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writers Tim Bonnes

MudRunFun California Team Leader

Matthew O’Leary MudRunFun Magazine Professional Slacker

Muddy Mommy

OCR Athlete / Blogger

Roger Smith, PhD.

OCR Athlete / Prolific Author

Whats inside this issue? “The Mud Run Sandwich” Roger Smith, 1 “Atlas Race Review” Tim Bonnes.................................. pg 3

Eye Candy - Deviant Race Spreads Matthew O’ 7 “Extreme Nation Review” Muddy 13

The Mud Run Sandwich by Roger Smith, PhD

Yum! A mud run sandwich. A mud run this

twist, which calls for yoga and pilates. So wake up

Saturday and next Saturday with training packed

with a short 10 minute yoga routine. Then later in

into the middle of the sandwich. It is more fun than

the day spend a full hour doing yoga, pilates, or a

anything … except maybe a mud run triple-decker.

combination of the two. Currently, I am enjoying the

So how do you train when you just have a week between a pair of mud runs? You want to maintain the fitness level you have and hopefully push one trait forward just a little before the next race. As the

yoga and pilates routines in Tony Horton’s P90X3 workouts. I do them both back-to-back for a full hour. Monday. Start the morning with 30 burpees and a

mud run season started I found myself with a pair of

quick 1-2 mile run. This will take 15-25 minutes for

short runs sandwiched together – Extreme Nation

most people. Then later in the day it is time to build

and Spartan Sprint. So I created a week of training

a little muscle with an upper body lifting session.

specifically designed to carry me from one race to

Focus on chest, back and shoulders today. Be sure

the next. The program was based on the fact that

to include push-ups and pull-ups because you can’t

both were short distances and heavy on strength

beat those classic body weight exercises.

obstacles. It includes a short physical wake-up in the morning and a longer workout in the afternoon. Sunday. A really good obstacle or mud run is a great workout in itself. You get a big dose of cardio and muscle work in a short


Tuesday. It is time for an abs/core morning. Just 10 minutes of alternating abs exercises. There are many great abs DVD’s to choose from. I like these much better than the boring sit-ups and leg lifts we all learned in gym class. Then in the afternoon I have been

20 to 60 minute window. So the

attending the Les Mills BodyFlow class at my gym for

day after is not a good time

the stretch, twist, and flex workout. I follow that with

to lift weights or run. But it

their high intensity BodyAttack class, but a good set of

is a great time to stretch and

running sprints or cycling will do just as well.

AM PM mud run

Saturday Sunday

10 Min Yoha

Yoga or Pilates


30 Burpees + 2 Mile Run

Lift Upper Body


10 Min Abs + Run Sprints

Pilates + Cardio

30 Burpees

Left Lower Body + Arms

Run Long

Pilates + Stairs


Foam Roller

Wednesday Thursday Friday

Wednesday. By this morning you should wake-up a bit fatigued. So the morning routine is just 30 quick burpees. You can do these in 3 sets of 10; or make them into Tabata sets of 4 burpees with 10 seconds rest between, repeated for 8 sets. In the afternoon it is time to strengthen the lower body. Include leg exercises that build your glutes, like lunges, rather than the leg extension and leg curl machines. I also work my arms with my legs because I can switch back and forth without having to stop and rest. The legs rest while I work arms and vice versa. Thursday. This is a good cardio day. Try a longer run in the morning. Then in the afternoon you can run stairs and work on your core again. I return to BodyFlow class just because it is scheduled at a perfect time. Friday. I said you were going to like Friday - just rest. Let your body rebuild and refuel your muscles. Today you can use the foam roller to breakup adhesions in your muscles. But give your body a chance to prepare for tomorrow’s event. Saturday. I’ll see you at the race. This was a great program between two short races. If they had been longer events I would have spent less time on building strength and more on running. But, in either case I would have included at least 2 days of yoga or pilates. I believe these are essential for protecting your body from injury. This sure is a lot of work to invest in a weekend hobby. But for Mud Run Maniacs there isn’t anything more exciting.

Dr. Roger Smith is a researcher at Florida Hospital, author, and avid mud runner. He competes with the old guys in every mud run around Central Florida. This column was drawn from his book The New Blueprint for Fitness: Mud Run Edition, which is available at


Atlas Race – Extreme Obstacle Racing Series

country, both male and female. As I said I am not

Let me start by saying that I am not an Elite

an elite racer but I figured I’ve done some pretty

racer. I do OCR’s for a good time and to test

tough events over the past few years so I decided to

myself to see how far I can push myself. When I

give this a try.

