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.

SPARTAN SPRINT, West Point NY, 8/26/17

The only other Spartan "military" race I had done was back at 2014's Tampa Sprint, which doubled as a stadium series event as well.  Though that day changed my life, as I met my fiancee there, the race itself was otherwise less memorable.  Besides a few theme-adjusted obstacles, like an ammo can carry instead of a bucket, the dream of a truly military bootcamp-inspired course was less than expected.  With this new West Point event, I kept hopes that we might get that real feel of Army blended with Spartan.

1. COURSE-  Contrary to what most thought, the venue was not actually on the famed West Point campus but rather next door at their lakeside property.  Also a surprise at least to me, was the lack of elevation since this area is smack dab in the Adirondacks- think Bear Mountain, Storm King, Breakneck Ridge etc.  The course had rolling hills, but no typical mountain (ski slope grade) trails that we're used to from Spartan, just like the nearby Tuxedo Sprint each June.  As far as obstacles went, no surprises besides an odd ordering which caused some trouble for a lot of racers.  One of the first stations was Olympus, a slow sideways wall traverse, which got jammed up quickly from those who sprinted out the first 1/2 mile.  It seems Spartan's methodology now also leans toward putting a number of grip strength obstacles in a "gauntlet" row- as the bucket carry, Twister, and rope climb were consecutive stops toward the end.  Still, no major Army presence in the race except for a good number of cadets racing themselves.  GRADE = B

2. FESTIVAL-  I didn't get to hang around long to check out the afterparty, but by 8:30am nothing too exciting was going on.  From what I hear, I'm pretty glad I did leave so early as the shuttle bus catastrophe had later runners waiting up to 2 hours to get back to their cars (parked 20 minutes away, no onsite parking).  GRADE = C

3. SWAG-  I decided not to fork up the $30 for it, but the West Point venue shirt was one of the nicer ones I've seen.  So instead I just collected my 5th Sprint finisher shirt of the year.  The best takeaway was definitely the commemorative medal, with unique design for the military race series.  GRADE = A