Mud Ninja. These are two words that one does not typically string together when describing…well anything.
This past Saturday, however, was a visual and visceral blending of the two words that resulted in a
challenging obstacle course race, smothered lovingly in a generous amount of mud. And it was chock full of competitors who had signed waivers to be…wait for it…Ninjas.
The course was made up of some especially technical terrain, which seemed to, for the most part be heading uphill. Many twists and turns on this route made it extremely difficult to open up and really run, instead the focus was on maintaining solid footing, and often hands in the mud and loose soil.
Standing among the obstacles dotting the festival area, you could watch participants test their mettle against a slack line crossing, the biggest wall I have ever encountered on a course, and one of my favorites, the springboard-launch-over-water-to-a-hanging-cargo-net, which always brings to mind the ‘funniest videos’ on television, cats flying through the air and wildly snagging the draperies in a desperate attempt to avoid a crash landing. Some folks made it look easy, the rest of us provided some excellent entertainment for all standing by.
The event wrapped up at a mere 2.79 miles, short in length but a substantial course from start to finish. The fastest time of the day was a sloppy yet swift 35:02, delivered by Taylor Clark, the first of the male competitors to finish. He was joined just 40 seconds later by men 2 and 3, Jeff Wiggins and Joe Stotlar, respectively.
The ladies delivered as well, 1st place going to Sarah Bevan at 43:18, 2nd to Joni Merritt with 55:42, and 3rd was secured by Lisa Glaus with 55:47. All three of these athletic women are 40. They demonstrated some real hustle out there, and earned those spots!
I have to comment on the awards, where else will you receive a Katana sword for your efforts to secure a podium position? This is where Mud Ninja really pulls out all of the stops. Each overall and age group top 3 walked away with an appropriately sized emblazoned blade for their hard work. If you’re all about the bling given out at OCR events, this will make your top three list for certain!
This is one to definitely plan for if you are in and around the area next July, it’s fun, challenging, has all the mud you could possibly desire and then some..and I hear tell that there is some magnificent brisket to be had from one of the super friendly vendors! Kudos to the folks who organize and provide such a great event, we will definitely be back next year!