This is the now fourth year that Mudder has come to visit my home on Long Island, but a new shorter 5k distance has been added to the list of courses along with their "Full" (which I did their first year in 2015) and "Half" (ran in 2016 and 2017). The appeal for me with the new 5k was NOT because of the difficulty of this course, haha, which is almost entirely flat and generally unexciting, but due to another new feature called the Repeat Offender program- by doing at least two different course lengths in a two year span, you enter that club and receive extra swag, which I'll describe in that final section below.
1. COURSE- Having done the longer versions in past years, and realizing that less distance usually also equates to fewer obstacles, I wasn't expecting much from the 5k. But I can tell you that the consensus for this years event in general (all lengths) was a decline in quality from the few years prior. And that was certainly more true about the new 5k, having very little to even live up to other race series 5k distances. I want to say that they claimed around 10 obstacles for this short course, but at least three of these obstacles (actual, listed, "named" on map) were nothing more than a foot deep puddle of water- nothing else to it! Now we're down to maybe 7 obstacles, which is barely worth calling it an OCR. But also, those still considered 5k obstacles were NOT the big scale exciting ones that you might possible be getting in the Half or probably getting in the Full. Thankfully, one of my faves, the Blockness Monster, was accessible by just a quick detour off the 5k to share that Half course obstacle. GRADE = C
2. FESTIVAL- I'll assume that numbers must be growing for this location, and with the same size festival area each year, it just seemed pretty chaotic. Very overcrowded, even for this overcast Sunday morning, it felt like a carnival with your mind spinning just even trying to find key landmarks like bag check, showers, or even the start line. That being said, if you wanted to spend the time to navigate around, there were no shortage of vendors and activities to keep busy post run. GRADE = B
3. SWAG- Merrell is back making their great quality t-shirts for finishers, thought the 5k edition looks exactly like last year's heather gray Half shirt (the one from this year's Half was blue instead). I got to pick up a new design headband for the 5k distance, and then also the multicolor 2x "Repeat Offender" version for doing the two races between 2017 and 2018. And in a few months when I do the Tougher Mudder (Full) Tri-State in a few months, I should then also get that extra swag for the 3x level. GRADE = B
OVERALL GRADE = B
Previous year events: