Rugged Maniac 5k

The Rugged Maniac was still one of the most physically tough runs I have completed to date. This was the second run I had the pleasure in completing and it all started because of a Groupon. I was browsing away and then I saw the Rugged Maniac pop up and was intrigued by the muddy faces. Obviously I clicked on the ad and read through the description as to what all it entailed. An obstacle run?! Hell yeah! I had no idea these things existed and I LOVED obstacle courses when I was younger so I was sold! All it took was $30 and registering and I was good to run.

the before

The day came and I pulled up to the dirt lot all pumped and ready to go. I got out of the car and ran to pick my packet up then got back in my car until it was closer to starting time since it was a bit chilly out for Phoenix in November.

I proudly pinned my bib on and took my now traditional photo of it as part of my before pics and headed to the starting line. As were are waiting our start time we see two guys from the first wave struggling to make their way to the finish line which gave me the impression that “hey, this is going to be tough” but nevertheless I was ready.

We did our rugged maniac chant and then headed off down a rocky dirt path. We are twisting and turning a little bit then head down the riverbank and run/walk in the water. The more people trudging through the harder it was.

Once we left the water it was on to about 8 rock mounds of up and down and then off to a dirt path again. I was thinking things were looking boring just as soon as we came over the bend and say the huge drops in dirt hills to run.

I say “oh shit” and start up and down them. These hills were a little more intense than the previous ones since they were tripled in height. As we are getting towards the end of the hills I see that black plastic tarp of a slide in all of its glory waiting for me. To me, a gigantically unsafe tarp slide screams my name. I picked up speed and excitedly headed for it ready for the plunge. I get in line and shove myself down the plastic tarp of glory. What I didn’t expect though was the freezing temperature of the water I was about to hit at the end of the slide.

right before I hit the freezing cold water

There I was flying in the air from the lip of the slide and then all of that excitement was swept away as I plunged into the water. It took my breath away and caught me so off guard but still I trekked on.

After finishing the slide it was back to hill climbing and descending and I was starting to get disappointed. I wanted MUD! Yes, running through dirt soaking wet does cause some “mud” so to speak but I wanted the real deal!

crossing the finish line

Finally after climbing another tall hill of dirt I looked down to see the mud pit and I was even more ecstatic than I was about the slide. I’ve always watched the military movies where they’re crawling through the mud army style and always thought it would be the coolest thing to do so I raced down and went face first.

I immediately realized that I’m sinking in a foot of mud and can’t lift my head very far since there is barbed wire above me. I guess I didn’t realize how much physical strength it takes to actually crawl through a true mud pit. It probably took me a good 5 minutes to pull myself through and when I stood up, I felt immediately 10 pounds heavier.

I began a slight jog again but the thickness and weight of the mud had honestly taken a toll on me. I trudged on though over 3 walls of 6-8ft tall, through a plastic tubes with only a rope to pull yourself up out of the water pit you just slid in to and into an underground crawlspace which honestly almost gave me a panic attack.

Finally I made it to the jumping wood pegs which I barely made across since my legs were shaking at this point then headed for the last few walls to climb then the rope tower to cross down to the finish line. Somehow I made it all the way through and managed the strength to cross the finish line smiling.

The Rugged Maniac run for me was no joke and it kicked my ass(feel free to view my damaged limbs below). Was it hard? Hell yes. Would I do it again? Fuck yeah. Only things is this year I hope to dominate my finishing time from last year.

Limb Damage