This past weekend I did my very first Rugged Maniac race. The drive was a bit of a hike, about an hour and a half, but it was worth it. It reminded me of Tough Mudder in that it was a very relaxed vibe but without the long lines. This is a fantastic race for obstacle course racing (OCR) beginners. It's a short course (5k), a little bit hilly but nothing insurmountable. There are some challenging obstacles (see Full Tilt and Barzan) but most are very doable even if you haven't done a lot of grip or upper body strength training.
Here are some pictures where as always I look utterly ridiculous:
This race was huge for me because I conquered two slide obstacles (one was Accelerator 3.0, the other was a shorter iteration of Acclerator that I can't find online). You might recall from my Savage Race write-up that I was unable to conquer similar obstacles because of my own fear. So what changed this time? I ran with friends.
Running with friends or teammates is huge. It allowed me to help and push others when they needed it but more importantly, my friends pushed me out of my comfort zone. Make no mistake, I screamed like I was being chased but I made it and I lived to tell the tale. But at the end I had conquered every single obstacle. What a great feeling! I can't wait to do this race next year.
If you're still on the fence about doing a race, don't underestimate the power of running with friends. Not only will they keep you going during the race, you can hold each other accountable as you train for it too. I can't wait to do this race next year.
Are you a solo racer or do you think that misery loves company?