Mud and Obstacle Race Guide

Savage Race Atlanta SP 15
Soggy Savage Race Spring 2015

So you’re settled on deciding to run a mud race.  Awesome!  Mud run obstacle courses are a blast to run…at least for some of us weekend warriors.   Mud runs are popping up all over the country and if you’re committed, look for one.  Below is a quick guide:

What to expect:

When you start looking into mud races or obstacle runs,  you’ll see that there are lot out there.  Each one is marketed to be the “toughest”, “muddiest”, etc.   It can be a little intimidating when you go to the sites to check them out.  First thing you’ll say is, “I’m not 22 anymore, don’t have twelve pack abs, heck, I’m not a fitness nut…I don’t know if I can or want to do this…”  Well, fear not, not everyone that runs the races “looks” like that.   Sure you’re going to get muddy.  You’re likely going to get at least a few scratches.  Yes, you sign your life away and can get hurt, but man, it’s fun!  Our best advice is to just do it!


Mud and obstacle races can be broken down into two major categories: large multi-state races and local races.  Both are a lot of fun but the bigger ones will have a larger entry fee as well as bigger obstacles.  The smaller mud runs typically have more natural obstacles which are a still a blast to climb, jump, slide over!


Typically mud runs are scheduled from spring through fall.  No surprise since they’ll get the best turnout when the weather is nice, plus it’s a bit easier to warm up after an ice bath in May rather than in February.  Some of the sponsored series make two stops per year in some locations, so you may be able to get two of the same course in one year!

Recommended Runs:

The largest national ones that we recommend are: Tough MudderBattle Frog Race, and Spartan.   These are all well established sponsored races that are all awesome runs.

The Spartan Sprint is a good one to get your feet figuratively and literally wet.  It’s a 3 – 5 mile run with some solid obstacles.

The Battle Frog has some of the most challenging obstacles around.  With military roots, the Battle Frog is one that will challenge you like a navy seal, but without a sergeant yelling at you.

The Tough Mudder is always a must when it comes around.  This one is very “team based” race.   There is no timing system.  You will need help and help your fellow tough mudders completing obstacles.  You will need some cardio training for this one since it’s obstacles are stretched over 11+ miles.  Realizing not everyone is ready for that long of a race, the Tough Mudder now has Half Mudder boasting half the run with all the obstacles.

If you’re in the southeast/mid-Atlantic, you’re lucky that you can run the Savage Race.  The Savage is a favorite that is 5-6 miles, and another good candidate for running your first race.

As with any of the races, pace yourself.  If the obstacles are too intimidating, go around it (some races require you to do burpees if you skip).  But we say, throw caution to the wind, and at the worst case, you’re gonna fall in a pool of water!

Whatever run you end up choosing, you’re sure to have fun.  Yes, they are a little gimmicky.  The mcees are goofy.  Go along with it.  Besides, it’s the perfect opportunity to let your inner child come out and play on a grown-up jungle gym.

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