moved to Southern California after being spoiled in Florida for the past 3 years of the OCR boom I was disappointed at the lack of quantity of races coming to the area. I am constantly searching for a new race to try out and see what it has to offer. I heard about Atlas Race after their debut in the North West last year. There was a lot of hype surrounding this new racing series and they are offering huge prize money for the Elite and Team categories. This


race drew most of the big name racers from across the

Atlas Race held its Los Angeles Event on 22/23 Feb 2014 at the infamous Vail Lake Resort in Temecula, CA. This venue has hosted some big players in the OCR industry such as Spartan Race and Tough Mudder. Let me start by saying the terrain at this place is wicked. There are miles and miles of trails available for use along with a huge freshwater lake and some very, very large hills that can be used. Atlas Race took advantage of all of this. The Race started with a quick run through some mud and immediately went into a climb up one of

the smaller hills. This smaller hill is about 1/4 of a mile with close to 500ft in elevation gain. It is quite awesome to get on top of it and look at the beautiful terrain. On top of the hill was a 12 foot wall with ropes that needed to be scaled to move on. Once moving back down the hill were some of the standard tire flips and mud bogs with an inverted wall which were a pretty good time. The course looped back around to a cargo net climb that was 20+ ft tall with no supports at the bottom. Very different than any other cargo net wall climb I have seen because of how the net moved, the height of it and how the cargo net put you under the supports at the top


requiring some upper body strength to get over and back down. There were a few more cargo net A-frames to go over but nothing compared to that cargo wall. After some more trail running came what I saw as the race equalizer. This massive hill that was close to 70% incline at some points with awesome sugar sand and a 50 pound sandbag that needed carried to the top. This was close to 1000 ft in elevation gain covering about a 1/2 of a mile. By the time I got up this hill I was spent, and still had about 2 miles to go. The rest of the race consisted of some 8 ft walls, another sand bag carry some shallow but Florida thick sole sucking mud, 2 lake crossings, some over and under walls and a few barbed wire crawls. All in all this was a very good event. The Boss course that I ran covered 5 miles and had 20 obstacles to negotiate. The race was well organized; there were no back logs at any of the obstacles. Packet pick up was a breeze and there were no wave Nazi’s. I would recommend this event to anyone that is into OCR events.







Review by MuddyMommy When I arrived at the site of the inaugural Ex

try the full obstacle, then try climbing the middle

about two specific obstacles; the unique set of

rope to swing to the descent, and if both attempts

monkey bars, which consisted of an ascending then

were failed, 20 penalty burpees would release the

descending series of bars, with a rope in the middle

female participant to continue on. Women were

intended for racers to grab the rope once they had

also only required to carry one 50lb sandbag instead

climbed one side of the bars, swing across to grab

of two, and although men were required to hold

the opposite bars, and then descend the other side.

their sandbags at their sides, women were allowed

The bars were spaced far apart, and slick due to the

to carry theirs in any way we saw fit. Outside of

light rain, making the incline even more daunting

that, all other obstacles were to be completed by all

than normal for most female, and some male,

competitors in the same fashion. Teams of 4 men

participants. The other concerning obstacle, the

and women would be competing against each other

great equalizer, was the rope climb.

for cash prizes, and as we stood together receiving

All elite teams met at 8am to receive our final

our instructions I realized that this race would be

instructions from the Race Director. It was deemed

no easy competition. The likes of World’s Toughest

that the monkey bar obstacle may be too challenging

Mudder winner Junyung Pak, Spartan Race Elite

for some female competitors, so although men were

Racer Hunter McIntyre, and Spartan Race Elite/

required to attempt till completion, women were to

Body Builder/All Around Beast Mode female Ella

Kociuba showed up with hopes to win the coveted

body challenges. Monkey bars, tractor pull, sandbag

cash prizes, taking the competition from intense, to

carry, parallel bars, rope climb‌ these obstacles

all around insanely fierce. We knew that to place

alone are tough enough to challenge the most

anywhere above last place, we would have to give

seasoned elite males, which makes me even more

this event all we had.

proud to have been a part of the amazing group of

The elite men began at 9am, one team of four beginning each minute. This gave us the perfect

women that took on this course. Despite the shorter length course, this race was

opportunity to spectate as team after team was sent

no cake walk. The barrage of upper body challenges

down the course, tackling the 20+ obstacles one by

and obstacles left even the fiercest competitor feeling

one. We watched as they tackled many obstacles

zapped of energy by the time the finish line was in

with ease, and formulated a hopeful plan-of-attack

sight. I took the obstacles in stride, knowing that I

where they seemed to struggle. After the last team

was not the fastest competitor present, I planned to

of men was sent down the course, it was our time

use my strength in obstacles to surge ahead of my

to line up, it was time for the women to take on the

competition. The sandbag carry and tractor pull


did not phase me in the way that it crippled many

Eight female teams gathered in the starting corral.

