This was my first Rugged Maniac Event.
To be honest, it was not on my initial race list for this year, but I had a friend reach out to me to join her team. After hearing mixed reviews I decided to do it and make my own assessment. I was skeptical but it was a welcome and interesting change. I was impressed it is such a fun race. The terrain is flat and varied between trail and pavement which made for a fast, fun course.It was a change from what my weekend races usually are, which is running up a ski resort mountain trail on the search for glory and adventure, and a beer with friends at the finish line. The atmosphere was very chill for a seasoned racer who usually picks the more difficult races .
Rugged Maniac is a great race to introduce a newcomer into the OCR lifestyle. I met a lot of people that were doing this as their first OCR race. The course was three(3) miles long, and varied between trail and pavement. It was definitely a fast course, with the first elite athlete finishing in twenty six minutes.
The layout was well done and the spacing between obstacles was ideal. I did not notice any significant bottle necking at obstacles. There were two water stations on the course, which on a very hot day was a welcome sight. All 25 of the obstacles were well thought out to be both challenging and fun, and there was no penalty for failing an obstacle. I do have a few favorites such as Bang the Gong which was awesome and reminded me of the last time I was on a trampoline at 10 years old.
The Balance beam and Tipping Point brought on a childish grin as I made my way across the back to back Jacobs Ladder and Beam Me Up obstacles were right up my alley as I love climbing. They definitely saved the best one for last, which was a warped wall transition into a cargo net and then down a water slide.
The person responsible for that deserves a hug and a cold beer.
This was my first time at the Brooklyn location, which is easily accessible by car or public transportation. At the venue the parking was free and very close to the race. Bag check was also free; I wish some of the other OCR events would offer the same. The festival area was very lively all day with free giveaways at the main stage and pull-up and push-up competitions went on throughout the day. It was a family friendly event with a full day’s worth of entertainment.
I really wanted to try my luck riding the mechanical bull, but my time was limited. I did notice quite a number of vendors at the event with free samples and giveaways, actually more than I have seen at any other race. There was a good selection of food, but if you are a vegetarian like I am, there were no options. That is my only issue with Rugged Maniac, and I think the addition of a veggie burger to the menu is necessary.
Finally, let me introduce myself. My name is Sheldon and I am in my third season of racing. The excitement and passion has not died down, it only becomes stronger every day. A big part of being into OCR is the awesome life changing experiences that I have had along the way. It may sound silly, but the racing community has renewed my faith in humanity and convinced me that there are still genuine caring people in this world. I have made life long friends who remind me of my own family. Pushing your limits, living outside of your comfort zone, and having a sense of adventure make the sport even better.
I try to run multiple laps of any race I am at if I have it in me and at Rugged Maniac I ran three laps. This is not me trying to be a showoff, but if after one lap I am not tired, I am going for another lap. If you want results you have to push yourself. I am fortunate to have family and friends that push me to be a better version of myself every day. Race prep for me starts during the week with very important hydration, hydration, and more hydration. The day before a race my last meal is not heavy usually something involving sweet potatoes. The day of the race i always walk with electrolyte pills, salt tabs to help with cramps and to give to a fellow racer in need. I also carry painkillers just in case of an emergency for myself or someone on the course.I wear an iron man shirt for the majority of my races because I think its funny to refer to myself as the chubby iron man.
I do have a sarcastic sense of humor and I don’t have a filter. If you see me at a race come up to me say hello, or for a high 5 or a hug, it’s all good.