Wipe Out, I mean, Rugged Maniac!

My first experience with Rugged Maniac was in Conyers, Georgia. That is still a trek from my home in Florida, but I was able get one of Floridian friends to ride with me on that super hot day.  Sitting East of Atlanta, it still has its share of traffic. It was about a 6 hour drive-one way, and having a fellow only-childer with me was perfect-We solved every problem in the world with those 12 hours of conversation.

This race was a “come down” for me, after the Asheville Spartan Super (which was my first Super,

and first encounter of hill climbing in quite some time). The Asheville Spartan literally made my quads cry, with nothing but 8+ miles of incline, and not one down hill to show for it, ha! I figured a 5k OCR in HotLanta sun, I could handle. My inkling was correct, about the only thing that ached after this race was my butt from the long ride and my ribs from laughing so hard at myself and with other racers.

Rugged Maniac is a blast. While it has some challenging/technical obstacles, it has its fair share of “inflatable” or floating obstacles. That’s what made this race so much fun–I really felt like a kid again, and in the open wave, I felt like a pro athlete. Basically, this race attracts every fun-loving person out there. Let’s just say it was nice to not be surrounded by super athletes, nailing every obstacle perfectly with their 8 pack abs!

When you go to their website, you will see a lot of their obstacles will remind you of that show, “Wipe Out.” I am not sure it airs anymore, but if you enjoyed watching that show, you would enjoy being a racer or spectator in this race. I can tell you, the fails on the Rugged Maniac obstacles are just as, if not more hilarious than the show. You will witness racers completely bomb an obstacle, scream, slip/fall and laugh the whole time during it.

One obstacle involves inflatable, swinging, oversized punching bags blocking you from crossing a water obstacle as you try to walk on floating, foam walk way (think yoga mat). Those swinging punching bags were knocking people off, left & right, as the mats were sinking with more than 15lbs on the mats—so think about a full grown adult on them.  I heard so much screaming and laughing coming up to that obstacle, I couldn’t wait to do it!

“The Crag”, which reminded me of an old Nickelodeon show, is this inflatable mountain/bounce house like thing, I landed so hard on the other side, it bounced me me back to my starting point. I would’ve loved to seen my playback video, ha!

Overall, I want to suggest this race to anyone, young & old, beast, weekend warrior or coach potato. I think this would be a great team-building thing to do with employers & employees, family reunion kick off, etc. Rugged is also one of the
ONLY race series that will refund your money for a race in case you can’t make it. No hassle, no extra fees. It’s one of the cheapest races I’ve done, and their discounts are a plenty throughout the year, especially during the holiday/off season months. Yet, very organized and well planned. I loved my t-shirt, headband and medal, too. All good quality. I loved laughing that hard, too.

Double Trifecta…Complete!

Central Florida Spartan Beast did not disappoint! This race was extra special, not just because I was getting a nifty 2x Trifecta medal along with my Spartan Beast medal, but because my best friend traveled from Maryland to do this race with 20171209_132552me, and get her first ever, Trifecta!

Mulberry, Florida in December, shouldn’t be as cold and miserable as it was this past Saturday. A cold front came through our sunny state, blowing “polar air” and rain, right at us. I swear, the rain never stopped completely, from leaving our house at 5am, thru the 2.5 hour drive to the venue, during the race, and the ride back. This was the coldest and wettest race in my 2017 Spartan Race Season. This season definitely closed with a soaking wet, shiver!

We were lucky that the dunk wall was late in the race, right about at the 11-12 mile marker, but those last few miles after, COLD! In the Spartanburg, SC Beast, the dunk wall was early in the race, and I can say I was miserable, but no where near as cold as I was

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in Florida! The steady misting of rain to a steady drizzle made a lot of the grip obstacles more challenging than usual, monkey bars, twister and the rings were very slippery. Although the weather wasn’t the greatest, I enjoyed the venue. While Florida is known to be flat, don’t think its an “even” flat. Between the cow paths, low spots and vegetation, Florida terrain can be a challenging trail run. The course was fast, too, you could easily pass other racers and get those miles done and over with, quicker! We ran the majority of each mile of the 13, as I shared my mantra with my bestie, “The faster we Run, the Quicker its Over With!”

