A Muddy Brute Race Review
By Walter F Hendrick (OCRSandy)
This was my last OCR of 2015 (cry) and also was my first Muddy Brute Challenge so I was looking forward to it and going back to Florida (for a whole 30 hours).
• Registration and Festival:
I arrived early and registration was fast and smooth. The festival area was very basic with the start and finish close to each other and with tables set up with water, bananas, and the finisher medals and shirts.
• The Course:
It was actually a cold morning/day for Florida standards and the DJ made it clear early it was okay to skip the water obstacles if racers wanted to. The course started out with a very short sprint and the first obstacle was a balance beam crossing. The course then took a turn to a section of water and it was unclear if racers should go into this water or not, but we all made a sharp right turn and skipped entering the water. The course then came to a section that I later learned was meant to be a crawl in what appeared to be knee deep water but we all followed each other and skipped that crawl. We then did have to enter a short water crossing that was at the deepest point waist deep. Just after exiting the water was the next obstacle, which was a straight-bar to shimmy/traverse across. The next obstacle was only a short sprint ahead and was a series of two seesaw obstacles to balance walk up and back down. Just past these was a obstacle to hurdle/hop over and then after another short sprint was a another of the seesaw obstacles.
If I recall, the next obstacle was a metal obstacle that was either a thru or one to climb up and over. I wasn’t sure how this obstacle was meant to be completed as some racers went through the middle of metal bars and others climbed up and over the metal bars. I did it both ways on my multiple laps. At this point the course came to the one mile marker and the first water station. Just past the water station was two six foot walls to climb up and over and then the course headed into the woods and on the venues natural trails. The next mile of the course was in the woods and on the above mentioned trails and had several of what I would call natural obstacles that were part of the venues trails such as large tractor trailer tires to climb on and several concrete obstacles. This section of the course had one specific short section that entered a very thick clay mud that I know several racers got stuck in and even lost a few sneakers in it. This trail had some good sections of natural obstacles that were pretty challenging and eventually made its way to the next obstacle that was a rope climb, I found this rope climb to be really challenging, but I would suggest they add something like hay underneath it to help soften a fall from the top of the ropes.
The course continued on in the trails and with several more natural obstacles for just over a mile and not long after completing four miles of the course came to the next obstacle which was a monkey bars to cross. A short distance ahead was a second rope climb obstacle and just after the rope climb was a high wall with a rope to climb up and over. The course was now not far from the festival area and quickly came to a angled wall with a rope to climb/run up. After another short sprint, the next obstacle was a wall with a rope on the right to help get up and over and on the left side of the wall was a wooden board section to use to get up and over the wall. At this point the course continued on for a short distance and came to a series of tractor trailer tires laid out on the ground to happy feet over. The course now had a very short section that went back into the woods and then exited to two walls to climb over. The course did a u-turn back in the direction we just came from and after a short sprint came to two A-frame ladder walls to climb up and back down and then just after this was an angled wall with a rope to climb up and then very quickly was a warped wall also with ropes to sprint/climb up. This was the last obstacle on the course and just before the finish line.
• The Bling:
The bling included a nice finisher medal, a stylish black finisher’s shirt, a car window sticker (I always like getting those), and a rubber wristband.
• Overall Feelings and Event Rating:
Overall, I enjoyed the course and found the combination of obstacles and natural terrain obstacles to be fun. I think Muddy Brute needs to add more types of obstacle and variety and also would do better to drop the distance from five miles to 5K.
The bling is nice, the volunteers and staff were all polite and did a good job all day, the trails where challenging and had a variety of different natural challenges that made some of the longer sections of the course that didn’t have actual obstacles fun and challenging, the obstacles did consist of a lot of the same type of challenges, but are well built and very safe and challenging for both first time and experienced obstacle course racers, as I stated above, I think the course could have been just as fun and challenging and been just a 5K and actually would attract more racers for future events. I am rating the event/course a 4.6 out of 5 stars and would definitely like to do another Muddy Brute Challenge in the future.