Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Rugged Maniac Kansas City 2014

One of the many obstacles you will encounter on the Rugged Maniac

The wife and I participated in the Rugged Maniac this year.  I had done the Warrior Dash in 2013 and thought this would be about the same.  Surprisingly, this turned out to be a bit tougher.

The course was setup at the Weston Snow Creek Ski Area.  The weather was fairly nice.  It was in the low 80's, high humidity and partially cloudy.  The cloud cover helped us from being completely roasted.  The course was a 5K distance with 25 different obstacles.

This one wasn't bad, but no one was on it at the same time as I was which made it a bit easier.

If you happen to do the Rugged Maniac in Kansas City, then I highly recommend that you incorporate a lot of hilly terrain into your running.  The hills at the course were very steep (it is a ski area, after all).  Also, expect your footing to be a bit dicey.  The entire trail was muddy and at no point can you relax in your run.  I was constantly monitoring where I was planting my feet in order to avoid a turned ankle or busting my ass.

Happy Day.

Overall, I had a great time.  Our start time was 11 a.m.  Unofficially, we finished in about 90 minutes.  I really did not meet any obstacles that I thought were lame or not fun.  I especially enjoyed the suspended rings and anything involving getting on my stomach and crawling.  I don't get to do that normally in life.  The race is a good excuse to do so.

I did have a few nitpicks regarding the overall experience. The first concerned the types of obstacles that had us waiting in line which seems to be a common theme with these kinds of races.  It's not very fun if you're trying to run for a time.  Fortunately, I personally do not care about a given time.  But some of the wait times were excessive in my opinion.

The second was the parking situation.  We had to wait for 30 minutes just to get parked.  I find that to be unacceptable if you are being charged $10.  If you're going to charge for parking, then it needs to be reasonably accessible and not a clusterf*ck.

Events like these are great training milestones.  Getting into the gym or hitting the road for mileage becomes a bit more meaningful when there is an event that you don't want to suck at.  I encourage folks to pick four events throughout the year (ideally, spaced out every 3 months) and train specifically for those events.  If you are new to fitness, then mix it up.  For example, the first event can be a 5K, then second can be a obstacle course, like the Rugged Maniac, the third can be a recreational sports tournament or league (think kickball, volleyball, ultimate frisbee), and the fourth can be a vacation that involves hiking.

What are your favorite types of athletic endeavors?  If you hate running, then ask yourself what does appeal to you.  I guarantee there is some kind of league or event for your interest.  Get after it!

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