On July 27, 2013, I participated in the Mud Ninja Extreme Challenge at The J.L. Parker Farm in South Salem, OH. I was challenged to attempt this course by Kevin Jones of the Crazy Mudder Muckers. In short, freaking awesome experience. DO THIS RACE!!!
Race day proved to be a damp one. I arrived on site about an hour before my heat time.
I easily located the volunteer check in tent where I as handed a shirt and bandanna and sent on my way. The bandanna was used instead of race bib so volunteers could run whenever they wanted. My crew (The CornFed Spartans and Crazy Mudder Muckers) were at their tents in the team section. (Yeah! I love the team tent section).
We headed to the starting gate as a group and after a little pumping up by the MC, we were sent on our way. Over the next few hours I experienced some of the most challenging obstacles, insane terrain, and best showing of camaraderie and friendship that I’ve seen at a race. It was a GREAT race and I will be back next year.
Cardio Fitness Required: Yes. YES. Yes. Even if you walked the course, you better not be a couch to Mud Ninja participant or things will hurt.
Brute strength required: You needed some good old fashioned brute strength on this one. You needed this strength for yourself and your teammates. Many of the obstacles were simply impossible without the help of a team mate (or five).
Technical skill required: There were some great technical obstacles. Balancing, climbing, and rope work were all incorporated nicely.
Mud Factor: Holy Cow MUDDY!!!!! There was a point where I was peeling layers of just starting to dry mud off of myself.
Course Officials: At most obstacles there were great course officials and they were super helpful and friendly. There were a few areas of the course (top of the widow maker!) that an official would have helped with safety.
Actual Course: The terrain was wonderful. Rocky, muddy, up and down hills and a beautiful view. There was nice spacing between most of the obstacles. The single most difficult obstacle I’ve ever completed was on this course – the widow maker. I know this sounds like a “the fish was THIS big” story, but this hill was nuts. Straight up with ropes only at the very top. In fact, half way through day one they shut this path down due to some extreme pain and no gain.
Parking: Parking was $10 but free for volunteers. Parking was quick and easy.
Take Homes: I signed up online forever ago and as I typically do, I took the volunteer route and it only cost me ten dollars (yes, I like seeing how the sausage is made) so my take homes were a bandanna and a t-shirt. I saw that fully paid participants got a beer and a T. The finishers medals are EPIC. Big, Heavy, Ninja Stars. So full of awesome.
Food/Beverage: Lots of water stations on the course (I think 4 for a 5K, which is pretty good). I saw lots of food trucks and people selling candy, but I did not partake. There did not seem to be “recovery” snacks anywhere.
Photos: I can’t wait to see these photos. They are going to be so fun!
Summary: An amazing and fun race. I am biased because I got to run it with an amazing group of people, but this was truly a wonderfully run and organized event. As I said before – DO THIS RACE!!!
***Editor’s note – I plan on updating this entry when the photos come in. The muddy, muddy photos.