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.

HIGH ROCK CHALLENGE (Solo), Staten Island NY, 4/26/15

I got invited to come back to this longtime veteran adventure race in Staten Island to avenge last year's second place finish and see what was new at this Henry Kaufman Campgrounds course.  Though I couldn't grab the overall win, it was another heated battle for the podium and again a fun way to spend a Sunday morning at one of the Tri-State area's little know OCR secrets.

1.  COURSE-  Last year I got straight-up burned by a very swift young cross-country runner guy, who the race style clearly favored, and hoped this year might have more of a balance.  I was pleased with the pre-race briefing to hear that this course would have both double the obstacles and about a mile less running distance than in 2014's HRC. So with 28 obstacles over 5k, now we were talking more Mudman territory haha!  Many of the same structures were repeated from last year's course, my favorite being the Ranger Rope lake crossing near the last quarter mile- and in April around here, I can't imagine how cold that water might have been to fall off that obstacle (I made sure I didn't!). There were a lot of wooden walls and ladders to climb, but nothing really too technical or difficult for the many veterans here.  I would like to have seen some type of strength aspect, like a sandbag carry or a heavy lift or drag, to even out the playing field a little more over such a quick course (top 3 all finished in under 25 min!).  The course was very well marked and obstacles in great shape, even with their popular duo team race taking place the day before.  GRADE = B

2.  FESTIVAL-  With maybe a few hundred racing today, the scene was quiet, as expected.  I still liked how they planned their spectator viewing area to host the start, middle, and finish all in clear view- and where the bulk of obstacles were also situated.  HRC puts on a nice post race setting with free bagels and bananas, as well as beer on tap (though noon is a bit early to "rehydrate" for me!).  All in all, a relaxed post-race festival, fitting with the family atmosphere they have enjoyed attracting for all these years.  GRADE = B

3.  SWAG-  I said last year that these guys had great giveaways, and they were on par again here.  The medal was the same bottle-opener style, and though the design of the tech t-shirt was identical they changed up the colors quite a bit from last years gray/green.  I managed to also finish 3rd overall despite a rough race after spraining my ankle badly around the halfway point, and will be receiving a trophy like they presented a year ago (they were unavailable as of race day, so I am told they will be shipped out to the winners).  I also won a free entry to next year's race, so you can bet I'll be back in April 2016 to race here again for the top spot.  GRADE = A