Confessions of a Former Maniac

In 2012 and 2013, I excitedly participated in Rugged Maniac, one of a handful of mud runs that are very popular with weekend warriors. It seemed like an awesome challenge. So why did I sit this year out?

This is not the face of a happy Maniac.
It started shortly before my first Rugged Maniac in 2012. I was not informed that I would have to pay $10 for parking (on top of the entry fee), and the police in Southwick were less than kind. The race itself was all right, and I wanted to do it again to see if I could beat my time and finish the obstacle race in under an hour.
So in late 2012, I joined the Maniac Mud Squad, the Rugged Maniac ambassador program. I was given a code to promote the mud run – and a men’s t-shirt. When I complained that I couldn’t wear the shirt while I was promoting the race – did they think that only men participated?! – I got a snarky response.
Ok. I get it, it’s a free t-shirt. But I do get angry when people forget that athletes come in miniature sizes. So let’s fast forward to 2013, when I discover that there will not be pre-race packet pickup. Keep in mind that it’s stressful enough getting to Southwick; the town is not built for massive traffic. Basically, you have to leave extra-early to get there anywhere near on time, especially if you race in a later wave. Then you have to pay $10 for parking.
The race itself was unimpressive – I think the hardest part was climbing a wall. The obstacles, while kind of lame and pathetic, still manage to break my friend’s leg – obviously they were not properly set up. Somehow my chip time also got screwed up, and I had to write in to correct it. (And having to pay extra for a timing chip sucks.) The “festival” was lame, and I couldn’t wait to get out of there – the band was just flat. Also, offering beer at the end of a 9:15 a.m. wave doesn’t make sense – I would have preferred chocolate milk. Food options were scarce, too.
Then, in 2014, Rugged Races decides to post this on their website to be all, “We’re so much better than the other mud runs and obstacle races!”
Yes, but Spartan and Tough Mudder are much cooler.

Um, yeah. This is not so. I’ve never done the other obstacle races or mud runs, but I can guarantee that Rugged Maniac is nowhere near the difficulty and caliber of Tough Mudder or Spartan, just by looking at the chart. And a finisher medal – now they’re giving out finisher medals?! I did for two years, and all I got was a lousy t-shirt. A finisher medal is not enough to make me deal with Rugged Races again. And if you read the Facebook comments, you’ll see that the announcer was wildly inappropriate.

Women shouldn’t do Rugged Maniac.

It’s pretty obvious, from the Maniac Mud Squad shirt sizing to the announcer’s attitude toward women that women, at least, should avoid Rugged Maniac at all costs.

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