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, Vernon NJ, 9/7/14

Each year this has been among my favorite Spartan Races, though every September it has been just a little different from the previous years, going back to its stellar 2012 debut.  Now that Action Park has reopened on Mountain Creek's resort, I hoped some of their "rides" and infrastructure that was abandoned in 2013's race might make their return, but no luck.  Either way, this Tri-State Super still provided a great day of obstacles and challenging trails, as well as being really one of the only closeby opportunities for us Northeasterners to achieve that middle distance blue Trifecta piece.

1. COURSE:  Quite a few year-old deja-vu moments from this weekend's NJ Super, though the dream was playing in reverse.  Literally, much of the course direction was backwards including the start and finish lines. What happened between might be just delirium to some, as the 8.5 miles of inclines and super quad-killing downhills might just be worth erasing from our minds and sore legs now!  Like I mentioned, the fun park slides and ledge jumps didn't grace us with their presence this time, but a couple extended water sections did let the racers splash off and cool down, as late summer temps were in the 80s (cooler on Sunday than the previous day).  I noticed that, whether its a trend or not, this was another SR where some of the strength/carrying obstacles (sandbag, log, gravel bucket) seemed a little easier than its been, or at least the carrying distances were shorter.  No complaints from anyone there I'm sure!  My favorite part was the featured section around mile 6 in front of the festival area, where four of the most popular obstacles were up close for spectators to cheer on their friends.  That wasn't easy on the hands doing the bucket brigade, traverse wall, rope climb, and then spear throw all in a stretch of just 100 yards, but it sure was the most fun and challenging portion unless you were one of the unlucky to succumb to that potential hell of burpee row.  GRADE = A

2. FESTIVAL:  Nearly identical to their previous NJ races, though again the start and finish were placed a little differently.  You might have thought this event was down in the Carolinas (it will be next month) with the massive BBQ and pig roast set up, though I didn't get to try any of the grub- which did smell amazing.  It got pretty crowded as the afternoon approached, and without access to much inside the base lodge, it was tough to find seating or really anyway to just hang out without bumping elbows.  One more year of growth and I can see the crowd having to move uphill just like the racers.  GRADE = B

3. SWAG: Of course I already knew what shirt I was getting at this finish line- old news once again. I guessed my 2/3 full Trifecta amulet would be complete now, rather than getting any additional commemorative medal like in 2013. But it was only last week as I prepared for my first triplet this year, that I learned there would no longer be Trifecta shirts given out like I collected last year (see TX Beast Report).  And then when I saw the merchandise tent selling the equivalent of that shirt here for $35, I nearly vomited my figurative slice of delicious blue Trifecta pie!  I stopped taking my finisher shirts months ago (this one below is from who-knows-which race I did earlier in the year), so I was at least hoping to display something different for you with a new top.  But hey, if anyone wants to sponsor the next Report, you'll get to see what Trifecta gear is on their merch shelf [serious offer- contact me for details].  GRADE = B