Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Rugged Maniac DC Recap

So it's been a few weeks since the race, but it didn't feel right to not give the Rugged Maniac 5k a recap since all my other races have gotten one!  Let me just start by saying that after doing the Run Amuck a few years ago I really didn't have any desire to do another mud/obstacle race.  It was ok and I had fun, but let's be real.  I'm not really good at things that involve athletic ability, strength, or balance.  It's fine, it's just not my forte.  When my nice friend asked me to sign up (his work was making a team) I felt that I should because he's always been so supportive of my running.  I was really nervous leading up to the race because I wasn't sure if I would have anyone to run with (he's way faster and competitive) and after looking at the obstacles on the website I had this sense of impending doom.

I will say that whoever is behind the Rugged Maniac Twitter account is a lot of fun.  Anytime I posted something about it they would reply with a humorous answer.  I'm a sucker for races that interact with me.  Their light hearted responses made me feel a little better and I figured I would just kinda go with the flow and hope for the best.  (Another perk that I guess goes along with their social media is that all photos that are taken during the race are free to download--pretty sweet for a girl trying to blog her recap, right?)

The beer was worth hauling my own butt over the walls. 

We arrived at the race site plenty early (we were in the 10:30 wave so we didn't have to leave insanely early!) and the check in was one of the most efficient I had ever seen.  We got our race packets and checked a bag and still had a lot of time to look around, hang out with his coworkers, and watch other racers finish some of the obstacles.  We had the most gorgeous day for a race (sunny and in the low 60s) which was definitely encouraging.  The last mud run I did it was cloudy and in the 40s which was not so fun!

When it was finally time to head to the start I found a wall blocking the area.  I had a mini panic and made my nice friend wait until I got over in case I needed a boost.  Luckily I made it with only mild embarrassment (hauling this butt over walls is no easy feat) and we proceeded to wait for the starting horn.  There was all this intense,  loud music, which I think was supposed to pump you up but only made me a little more nervous.  When the obstacle before the race even starts almost gets you, you know you're in trouble!!

While we were waiting for the start, a few of the girls in the group and I got to talking and we decided we would stick together and make it through.  I ended up only running with one of the other girls for the majority of the race, but towards the end we met up with some of the other girls in the group.  It was definitely more fun having the support of a group!  The girl I ran with was INCREDIBLE.  She helped me through so many of the obstacles (literally holding my hand or waiting for me to switch over to the other side of walls--I'm ok climbing up, but switching is the WORST).

A lot of the obstacles were walls (some I literally just kind of threw my body at and hoped the momentum would make me fall over to the other side haha!), there were some mud mounds and mud pits you had to run through/over, some trenches to jump over, some mud pits where you had to crawl under barbed wire, a beam over 3 feet of water you had to balance across (hence the hand holding), some fire you had to jump over (not as scary as it sounds), and probably the worst part was this dark, narrow, underground tunnel you had to maneuver through.

This girl literally walked backwards to keep me from falling.  She is awesome.
Thanks, Rugged Maniac for the pic!

Don't be fooled, I did skip the very tallest walls.  My shoes were a muddy, slippery mess, and since I had done every other wall leading up to them I didn't feel the need to prove something anymore.  I hate heights with a passion and I figured there was no need to stress myself out over something that I was doing simply for fun.  There were a couple of walls that made me really nervous, but the race had volunteers to help you and make sure you didn't fall.  As a girl that has about 0 coordination I really appreciated this!  The steeper parts of the mud pits and tubes you had to crawl up had ropes you could hold on to haul yourself up.  If I ever do another one of these I am definitely investing in some spandex capris.  The gravel at the bottom of the mud pit hurt SO bad and my shorts may have ridden up more than anyone appreciated in certain parts of the race.  Oops.

The end of the race was a lot of fun.  You had to climb up a wall and then up a rope ladder/wall and then you got to slide down a huge water slide into a pit of muddy water.  My nice friend got a nice muddy hug before we headed to the hoses to rinse off.  I thought they would be more crowded, but we walked right up to the make shift showers.  The race did a great job of organizing how many people would be in each wave because nothing ever felt too crowded.  I only had to wait a minute or two at a few of the obstacles, but most of them I was able to just go right through.  After rinsing off the best that we could and changing in the big tents they had available we got to enjoy our post race beer.  I was happy to see Harpoon was the brewery and enjoyed the Oktoberfest and IPA they had available (one free beer came with your race entry and all others were 5 dollars).  They had plenty of food and I "shared" a sandwich with my nice friend.  Being a Rugged Maniac is hard work!

So much fun!

The rest of the day was pretty much spent icing and sleeping on the couch.  I was so incredibly sore for the few days after the race and a few weeks later my huge bruises are just now starting to fade.  I think more graceful people probably didn't look quite as rough as I did after, but apparently my approach to obstacles was on the more painful side!


Thanks to the Rugged Maniac race series for a great race!  While I probably won't be gracing the event as a participant again (two "adventure" runs is plenty for this girl), I was overall very happy with the event and had a great morning!  Congratulations to all of you BA finishers!


  1. That bruise looks awful! I'm glad you had fun so at least it cancels out the pain a little bit!

    1. Haha, the worst part about it is that it's probably from my lack of badassness that caused the bruise, not anything on the actual course. If only I was a bit more coordinated/athletic.