My MudGear compression socks worked their magic this race. While others were complaining of calf cramps, I was feeling very light footed, still late in the race. Not only did they keep the cramps away, they also helped my technique on the Tyro Traverse and shielded my legs from limbs and briers on the trails. As usual, about at the 10-11 mile marker, I felt the “zone” kick in. I’m not sure how to explain it, but its something about double digit mileage races that mentally and physically change you right then. It’s not bad, as long as it doesn’t make you feel ill, get you injured or make you cry, ha, but your body & mind just disconnect from each other. Your brain stops telling your muscles you can’t, and your muscles just go into auto-pilot.

While we really wanted to cruise the merchandise tents, relax and get thoroughly cleaned up, after crossing that finish line, we were too cold, and darted to our vehicle. We sat in the truck for about a half hour, thawing out and changing into dry clothes. Laughing about our hangriness, crippling cramps, dementia and shivers. We hit a Pilot for coffee, 5 guys for burgers and headed home. BEST DAY EVER.

Why I will always support Bonefrog Races

I pondered the Atlanta Bonefrog for days before clicking “register.” You see, Atlanta and it’s surrounding areas are NOT close to me in Florida. The traffic within 60 miles of that city can be quite unforgiving, stressful and exhausting. The kicker for this race, there was no other way  that GPS could find for me, without adding hours to the commute, than going straight through downtown Atlanta, with its 10 lanes of non-stop traffic. Now, while I’m a seasoned driver, Atlanta traffic is a whole other level of crazy. Going lone wolf, 6 and half hours one way, seemed like a terrible idea, and it was…Until I reached the venue.

The date of this race was during a real shit show of politics, professional athletes kneeling during the National Anthem and just overall lack of patriotism. In my opinion, the  disrespect shown to our flag, soldiers and country was super charged. Social media was filled with Anti-somethings, hateful memes and illogical points. I hated to scroll on Facebook or watch tv.  When I rolled up into the backwoods of a Northwest Georgia motocross park, I forgot all about it.

Seeing as that Bonefrog is owned and operated by our very own Navy Seals, this race, you could say, got me by : “curiosity killed the cat.” I wanted to see these obstacles that were fashioned from their training camp..I wanted a Navy Seal to hand me a medal. I wanted to be around humans who loved this country so much, they signed up to protect it.

Not only were their obstacles awesome, challenging and one I actually decided to NOT attempt (rib cracker, sternum checker-Hell, I don’t know, but if you look it up, you’ll see why being lone wolf, that far from home, would make me chicken out) but I saw red, white and blue everywhere. American flags, shirts and everything else.  There were Seals at the start line, with red, white & blue glittered beards, at obstacles motivating you on, Jr ROTC volunteers, and Seals at the finish line telling you great job and handing you an awesome medal.  To be honest, that was the most red, white and blue I had seen in a very long time.

The soldiers and Jr ROTC volunteers were so sweet. I’m sure getting a good laugh from watching us pitiful civilians attempt VERY scaled obstacles they had to do everyday, without sleep, injured and in worse conditions. During the race, I couldn’t help but notice they were all smiling, laughing at themselves (and us) and goofing off. I couldn’t help but to think what these men have seen, been through and/or will go through. In a time when many showed lack of respect to our soldiers and country, they showed such class and happiness.

I was repeatedly thanked for signing up, hugged and offered help at every obstacle that I may have looked at/studied, too long. I recommend everyone to do one of these a year, at least. Like I mentioned, the Bonefrog is tough/challenging. Upper body strength is needed. Heads Up-If you can’t complete an obstacle, some times you have to do penalty push ups or squats.

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