World’s Toughest Mudder (Tough Mudder Championship)
8+ Miles Loops over 24-28 Hours
December 17th – 18th 2011
The Event: World’s Toughest Mudder is the Tough Mudder organizations championship event. Where other Tough Mudder events are billed as not a race but a challenge, World’s Toughest Mudder (WTM) is most definitely a race with $10,000 going to the male and female winners. The obstacles are beefed up and conditions are bad. This is to be a true challenge for Mudder veterans.
Getting There & Parking: Getting there was not a problem since it was held in an easily Google-able track, and there was a ton of parking. Past Mudders and other obstacle races have been held there as well, so vets already knew where to go. No signs that I saw, which surprised me.
October 8th 2011
The Event: Metro Dash is not a mud run, but it is an obstacle race. It’s a challenging sprint through a “gut wrenching, muscle pounding, make you want to through up (their typo not mine) obstacle course”. In a type of racing dominated by longer distances with 5000 meters being considered short, Metro Dash offers a unique experience by packing obstacles into 600 meters.
Getting There & Parking: Getting there was not a problem since it was held in a mall parking lot, and there was obviously a ton of parking. No signs that I saw.
September 24th 2011
The Event: The Rugged Maniac recently held in Southwick was a 5k Adventure Run billed as being designed by the Navy SEALs and combining “the most rugged terrain and burly obstacles”. It’s also not billed as a “race” but as a “race and music festival”.
Getting There & Parking: Getting there was a breeze since it was being held at an easily Google-able race track. There weren’t any signs prior to the track, but there wasn’t much of a need for them. Parking was easy and handled well by the event organizers.
October 2nd 2010
The Event: The Rugged Maniac recently held in Southwick was a 5k Adventure Run billed as being “not for the faint of heart, frail of body, or weak of mind… to push your limits and determine how rugged you truly are”. It was to be an event that combined “the most rugged terrain and burly obstacles”.
Getting There & Parking: Getting there was a breeze since it was being held at an easily Google-able race track. There weren’t many signs at all, but there wasn’t much of a need for them. Parking was easy and handled well by the event organizers.
September 17th 2011
The Event: The GoRuck Challenge isn’t in race format like the other events I’ve done, so it will be hard to compare it to anything else or to even fit it into my template that I have for reviewing these things. The GRC is a team event capped at 30 people per team ( or “class” ) created by a former Green Beret and inspired by his Special Forces training. It covers 15-20 miles over 8-10 hours of “Good livin’” through a major city with cadre presenting various challenges and tasks to your team. However one of their mottos is “Under promise. Over deliver”, so it’s safe to assume you’ll put in more time, more miles, or both.
The GRC was first created to test out the durability of the GoRuck packs. Each participant must wear a GoRuck pack. You get a hefty discount if you want to purchase one with registration. If you don’t, they supply one to you on challenge day. Regardless, anybody weighing under 150 lbs needs to bring three bricks to carry and anybody over 150 lbs needs to bring four bricks to carry. Packs end up weighing anywhere from 25-50 lbs depending on bricks and gear.
Getting There & Parking: Again, not being akin to the race format with thousands of competitors, this is really not applicable. The meeting spot is announced a couple days prior, so you just need to drive into the city, park, and get there.
Spartan Races – Beast
August 6th 2011
The Event: Spartan Races call themselves the “world leader in obstacle racing”. They have multiple event formats from their 5k Sprints, to their 8 mile Supers, to the 10+ mile Beasts, culminating in the multi-day Death Race. This was the first Beast, and it was obvious they were going to try to make a splash competing with other events out there of similar distances.
Getting There & Parking: The Spartan Beast was held on the grounds of the Killington mountain resort in Killington, Vermont. I didn’t see much in the way of signs to the Beast specifically, but it was easy to find my way to one of the more well-known ski resorts in the North East.
The parking was a breeze. There was plenty of free parking very close to the start line. No need to mess with shuttle buses or bringing extra cash for parking.
Ruckus Sports – Ruckus Boston
June 4th 2011
The Event: It’s a 4 mile obstacle course run part on-road and part off-road. They don’t want to be known as just another mud run. In their words, “We are not a trail run or mud run – we build obstacle courses.” They also offer a Mini Ruckus Challenge for children.
Getting There & Parking: Luckily the Marshfield Fair Grounds are easily Google-able. I didn’t see a single sign after getting off the highway, which appears to be par for the course for these events thus far. The traffic was pretty bad approaching the event. I was almost late for my heat because of the unexpected delay. You can’t blame event organizers for that though.
What you can blame them for is charging $10 for parking with no warning. I checked my emails from Ruckus Sports, and I couldn’t find any mention of it. This was the first time I encountered charged event parking, so it caught me off guard. They should have warned people ahead of time, so they could carpool if they thought it necessary or perhaps brought a little extra scratch for beer and food.
May 7th 2011
Mt Snow, VT
The Event: By now everybody into Adventure Running has heard of the Tough Mudder. It is essentially the event by which all other events are measured. It combines long distance, strenuous courses with some of the best obstacles that anybody is offering.
I’m not sure about their tagline of being possibly “the toughest one day event on the planet”, but they are tough and challenging. Most importantly, they are fun.
Getting There & Parking: Finally! Signs! I’ve done a few of these events including a past Tough Mudder, and I had never seen much in the way of signs. This event had a nice sign pointing the way at a junction of 2 major routes and again at the mountain entrance. There was ample parking and parking attendants to direct you to your spot.
November 21st 2010
The Event: The Tough Mudder is billed as the “toughest one day event in the world”. This particular inception of the Tough Mudder featured 19 obstacles spread out over 12.1 miles of mud, fun, and pain.
This event holds some special meaning to me because I raised a little over $1500 for it that went to the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research in honor of my aunt who passed away from the disease a few years ago. Click for Michael J Fox Foundation’s website…
Getting There & Parking: Once again no problem finding the course, and once again signage could have been a lot better. I suppose that with limited day-of spectator tickets available, it doesn’t matter, but I’d imagine promoters could bring in more people with just some signs pointing the way. It’d have the ancillary benefit of helping lost participants. The lot here was enormous, so parking wasn’t an issue at all.
Ruckus Sports – Ruckus Boston
November 13th 2010
The Event: Ruckus Boston described itself as the most physically demanding obstacle course available. It’s a “3+” mile course that took place at the Marshfield Fair Grounds in Marshfield, Massachusetts. It features “authentic, military-grade obstacles”.
Getting There & Parking: No problem finding this course either, but there could have been better signage. Parking wasn’t issue. The lots were staffed making sure parking was done quickly and efficiently.