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.

RUGGED MANIAC, Calverton NY, 7/21/18

I havent even been near a Rugged Maniac in years due to disappointing experiences at the handful of previous ones I've run (at Aviator Park in Brooklyn).  Much of the poor quality of those events has been due to that venue, which I've never been shy in saying is likely the worst OCR site in the whole world!  All my earlier Rugged Maniacs (plus a Terrain Race, Civilian Military Combine, and even my first ever Spartan Race in 2010) have been held at this converted airstrip location- a totally flat mostly pavement course, which is just plain underwhelming.  So this time at another frequently rented out venue on the east end of Long Island, I figured I'd see what was new as they visit my home turf.

1.  COURSE-  The struggle of Long Island OCR life is that we have nothing of the mountain range inclines of the nearby upstate Catskills or parts of northern NJ, so we have to race and train with what we have.  In Calverton NY, which has also hosted Survival Race and a number of other events, of course we're essentially dealing with flat farmland terrain.  So racing here is fast, where the pace of the top racers is around twice as speedy compared to a typical mountain course.  This race clocked in right around 3 miles distance, and since most of the obstacles (some were inflatable type) also cater to the beginner to mid level athlete, there was not much to slow anyone down.  They didn't really get too adventurous until about the last quarter mile, where a gauntlet of about 5 larger scale obstacles were the most fun and challenging.  My favorite, Off The Rails, was a rope hold zip line to hit a bell over water, which felt great to drop into with the hot sun we had here on race day.  GRADE = B

2.  FESTIVAL-  Rugged definitely gets points for the interactive picnic style games (corn hole etc)  that kept a lot of kids entertained in front of the grand stage.  There looked to be at least 3 different pullup contests going on- maybe a little overkill- as several branches of armed forces had vendor booths with that, plus the official on stage contest too.  And unfortunately, or maybe fortunately (?), I missed the most interesting festival challenge of all as they had a state fair type pie eating contest! Hope the flavor wasn't mud pie haha.  GRADE = B

3.  SWAG-  The finisher shirt was a comfortable soft cotton feel, with a decent logo design (this was the back), not specific to the date or venue though.  I remember when Rugged Maniac didnt even have medals, but now their finish line prize is at least up to par with most other race series.  GRADE = B