|Photo Credit: Gameface Media|
If you are an avid watcher of the TV show Shark Tank then you’ve probably heard of Rugged Maniac. Rugged Maniac in an Obstacle Course Race which has made its way to Florida for several years now and is a staple event in our mud run community. Each time this race comes to town they promise an epic day filled with challenges, entertainment, and a top notch obstacle course to satisfy every type of athlete. This year, on April 22, was no different. Rugged Maniac is one of the races which has the “production” down to a tee. In Florida, they have been using the beautiful property of Little Everglades Ranch in Dade City, FL to host their event for the past few years. Since the location used is fairly close to me, and one of my favorite venues, I was excited to be able to attend. Making your way into Rugged Maniac was easy. Parking was $10.00 cash and they were able to split car lines, in two, making the entrance very easy and smooth. Once parked we headed to the registration tent. For attendants who have never been to a race at Little Everglades I must stress to you either pack light, or bring a wagon for your gear. Be prepared for a lengthy walk from your car, to registration. I totally recommend bringing chairs, and a canopy to stay the day but if you aren’t prepared to carry them, and/or don’t have a wagon then leave them at home.
Walking up to registration I did notice there were already lines forming. The first wave began at 9:45am, and registration did not open till 9:00am. I am definitely the person who has to get somewhere early to get settled, get my bib, warm up, socialize, and have plenty of time to fit in all my pre-race rituals. With registration opening at 9:00am lines were forming pretty quickly. I was second in line and once 9:00am came it took me about 15 minutes to get to the volunteer, and another 15 minutes to collect my bib. This is definitely not typical. Usually I would have my race bib within 5 minutes but the volunteer handling my line was unfamiliar with the technology, and was having a bit of difficulty. However, once we got our bib and t-shirts we were off to our meeting area to find our friends to go for a run!
The start line was energetic and filled with fellow race enthusiasts ready to enjoy the day. The race within itself was perfectly marked, easy to follow, and had obstacles ranging from beginner to advance. I was excited to see the addition of some unique new obstacles such as The Guillotine, TheCrag, Swing Shot, and a New Accelerator. The addition and remodeling of their obstacles ensures the race redundancy is changed up for returning athletes and I love to see a race evolve the way Rugged Maniac has. One thing I did notice this event was the chlorine smell coming from the obstacles which had water. As an avid mud run racer there are always stories of someone who got sick by ingesting too much muddy water, and although the water was still muddy, the chlorine disinfected it for anyone’s peace of mind.
After the race participants had a huge festival area to enjoy. The DJ was on point and engaged the crowd and kept everyone dancing! There were pie eating contests, beer stein holding contests, bull riding, and gladiator games. Sponsors were everywhere giving race participants free swag, and information. Spectators had free entry and were allowed to wander around and take pictures of their loved ones completing the race, and were able to bring chairs to watch them come down the big slide and come through the finish line.
All in all, Rugged Maniac gets an A+. This has, and always will be one of the most entertaining races to participate in. The obstacles are fun, the festival area is wonderful, and the weather has always been a bonus. Whether or not you are a new obstacle racer, or an old one, come out to Rugged Maniac with the mindset of having fun, and enjoying the day and you won’t be disappointed!
|Photo Credit: Gameface Media|