Through its first 2 events, Mud Guts & Glory remained a hidden gem of a race, nestled in the hills and trees of southeastern Ohio. I suspect, however, that the secret will be out following the 3rd event that just finished yesterday. This series, established on a permanent course on the grounds of King’s Domain, has improved each time and that trend continued with yesterday’s race. Overall number of participants have increased. In addition to Pak & Boone, add the names of Magida, Kauder, and a host of other national OCR racers who have ramped up the competition level. Some obstacles became more difficult (eg. 10 foot wall with only a small kick plate and a much muddier monkey bar obstacle). Some obstacles were added like the super long, double bucket brigade. Some obstacles just got better such as a faster water slide and a larger fire jump at the end. Other aspects of the event improved including smoother registrations and a more energetic and populated festival area. The staff and volunteers continue to be the best and most inspiring group of people to be around. One thing hasn’t changed though. The terrain is still gnarly as ever, snaking up, over, and down five miles of some of this country’s steepest hills not located on a ski slope.
The race starts fast with speed racing interspersed with several short hill climbs and descents. After the signature gauntlet of obstacles located in the spectator’s area a mile into the race, the hills come into play. Ascents become longer and steeper. Valley and gorge runs become extremely technical Although a grueling race, the beautiful scenery can provide a mental relief if you can only let your mind soak it in. This race has particular appeal to both elite competitors and fun runners alike. The challenge is more than enough to tax some of the best obstacle racers in the world, yet still fun enough that the average person can struggle through it and leave feeling good about themselves. The family course designed for children (and adults) is second to none with high-quality obstacles engineered to challenge and entertain the kids for hours. If you are interested in hearing more about the race and seeing photos of obstacles, I have reviewed this race twice before so check it out here and here.
I have a very strong feeling that this race and venue is getting ready to explode. That is easily sensed from listening to the assessment of this race from both local and national elite-level obstacle racers. There is no coincidence that this venue is the site of the first OCR World Championship. Ask any elite level racer who has raced here (and that number is continually growing) and they will confirm that this site is incredible for obstacle racing. Before you ask, there will be an additional 3 miles and new obstacles added for the OCR World Championships that are not previewable.
Register now for the next Mud Guts & Glory race on August 16th. Use promo code Sparta5 for $5 off entry. There won’t be any Groupons or Living Socials, but trust me that this race is worth the money you pay for it and all the revenue goes to support the fabulous missions of King’s Domain.
Watch exciting footage of this race through the lens of Arnel Banawa at OCRTube.com who is cranking out the best videos in the business.