mud crawls, monkey bars, and a cool American Ninja Warrior stretching plank traverse) as it did some fun, carnival-like "activities".  This was the first event I have seen the likes of a frisbee toss, sledgehammer nail drive, bubble bath pool, and several slippery slides.  While not the toughest or most grueling race, they had a great combo to give both elites and rookies lots of what they wanted.  GRADE = B

2.  FESTIVAL-  I didn't hang around very long, as they unfortunately decided this year to not give out awards, but it looked like by the amount of cars still in the onsite lot that a lot of folks were spending some of their Sunday afternoon listening to the DJ's catalog and munching on the food truck options right in the middle of things.  The viewing and party area was set up to see probably the best string of 4 or 5 obstacles on the whole course, which also gave the racers a solid cheering section toward the finish.  GRADE = B

3.  SWAG-  Before all you swag collectors get on me right away, hear me out.  I commend this race for actually doing something unique- instead of giving everyone a typical race tshirt (which they did also have for sale in nearly any color you wanted), they offered a choice of either a drawstring bag or army-style hat at registration (both shown below). At first I was a little bummed, as I fully admit to my own tshirt-whoredom, but then thinking about how many shirts I wear once and stick on the shelf- the tactic made sense and gave me something different for once.  At the finish line we also got a shiny chrome finisher medal as well as a branded pint glass (not sure if they were selling beer?), so another unique souvenir to bring home!  GRADE = A