I (literally) jumped in very last minute to run the Rugged Maniac race. A muddy 3-mile, 25-obstacle course in the back-country (read: hot as the damn desert) of Temecula, CA. I teamed up with a fun & energetic crew of 20+ people from Valencia Gardens, and we hit the mud!
I didn’t go to an expo for this race (to be honest, I am not even sure if they do that) because I did run it as a group entry. We were already paid for and pre-registered, so we just checked in upon arrival on race day to get our stuff.
Driving into the course was deceptively beautiful for what you were about to encounter once on the course! #mudbath
It’s $10 to park, but traffic and parking was not an issue because of the way they structure these races. Since there are so many people (and obstacles on the course which slow things down), they send groups off in waves. We were set to run at 10:15am.
We started late, after our wave start time, because getting a 20+ person group together was similar to herding cats. Once we got it together and arrived at the start, we learned that you actually begin by jumping over this chest high wall you can see below to get to the start line behind it. So we’ll just round that up to 26 obstacles!
After the start our group spread out a bit, it got really hot, rounding upwards of 100+ degrees for this race. Probably the only thing that made it manageable (aside from the fact that it was only 3 miles) was that we swam in mud along the way.
I don’t have any pics from out on the course yet, but we did have someone there from our group taking a few that will no doubt surface later.
The obstacles were anything (and everything) from tunnel crawls, jumping fire, trampolining into a mud pit, various wall climbs, crawling under barbed wire, balancing on different surfaces getting across water. You name it, it was out there. Some more challenging than others for sure!
If you are looking to PR your 5k distance, obstacle racing is not the way to go. It can take awhile to get through because lines build up at the obstacles. Some people prefer this type of race for that reason, that way it is not consistent running and you get to stop for breaks along the way.
We did this as a “fun run” and didn’t even run with chip timers, only people who are seriously competing do that in these races. I honestly have no idea how long it even took us. We started late and because of the mud, well, my running attire was down to the bare necessities — which meant no Garmin!
I will say one bummer was that the last couple obstacles completely washed off all the hard work you had done caking mud on so that you ran through the finish line clean! What?! Why? I thought that was odd because in other mud runs I have done, you finish completely muddy. I mean, that’s part of the fun – getting those dirty finish line pictures with your medal!
This is one of my Sister’s co-workers who tackled obstacles with me, but you can see here how clean we looked after we finished.
Once we were done, most of our group hadn’t finished yet, so I grabbed my phone and bag from the bag check. Then we were able to run back and catch some pics at the finish.
At the very end of the race, there was this wall where you got a running start and had people to grab on and help pull you up at the top. OR, if you miss their hands you slide back down like a limp goldfish in front of the 100+ people waiting behind you for their turn. I don’t know the girl pictured here — she just happened to be dangling there when I took this!
Once you got up and over that you went straight into the very last obstacle… which was a 50ft drop into a pool of dirty water. Caught a few of our crew sliding into that mess here!
Can you say mud wedgie?!
The after-party for this event is HUGE and fun. Tons of vendors like Suja, Vita Coco, Krave Jerky, Power Crunch and Nesquick to name a few. You get a free beer, but I didn’t even cash in on that, as at 105 degrees at the finish, a beer was the furthest thing from my mind. Instead I guzzled 2 bottles of water and chocolate milk at the finish. I was SO thirsty, even though it was only 3 miles, I felt as though I hadn’t drank anything all day in that dry heat! There were 3 water stations on course, which was good for 3 miles, but with the length of time getting through obstacles, it did feel like forever getting to them.
There was a nice big shaded area with picnic tables where people could hide from the heat and re-hydrate while having the view of the finish, too.
They had music, contests and different things going on all surrounding a big foaming shower area you can go stand in to rinse yourself off. Having done a few mud runs before, I had loaded the back of my SUV with towels, extra clothes, shoes and a gallon of water to do my own shower in the parking lot with no line.
Overall, this was a fun race and the course was beautiful back there in the hills with palm trees every where; it’s just a little dry and hot in the summertime. This race was only about 20 minutes from my house so anyone that lives out here knew what to expect weather-wise anyways – HEAT!
I loved the medal – I’m always happy to add a new one of those to my collection. And those socks back there were still that dirty after I had rinsed off – they just went straight to the trash. Nasty.
I was so happy to get home and shower, I was still pretty dirty although I appeared clean – that was not the case.
The free shirts they gave out (at least to the females) were really cute! It’s a soft cotton and true to size for once. A much more flattering fit than some of the race shirts that run in men’s sizes and fit like a potato sack. You can see some bruises that had started coming in on my arm here, too, I guess that’s because I’m “rugged” now.
This is a fun, challenging and well-put together race for people that like the muddy, obstacle aspect while racing. I only do this type of race if it is group-related, as I typically prefer to stay out of the mud. I don’t like to get my Asics THAT dirty!
How about you guys, has anyone else run this race before?