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I Got Rugged, Wet, and Muddy at Rugged Maniac Portland 2022

I’m a big Obstacle Course Race (OCR) fan, but I hadn’t run Rugged Maniac since 2017! The whole week leading up to race day I was so nervous! But, as I packed my OCR bag the night before my nervousness changed to excitement. It was going to be a fun morning!

I met a friend at PIR (Portland International Raceway) – where the race was being held – on a very overcast and somewhat cool morning. Check-in went pretty quickly and we had plenty of time to chat, take photos, check out some of the nearby obstacles, and people watch. Of course I started to get nervous again as we watched the waves before us start every 15 minutes. When it was finally our time, we were sent out on the course with the announcer yelling, “Let’s Get Rugged!”

Start/Finish area at Rugged Maniac 2022

We started out running on grass until we hit the first obstacle (low walls to hop over) then we were on gravel, dirt, mud, and even on the race track for a short time. The terrain was quite varied. Good thing I wore my trail shoes! The obstacles were pretty low key to start, which was a nice way to ease in. Then suddently some of them weren’t quite so easy. Barzan – an obstacle that was an interesting variation on monkey bars – seemed like it would be doable, but the bars were kind of wet and into the water I went. The Frog Hop was a series of 4 floating “lily pads” that you had to stay centered on or they would flip. The 3rd one flipped me into the water. Bummer! At least this OCR didn’t include penalties (besides falling into the water) when you fail.

Jumping over fire at Pyromaniac – Rugged Maniac 2022

The variety of obstacles changed constantly. I walked across a beam over water, climbed a very tall cargo net – that always makes me nervous, ran up a warped wall (Fun!), slogged through slimy shoe grabbing mud, crawled through mud under barbed wire, jumped over fire, and climbed up then slid down a big blow-up structure, and much more. There were 25 obstacles total, so over the course of running a 5K that’s quite a few! It was a lot of fun and quite the challenge at times.

Getting muddy in the Commando Crawl – Rugged Maniac 2022

We finally made it to the finish line, soaking wet and muddy, but with smiles on our faces.  And, in my case, a few bruises on my body. (Which is normal for me at an OCR.)

We eventually made our way over to the makeshift “showers” to rinse some of the mud off. The open air shower was basically a PVC pipe hung horizontally with holes in it that water shot out of. It was cold, but at least it helped get a layer of filth off. Then we checked out the after party. There were cornhole boards, food carts, a pull-up contest and other organized events, and participants could redeem their wrist band for a free beer.  You could hang out as long as you wanted as the wave starts continued into the early afternoon.

And, as all good events wrap up – in my book – it was out to lunch with friends to share our successes and failures on yet another fun OCR adventure.

We got Rugged!

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