True to the name, the Mud Ninja stealthily crept up on me and delivered a swift and debilitating blow to my expectations for local/regional OCRs. Parking was onsite and well-directed. Registration was quick and smooth. Emcee and music kept the atmosphere lively. No spectator fees. Repeat….NO SPECTATOR FEES. Numerous obstacles were viewable for spectators. The course was extremely well-marked and even I didn’t make a stupid decision. The race itself contained more mud obstacles than any other I’ve done. In fact, there were very few obstacles that didn’t somehow involve mud. The track was a mixture of rocks and mud meaning a lot of uneven terrain. I’m sure more than a few people left the race with a turned ankle. What I liked most about this race was that it was the perfect mixture of fun and challenge. Several of the obstacles were above-average difficulty (tyrolean traverse; lateral monkey-bar crossing; another rope crossing in which you clung to a horizontal rope suspended over a mudpit and used your arms to pull yourself across; another obstacle that required venturing across a slack line until reaching a rope and then making your way the rest of the way across). The ultimate obstacle was the one they named American Ninja Warrior (not sure if they got copyright clearance for that one). It was a jump from a catapult across a muddy trench, onto a cargo net hanging halfway down a 15 foot platform. Grab it and pull yourself up. Miss it or couldn’t pull yourself up enough to get your legs on it and you’re in the trench. From the trench, you had to climb up on a knotted rope. While that one was considerably easier than I expected, it was definitely one of the most fun obstacles I’ve ever done. One of the things I really liked about this race, was that even though there were no direct penalties for ‘failing’ an obstacle, those who completed them were at an advantage because failure usually meant a mud submersion.
The Kids Race was not long, but was obstacle and mud dense. There was little running, but it still took 15 – 20 minutes for my daughter get through it. They had their own tyrolean traverse and slack line crossing, as well as a tunnel crawl, barbed-wire (rope) crawl, mud slide, and numerous rolling mud pits. Afterwards, the suds machine blowing colorful suds several feet deep was a hit with the kids and a few adults.
I said earlier that what I liked most about the race was the mixture of fun and challenge. I really don’t mean that. What I liked most about the race was the trophy! I brought home a super-cool ninja sword for finishing 2nd and my wife won a race for the first time and also brought home a sword! I am so proud of her! The Mud Ninja will be on my race schedule again next year…maybe even both days of it. It should be on yours!