Mile 32: Event Day Experience – Savage Race Maryland 2016

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The Savage Race really upped their OCR game from the last time I participated in their race. It was an all-new and better course (still at the same venue). The obstacles were tough and innovative. I can’t speak for what Savage Race did in 2015, but if their first event of 2016 was any indication of what anyone can expect from them, then it’s going to a great year for Savage Race. That’s a good thing too! Out of the more commonly known OCR’s they have the least amount of events a year. Maybe they will see an increase in participants, which could lead to more events. Regardless, you should seriously consider signing up for a Savage Race if you enjoy a variety of obstacles and occasional running.

The Course

Luckily for us, after last week’s Spartan Beast, the majority of this course was flat. It was a nice change from all those brutal inclines. In total, the course was 5.8 miles with 25 obstacles. We were on a farm so there were a lot of open fields, but they also incorporated the wooded terrain surrounding it into the race. The wooded areas were the toughest to navigate because the trails were slick with mud and had some inclines, which proved to be tricky. Just ask Keith! Keith took a pretty nasty slip and almost knocked over Cait. Before nearly hitting her in the face, he was able to grab ahold of a nearby tree. An ugly situation avoided for the newlyweds! It was pretty funny watching Keith wipeout, but he’s lucky he didn’t get hurt.

The course was very muddy. It rained all last week leading into Saturday, so the course had no time to dry. That combined with the course set up resulted in a complete mess. At one point Keith and Cait were waist deep in mud! I avoided the way they took, but still ended up in calf-deep mud. The mud kept us from moving at a faster pace when we were in the woods. Once we were in the open fields, we were able to run again. But who am I kidding? We jogged of course. For the most part we were spread out, so keeping ourselves moving wasn’t difficult. This helped when we were trying to get warm after all those cold water obstacles.

I definitely liked this course better than the course in 2014. We didn’t have to run through a cornfield this time. Yuck! The cornfield was pretty gross. Since it was sunny at times we were able to enjoy the scenery and the warmth. It’s been a long time since we’ve gotten to see the sun! All in all, I think Savage Race should be happy with the course they laid out for us. It was fun, muddy and challenging.

The Obstacles 

I knew going into this race that I would struggle with some of these obstacles. Savage Race has a lot of water obstacles, and those are the obstacles where usually I’m at my weakest. There were a total of 25 obstacles, and I failed four (Thor’s Grundle, Wheel World, Kiss My Walls and Savage Rig). I nearly drowned at Thor’s Grundle… I know embarrassing! I skipped Davy Jones’ Locker and Sawtooth for obvious reasons. If you can’t swim, they don’t even want you to try it.

The new obstacles at Savage Race were awesome! I’ll go into more detail with each in the next mile, but Squeeze Play, Pole Cat and On The Fence were my favorites of the new ones. The Savage Rig was the last obstacle. I’m not a big fan of “rigs” since everyone else is doing it and they are all the same. Swiss Cheese was another new obstacle, but it’s pretty similar to another wall obstacle.

I didn’t find Shriveled Richard to be as cold as Tough Mudder’s Artctic Enema or Shriveled Richard from 2014. Not sure if it was because it wasn’t as cold outside or if they used less ice, but it wasn’t freezing. We were really happy about this!

Davy Jones’ Locker was terrifying, as always. I still don’t know why I did that obstacle before. Keith seemed to really enjoy it. I have a video to prove it! It’s really funny to watch people get freaked out before they jump. You could always be like me and enjoy the show from the ground level.

The highlight of my day was overcoming Colossus and getting some revenge on the obstacle that I injured myself on previously. Keith was able to get up and over first then he and another guy helped me. It wasn’t easy, but we got it done. Then we both helped someone else. This obstacle requires a lot of teamwork between teammates and strangers.

Even though there were a lot of water obstacles, I still enjoyed every obstacle I attempted at this race. These are different types of obstacles compared to carrying a sandbag or a bucket of rocks. These obstacles let me have a little more fun. Kudos to Savage Race for thinking outside the box!

Biggest Surprise 

Believe it or not I signed up for another Savage Race in June! I’ve never done two races for the same organization in one year. Why did I make this decision? First, they were offering a deal for $69.00 for any future race in 2016. This amount included all the “hidden” fees. So, processing fees, insurance fees and registration fees all for $69.00. It was too good a deal to pass up. Plus it will give me another perspective on the event since it will be at a different location. Second, Savage Race released a new program called “Savage Race Syndicate.” I’ll have more information on this later (Savage Race hasn’t released the official details yet). From what we were told it’s similar to the Spartan Trifecta. The only difference is that you only need to complete two races in a calendar year instead of three. I wanted to take advantage of being one of the first people to join this group. Plus, you get a special medal in addition to the finisher medal! Both Keith and I will be at Savage Race in Albrightsville, PA in June.

Biggest Disappointment

It pains me to write this, but the line we encountered at Pole Cat was brutal. By brutal I mean we waited at least 30 minutes in line for the obstacle. Now I understand these things happen at a lot of events, but there has to be a way to decrease the amount of time in lines. There were no other lines anywhere else on the course. There was a small line at Colossus, however that’s always expected given how difficult of an obstacle it is. Also it’s one of the obstacles that people try multiple times. I really wanted to try Pole Cat, so that is why I waited. It was worth it, but hopefully at the June Savage Race the line isn’t that bad. BTW Savage Race, great job with Pole Cat!

Overall Assessment

We had an absolute blast at Savage Race! It’s pretty obvious since we decided to sign up for another event, which is in a few weeks. The slogan for Savage Race is “The Best Obstacles. The Perfect Distance.” While it’s still early in the race season, I can say that they had some better obstacles than some of the bigger name OCR’s. The 5.8 mile distance wasn’t bad either. I prefer a little shorter, but I felt I got my money’s worth between the obstacles and the course. If you’re looking for some different types of obstacles that don’t require a lot of heavy lifting and muscle flexing, then you should put Savage Race on your race list.


The Savage Race SWAG was pretty good. The highlight was their new finisher medal. It’s the biggest one they’ve ever offered. It’s 10x better than the dinky one we got in 2014. Well, maybe 2x bigger, but still an improvement. The finisher t-shirt was plain and simple. It’s not the best, but definitely not the worst. Overall, I was happy with what we received.


Savage Race SWAG (patch, decal & wristband not included)

Side Notes

I’ll be releasing a funny video of Keith at Davy Jones’ Locker in about a week.

Our recorded race time was 02:36:47. If you subtract the wait time at Pole Cat then I’d say we did the race in two hours. If you don’t subtract that time then we did the race in five hours less than the Spartan Beast.

Registration took about one minute to get through. I had all my paperwork filled out prior to the race.

Parking wasn’t an issue. The field was a little muddy, but they had plenty of space for a lot of vehicles.

The bag check station was a lot better than the Spartan Beast. No bags were left on the ground to get covered in mud or thrown around.

I didn’t partake in the post race rinse off since the last obstacle (water slide) pretty much took care of that. It doesn’t sound like I missed anything since they were using pond water.

It seemed like a lot of people raced and then left. They had a decent festival area, but they can’t compete with all the Maryland crab restaurants in the area.

We were supposed to race at 11:20 am, but didn’t get to the venue until right at our race time. We got stuck waiting for a parade to go through one of the only roads that led to the venue. We ended up starting at 11:40 am. This is why it’s important you give yourself plenty of time to get there.

Well I don’t have a race this upcoming weekend, but in the next mile I’ll highlight some of the new obstacles from Savage Race.


medal comparison between 2016 (L) and 2014 (R)

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