Rugged Maniac was a lot more challenging than Warrior Dash was- it was held on a Motocross track- which is cool because it is spectator friendly, and it was challenging because of the amount of elevation change- we started uphill (a first for me in these events) and then a long fairly steep ascent to the top of the course, and then basically repeated similar ascents 3.5 times during the 5k- they were STEEP ascents, and descents- very challenging due to the course material- mostly clay. It was hard to get traction on when it was dry and harder to get traction on when it was muddy. The Obstacles were pretty typical- some higher walls (probably 7-8ft) a cargo net climb with a drop into a track and field type "pit" pad, a slog through some nasty deep clay mud, a few ladder climbs, 2 low crawls under barbed wire, a rock-hop, and another walk across loose stumps. There was also a Mr. Myagi sort of pier jump- logs about 10-12 inches across driven into the ground to create piers about 3 ft tall. Each pier was about 3-4 ft apart so you had to jump from one pier to the next. there were about 5 jumps, and it was challenging. The whole thing ended with a climb up to a 15ft platform, and then a steep slip-n-slide into a nice cold pool- once in the pool, there were floating over/unders to deal with, a rope assisted climb out and then a run up (yes up) to the finish line.
My downhill form is MUCH improved since the Mudder. I kept my weight forward, and was really trucking downhill this time- I passed a lot of people in the downhills so that each descent was basically a slalom around slower runners. My knees still feel great, so I must have been "doing it right".
The Komodos did well enough in the climbs thanks to the flexibility of my feet. also, the muddy climbs had rope assists available so I benefited from that. I did have to scramble for traction a few times on the steep climbs where the clay was packed down really hard. A woman slid down past me on one of these, I stopped to offer assistance and found myself sliding down past her... LoL, I learned after that to go to the outside edges of the track on the climbs- material was looser out there and easier to get traction on.
When I got into the deep clay mud I ran into my first issue with the Komodos- getting through was fine, but running away afterwards the support around my ankles vanished due to that area filling with mud. To my surprise the heel cups became very sloppy just as Barefeet has described above (so I stand corrected
). I was really surprised by this because i didn't experience anything like that during Tough Mudder- It was a real issue though, and it made me a little uncomfortable- especially when they started to dry out and the grittyness of the material started to grate against the skin around my ankles, and heels. I don't think trek Sports would be much better- what you really need is an adjustment around the ankle to cinch closed in order to KSO- something like what the classics have would do nicely.
I went back to the same clothing style I wore for TM, and that was a good move- no wardrobe malfunctions to deal with, so that was nice. We didn't get many pics this time, but I'll post whatever I get from the event.
In summary- Rugged Maniac was challenging. The production value was a bit lower than other events I have run in, but all in all it was a good event, and I'll probably run it again since i have heard these things tend to get better each year as the organizers learn and become creative from their experience.
For this race I finished 10min faster than average and finished in the upper 3rd of the field. Not terrible, but I don't run these things for time.
Next up is another Tough Mudder! This time we are headed down to Edna TX on Jan 28th. They are advertising an 11 mile course with 25 obstacles to tackle. Should be a good time!