Mud runs also known as obstacle course races (OCR) are the new challenges in the running world, consisting of running events that include a variety of obstacles. With over 4.9 million people participating in obstacle course races annually, it’s a phenomenon that is taking the running world by storm – a muddy storm.
What is a Mud run?
Mud runs are runs that include a variety of military-style obstacles, which often require teamwork to get over. Mud runs live up to their name being notoriously dirty events where runners return covered in mud and grime. Mud pits, rope ladders and rock walls are just a few of the obstacles you will encounter on a mud run and if you are a beginner, take your time to watch how the more seasoned competitors tackle the obstacles before you attempt them.
If you plan on embarking a mud run, be aware that it requires more than speed. To tackle the obstacles, you also need upper body strength and grip strength as well as plenty of endurance. Be prepared to crawl under barbed wire, balance on beams, slide through tubes and carry sandbags.
Teamwork versus winning
Mud runs ten to focus on camaraderie with a lot of teamwork involved rather than individual winning. Although there are events like the World’s Toughest Mudder which are very competitive with highly-trained OCR athletes racing to achieve first place.
In 2019 the World’s Toughest Mudder will be taking place in Atlanta USA. This highly competitive race consists of a 24-hour obstacle course challenge to find the toughest endurance athletes in the world. The World’s Toughest Mudder started in 2011 in Englishtown, New Jersey and the format consists of a 24-hour lap-based course filled with obstacles and the goal is to see who can complete the most laps within a 24-hour period.
If mud running sounds like something you might enjoy, here are some of the larger up-coming mud races near you:
Mud races in South Africa 2019
The Toyota Warrior Race – this is South Africa’s largest obstacle course race series where you can test your strength, speed and endurance.
Dates: 2 March, Bloemfontein | 23 March, Namibia | 06 April, Tierpoort Adventure Farm, Gauteng | 24 August, Mbombela Stadium, Mpumalanga | 2 November, Cape Town | 5 November, Riversands Farm Village, Midrand | 2 November, Cape Town
The Beast Challenge – This will take place on 10 March at Battle Rush, Bryanston in Gauteng. Despite its scary name, this is a family-friendly event where everyone can experience the thrill of obstacle course racing.
IMPI Challenge – held on 26 October at Van Gaalens Kaasmakerij, North West Province, the Fedhealth IMPI challenge is a muddy trail with loads of exciting obstacles that enable you to push your limits or just simply enjoy yourself. Athletes and beginners will all be taking part.
Mud races in Australia 2019
Spartan Race – held on 2 March on the Tooradin Estate in Melbourne, this race is for everyone if you want to tackle obstacles that include running through mud, swimming dams, jumping fires and climbing ropes.
True Grit – 27-28 April in Adelaide, Cadell, SA. This is the first military-inspired obstacle challenge designed by the Australian Special Forces! The courses are designed over 10-12km and include obstacles that will test your mental resolve and stamina. This event is not about running a marathon – but is all about facing the obstacles head on!
The Kryptonite Challenge: 21 September, Orchard Hills, Sydney. The Kryptonite Challenge is for any fitness level and consists of a fun obstacle course featuring 40 touch and muddy obstacles.
Mud races in New Zealand 2019
Matakana X Run Obstacle Challenge – 2 March, Matakana Country Park, Matakana. This is two-person team event and will have 6km and 9km events filled with challenging obstacles.
Wairua Warrior – 16 March, Cable Bay Adventure Park, Cable Bay. This is a 6km and 12km obstacle course, which consists of man-made obstacles and lots of mud. Be prepared for climbing walls, sandbags, balance bars and tyre drags. You can race individually or as part of a team.
Muddy Good Run – 31 March, Canterbury Agricultural Park, Christchurch. The Muddy Good Run is, as its name implies, a muddy and watery obstacle course, which caters for everyone. It will involve crawling under cars, water slides, camo net crawls, containers to scale and more!
Mud races in Canada 2019
Kitchener Canada Rugged Maniac – 1 June, Chicopee Ski Resort, Kitchener, Ontario. This is a serious obstacle course consisting of at least 20 obstacles designed by an experienced team of contractors. Expect to crawl through the mud under barbed wire, slide down a huge water slide and jump over fire while running through forests, fields and down ski slopes!
Mud Hero – 24 August, Toronto North. This promises to be the “most fun you’ll ever have covered head-to-toe in mud” and consists of over 18 obstacles that will get your adrenaline flowing. It is open to everyone aged 13 and up!
Rugged Maniac – July 13, Vancouver. Fun for grown-ups! Here you’ll tackle a 3-mile course with over 25 obstacles including water slides and trampolines
Mud races in USA 2019
Epic Series – March 16, LAPD Ahmanson Recruit Training Centre, Los Angeles, California. This is the next generation of obstacle course racing and combines functional cross-training, strongman and traditional course racing elements in what is billed to be the ‘most EPIC course on the planet. Unlike the other obstacle course racing events – this one promises to have ‘no mud, no long-distance running and no ice baths.
San Francisco Rugged Maniac – 23 March, Alameda County Fairgrounds, Pleasanton. Get ready for at least twenty obstacles that promise not to be the ‘pop-up kiddie obstacles’ you’ll find at other races. Expect to be challenged as you jump over fire and face a battery of obstacles designed by professional contractors.
Deansboro New York Daniel Barden Highland Mudfest 2019 – 27 April MKJ Farms, Deansboro, New York. This 5k course has over 20 obstacles including water, mud, hills tubes, slides monkey bars and more. Get ready to have some fun and enjoy a post-race party featuring a custom fire sculpture!
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