racers, and the series of cargo climbs and over/

32 powerful, determined women, ready to tackle

unders were completed with ease. My attempt at the

the course the men had just taken on. We lined up,

monkey bars was quickly followed by the 20 burpee

said our well wishes to our team mates, and before

penalty, as I was unable to keep a quality grip to

we could blink we were on our way. My focus for

maneuver the obstacle. And as I rounded

this race was on pacing. I didn’t want to start too

the bend toward

fast, only to find myself with no gas left in the tank by the final obstacles. To me, the race itself was a course built to play toward a man’s strength, with a heavy emphasis on upper


the finish, with only the rope climb to complete, I felt confident. I was ready to claim a quality finish. Now I must explain that although the rope climb has given me a bit of a struggle at previous races, I’ve never failed a rope climb, nor have I had to attempt the climb more than once. Each time prior to this race I had moved methodically up the rope, taking a quick break if needed mid-climb, but I had never failed. Well apparently Extreme Nation was determined to shake that confidence a bit, and I was forced to come face to face with the shattering reality that I may not be as strong as I thought I was, because at this race, I struggled with this obstacle more than any obstacle I have ever faced. I reached the rope climb, and quickly realized that my entire team was there with me at the same obstacle, attempting to reach the bell at the top which would release us to finish the race. I felt confident that I could lead my team to victory, planning to climb the rope with ease and then dash ahead to the finish line. But with increasing despair, we each attempted to ascend the rope, and time after time, we each failed. I recall hitting a point where I looked over at my husband on the sidelines, discouraged, my forearms burning and my hands shaking uncontrollably, and I said, “I don’t think I can do this.” I had never spoken those defeated words during a race, and allowing that phrase to escape my mouth in a desperate plea to be given mercy felt like a punch to the gut. I felt like a failure. I felt foolish to have believed that I could compete against the women who had effortlessly cruised up the rope as though it posed no challenge whatsoever. I looked around at those who remained at the ropes, all of us struggling to overcome an obstacle that, with

each failed attempt, seemed to grow taller and more ominous. As I watched the frustration building around me, I came to the resolve that this obstacle would not defeat me, and that I would not leave this race feeling as though I failed. I mustered all of the strength I had remaining, gripped the rope with a resolve to finish my race, and climbed that rope. I hit that bell with a triumphant ferocity, it’s ring announcing that I had not been defeated. With a renewed strength I shouted out my victory, a sense of relief and empowerment washing over me. I eagerly descended and crossed the finish line, thrilled that I didn’t give up, that I didn’t allow the voice inside me telling me that climbing that rope was impossible. I had won a personal battle, and it

was a pretty amazing feeling. The championship wave quickly arrived, and the top 10 male teams lined up to compete for their spot on the podium. The competition was fierce, and as they battled it out on the field, the 8 female teams prepared to again tackle the course. With my recent struggle still fresh in my mind, I dreaded my 2nd turn at the rope climb, but resolved that I would push as hard as I could to complete the obstacle more quickly this time. I wanted not only to make myself proud, but to make my team proud. Happily, that is exactly what I did. I traveled the course again, taking on obstacle after obstacle. And as I neared the rope climb, I watched on as my first two teammates conquered the rope on their first attempt. Their excited screams echoed through the air, and I told myself that I too, was going to follow suit. I arrived, noticing that a few of the other competitors who had struggled initially were again attempting their climbs. Not this time, I told myself, I’m not going to get stuck here again. Deep breath, tight grip, and climb! I dug deep and climbed to the top of the rope, swiping for the bell.. and narrowly missed by a fraction of an inch‌. Feeling defeated yet again I found myself slipping toward the ground, dumbfounded that I had not hit the bell. Upon reaching the ground, I took a moment to calm my nerves, and again reached upward, ascending the rope with profound


determination. This time, I succeeded! I was able to finish the championship wave with a time that I was proud of, I helped my team earn a 6th place win and $400, and above all with the knowledge that I did not let the course get the better of me. That, to me, has got to be one of the best feelings in the world. I came away from Extreme Nation having experienced a vast array of emotions. I arrived hopeful and confident, experienced time of major struggle, became discouraged and doubtful of my abilities as a competitor, felt elated when I finally achieved a result I’d begun to believe was not going to happen, and left with a pride in myself and in my team that in almost indescribable. Despite my initial skepticism, I’m now left with an intense gratitude for having run this race. I am grateful to have been provided with such a fantastic experience, proud to have pushed through pain and self-doubt to finish a race that I, at one point, thought might be impossible, and am empowered to continue growing, learning, and building my own abilities for future races. Although the future of Extreme Nation may have a few hills and valleys as they discover what exact formula will fit their ideals best, I do hope to see this one stick around. They have a great, challenging race, and it’s one that I know I will always be proud of. ~Holly


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MudRunFun Magazine 2014 March  

Keep up to date with your Obstacle Racing Course Community. Write ups from Muddy Mommy, Roger Smith PhD., Review from Atlas Race and Extreme...