Race two of three of day lead me out to Conyers to the Georgia International Horse Park for the Rugged Maniac. I won't lie, I have kinda fallen in love with obstacle course races this year, so when I already had two races on my schedule for the day and I found out that Rugged Maniac was the same day, I upped my game and committed to three races in a day.
Atlanta traffic can be quite unpredictable, so I was a little apprehensive on my 45 minute trek out to Conyers. I made a quick stop into a McDonald's along the way to change from my Atlanta's Finest 5K clothes to my Rugged Maniac clothes. I tried to keep a lot of pieces the same so I didn't have to change too much, but I still needed a slight wardrobe change. I also crushed an Uncrustable in the car for a little between race fuel. I made it to Rugged Maniac with about an hour or so to get my bib, use the restroom, gear-check my bag and get ready to go.
It was a few minutes before our wave, so we headed on over to the start. How about you have an "obstacle" before you even start the race? In order to get into the start line, you have to get over a 4' wall first.
Most of the first obstacles involved a lot of climbing which I always LOVE. To be honest, getting to climb things is part of the reason I love OCRs so much. There is just something about climbing that makes me happy, so seeing obstacles like Jacob's Ladder, Pole Position, and The Crag got me excited. Then along came the mud. Hey, I love the mud too, obviously.
One of the new obstacles this year was 'Off the Rails' and I LOVED this one for sure. Basically, get a running start, jump/grab the rope and fly down the rail holding on tight. No matter if you "hit the bell" at the end of the line or not, you were getting wet with the splash down pool below you. After a few miles in the heat, I didn't have any issues getting wet on this one.
After Off the Rails we headed back into the course for a handful of obstacles that included ones like Anti Gravity (which involved trampolines and cargo nets), Pull Your Weight and The Gauntlet. One of my favorite of the final obstacles was Frog Hop. Basically it was a lillypad style obstacle which I decided to go about with my own little sense of flair and go on my hands and knees. Hey, I didn't fall in and I didn't touch the water, so there is that.
My absolute worst obstacles? Basically anything that is solely upper-body strength like rings and monkey bars. Even though I know that this is my weak spot, I am working on it, but I am nowhere near the point of being able to make it across yet. I just enjoyed my nice little refreshing swim while Kurt just dominated the rings like a champ.
Note to self: always be on the look out for the fire jump....and especially look out for the second jump. As I left The Ringer, I was ready to charge the warped wall and was totally oblivious to the fire jump right there in front of me until it was basically right there in front of me.
Ugh. The warped wall of Mount Maniac. You were definitely the one that defeated a number of runners today. I had my sights on getting to the top of the wall, but it just wasn't my day. The area to approach the wall was a little bit of a disaster with runners running out in front of others approaching the wall and causing collisions. On my first approach to the wall, I had to make a sudden stop because someone cut me off just a foot or two from the base of the wall. Obviously my mental game was thrown at this point - I know it is an excuse, but I let it get to me more than I should have.
Y'all. I HATE slides. Well, not all slides. Just slides where people are next to you and touch you. Imagine my "joy" when I realized the only way to the finish line was sliding down Accelerator 3.0 and splashing down in the pool of water at the finish line. Thankfully, I got to the top alongside of someone with the same feels, so we had an agreement that we would go separately. Seriously, don't touch me on a slide and we are good.
Done and done. Man! This was an amazing course for real. The obstacles were spread out very nicely with a great variety of difficulty along the way (a good balance of "fun" and "tough"). The lines never really seemed to get too long - there were a few short lines but they went very quick.
After crossing the finish line, I had about enough time for a few quick pictures and a few minutes to get cleaned up. They had a pretty large "shower" system (i.e. pvc pipes/hoses squirting water), but it was big enough that a good number of people could clean up at once. The worst part was the changing tent because it was so hot and humid (hello August in Atlanta), so the tent was just an absolute sauna and you basically couldn't get out of there fast enough. It served its purpose though and I was changed into most of my attire for race #3 coming up in a few hours.
Rugged Maniac is a wrap! This was one of my favorite OCRs that I have done yet, hands down. Everything about it was great and I cannot wait to do it again in 2019!
After a quick celebratory lunch/dinner/whatever that was I inhaled in about 5 minutes because of traffic on I-20, I was in route to Roswell for my third and final race of the day - Alien 5K. I was feeling pretty good, actually I was feeling better than I expected. We will see how race three goes!
I love to run and most importantly I love to have FUN while I run....I am the "Funner Runner"
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