Review of 2012 Running the Rugged Maniac 5K!

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The Rugged Maniac Race!

I have been running for a long time, and back in October my wife asked me about this crazy race she heard about called, "The Rugged Maniac." I told her that I had never heard of it before. She had just received a groupon in her email with the Rugged Maniac Race on it. The deal was something like two people could participate in the race for around $55. You would get to participate in the race, a t-shirt, a beer, and admission to the concert after the race. My wife is someone who likes to try new things, so she signed us up. Then we started to research the race. I found out that the Rugged Maniac is a 3.2 mile race that is full of all kinds of wild obstacles. After watching the video on the website I couldn't help but think, "What have we gotten ourselves into?" Some of these obstacles looked really difficult, and I was concerned that since I'm not as young as I use to be I was asking for an injury. However, my wife and I decided to man up and take on the Maniac and all it's obstacles.

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The Obstacles!

When we looked online to find out just what we had gotten ourselves into, it had a map of the course with all the obstacles listed. Not only were we going to have run 3.2 miles on a wooded terrain, but we would have to take on all kinds of obstacles. We had to climb twelve foot to thirty foot walls. Some had ladders while others only had a small ledge to place your foot on before you had just pull yourself over. We had to run through parts of a river where the bottom is nothing but mud. You had to belly crawl through underground tunnels that twisted and turned for about thirty yards in complete darkness. You had to jump over fire. You had to crawl through mud under barbwire. Then you would finish up by scaling a sixty foot platform and sliding down a slide into a pool of ice cold water. Then you pull yourself out and run the final .2 miles to the finish line.

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Race Day!

Well, we got there and needless to say we were really nervous. My wife and I are both in pretty good shape, but we had never taken on anything like this. We did our normal stretching and had formulated a plan to stay together and help each other through the race. When the gun went off at the start it was a pretty normal trail race. We were running over hills and winding through the woods. Then it turn onto a dirt track and about half through the track we saw several people slowing down. The middle of the track was nothing but gooey mud. I saw several people pull their foot up and their shoe was still stuck in the mud. Some of them stopped to put it back on, but there were a few that pulled it out and kept running with only one shoe on. My wife and I were able to get through the mud without any problems. The course turned to the woods again, and we continued running dodging tree branches, roots, and rock for the next minute or two. Then we came to another obstacle. They were holes in the ground. We both jumped in and I found my self belly crawling through a hole in complete darkness. It reminded me of a Vietnam documentary I had watched with the underground tunnels. I couldn't see anything. My wife and I made it through the tunnel and continued on our way. The next obstacle was a cargo net that we climbed and then jumped over a wall and ran down to the river. We had to cross a section of the river. It didn't look to hard, but as soon as I took three or four steps in my foot sank completely into the mud and I tripped sending my entire body under the water. When I came up all muddy, I couldn't help but hear my wife laughing hysterically. Well, now I am covered in mud and soaked but we continue on through the course. We continued running through the woods for a while longer jumping over fallen trees and there were a few banks we had to climb up. The next couple obstacles were not to bad. We had to run through a section of tires and climb some ladder walls. It wasn't until we came totally out of the woods that we saw this huge platform that we had to climb up to. This thing had to be at least fifty feet up. We had to climb up a ladder that had about fifteen rungs to a platform, then climb another ladder with about fifteen rungs to another platform which was the top. Then you had to climb down the other side. Once you reach the bottom they had to sections of the course blocked with logs that were on fire! You had to run and jump them. It was a rush. You could feel the heat as you passed over them. The trail then led back into the woods for more running, and I was beginning to think we were almost at the end. However, when we came out of the woods this time we ran right into some the muddiest terrain I have ever seen. We had to get down on our hands and knees and climb through a tunnel that went almost straight up. There was a rope inside the tunnel to help you pull yourself up. Once out of the tunnel you had to crawl under a huge section of nothing but mud under you and barbwire above you. We climbed up several hills with the aid of a rope and slide down several on our bellies. It was awesome! I was exhausted, but how many times are you going to get to crawl around in mud in your life. When we finally got out of the mud, we came to two twelve foot walls. There was no ladder to climb only a small ledge in the middle of the wall where you could put your foot to help you climb over. I helped my wife over and then had to just and pull myself over. We had to get over two of these. We then rounded a turn and could see the finish line. Before it though, we had to scale another structure that was about sixty feet up. On the other side of the structure was a slide that went right down into a huge pool of water. We climbed and jumped on the slide. The one thing no one told us was that the pool of water must have been around thirty-two degrees. It was freezing. Once you landed in the pool, there were of course floating obstacles you had to climb over. Then you had to drag yourself up a muddy hill and then run the final .2 miles to the finish line. When we finally crossed the line, we were muddy, soaked, and disgusting. It was completely awesome! You couldn't help but feel a sense of accomplishment. We had taken on the maniac and made it through with nothing more than a few bruises and muddy faces. I have never don't anything like it before. It was a completely different feeling then running a regular 5k race. After the race, we went and watched the concert drank a few beers and met all kinds of interesting people. The atmosphere of the race was awesome. Everyone involved was great. If you are a runner and want a different kind of challenge. This is what you are looking for. My wife and I have already signed up for next year, and are looking forward to it. Are you a Rugged Maniac? I am!

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Comments 7 comments

Tony Flanigan profile image

Tony Flanigan 4 years ago from East London, South Africa

Cool! This sounds like fun!


guy6336 profile image

guy6336 4 years ago Author

It was an absolute blast. If you are looking for something different, or a new way to test yourself. Then this is it. My wife and I loved it.


Tony Flanigan profile image

Tony Flanigan 4 years ago from East London, South Africa

I don't know if I would enjoy the climbing(I have an insane fear of heights) but I'm sure I would totally enjoy the mud! It wasn't clear to me, or I wasn't looking well enough, but it seems the Rugged Maniac is a franchise - do you know if it is?


guy6336 profile image

guy6336 4 years ago Author

I am pretty sure it is a franchise. There are several of them that take place all over the U.S.


ginger 4 years ago

thanks for this review. I'm not a normal runner but do work out here and there. I signed up for this June and was wondering if you could recommend shoe-wear. I have these old New Balance sneakers that I've been dying to chuck out but thought it'd be perfect to do after this race. Thoughts?


guy6336 profile image

guy6336 4 years ago Author

Ginger, I just used an old pair of shoes to run in. They had a place where you could donate them after the race. I would advise a pair of shoes you don't care about.


guy6336 profile image

guy6336 3 years ago Author

I will be running the 2013 rugged maniac this weekend. I will try to provide everyone with an account of this race. This race is located just outside of Asheboro, North Carolina. Good luck to anyone else that is running this weekend.

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