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Tough Mudder Review: Tampa, FL

The first aspect of the Tough Mudder worth mentioning is that it’s a challenge not a race, so Mudders are not timed.  Many time themselves and peg the benchmark at 3 hours for the 10-12 mile challenge with 20+ obstacles.  I ran with a buddy who suffered a minor bone contusion and we finished around 2:50.  I would categorize our speed as comfortable and conversation-paced  jogging between obstacles and occasional walking around the 5 aid stations.  All aid stations had ample water and a few had bananas, one had Sharkies energy gummy sharks (yum).  Some of my favorite obstacles were:

  • Arctic Enema:  Ice plunge with ample cubes
  • Cliffhanger:  Large mound of slipper mud
  • Berlin Walls:  8 feet plus, some required Mudder comradery
  • Hold Your Wood:  1/4 Log or large wood block carry
  • Funkey Monkey:  Monkey bars
  • Everest:  1/4 pipe charge
  • Trench Warfare:  Trench crawl with partial blackness
  • Walk the Plank:  15′ jump into water
  • Mud Mile:  There were several, but only one had lots of fun mud
  • Electricshock Therapy:  One of two that shock you.  High voltage, but low amperage prevents electrocution.

I experienced no wait at any obstacle and thoroughly enjoyed my experience during the 11+ mile challenge.  The difficulty level was low to moderate.  There were no penalties for failed obstacles, but the distance could wear on those who didn’t train for high mileage courses.  The Tough Mudder should be on everyone’s To Do list for 2013.  The 2013 schedule can be found here:  Tough Mudder 2013

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Featured Review: Warrior Dash, South Florida

The Warrior Dash recently roared into South Florida with tremendous success.  Thousands of Warriors lined up to conquer bad-ass obstacles during an “insane” day.  The atmosphere was festive as evidenced by the costumes, team shirts, thumpin’ music and ample eye candy.   Loads of friendly staff were available to get warriors checked in and off to the starting gate.

The Warrior Dash is an extremely well run and fairly priced event, but the obstacles are reasonably easy and rather tame.  This company has ample experience in the obstacle course race business and executed over 40 events during the 2012 calendar year.  From an organizational and event planning point of view, they are far superior to most local mud runs.  The Warrior Dash is a terrific opportunity to introduce new people to the sport who can participate in an entry-level obstacle course race.  One of their strengths is they know exactly who they are, which is a 5K event with approximately a dozen diversified obstacles.  To date, the Warrior Dash has not attempted to clone other OCR companies.  They have stuck to their formula and they do it rather well.

I arrived at Amelia Earhart Park outside of Miami an hour prior to the first wave.  Parking was a stiff $20, but check in was easy and bag check was complimentary.  I ran the 10:00AM wave as well as the 11:00AM wave.  During my second wave, I was approached by many fellow warriors commenting on my insanity.  I explained to them that I joined a team on Facebook called the New England Spahtens, who welcomed me in and accepted me as one of their own despite my home zip code.  I further explained that New England Spahtens are a pack of challenge junkies who share a passion for obstacle course racing.  The obstacles I encountered were:

  • Junk Car Traverse
  • Two Water Crossings (one with logs, one with a capsized catamaran)
  • Incline Wall
  • Wall Traverse (giant hand holds and a ledge for feet)
  • Three Crawls  (two with mud and barbed wire, one with sand)
  • Mud Mound
  • Giant Trench
  • Cargo Net
  • Two Rows of Fire Jumps

Although it was not the “craziest freakin’ day of my life”, I had a fantastic time simply having fun, while burning calories and getting filthy fit.  The Warrior Dash has a partial 2013 schedule that can be found here:  Expect a full 2013 schedule to released soon.  When the Warrior Dash comes to your town, be sure to sign up, take a few friends and indulge with reckless abandon.