I was very fortunate in my scheduling that I got to race in Rugged Maniacs back to back. I’m a big fan of the Rugged Maniac racing series and two races in one season is a treat. Both races were held in the same locations as the previous. New Jersey was at the familiar Englishtown Raceway (I should note I’ve been there more than any other race location) and in Pennsylvania at Maple Grove Raceway, for the second year. Even though they are the same race, 3 miles and 25 obstacles, they almost seem completely different. I’ll give a breakdown below of the highlights from each one.
If you like mud then this is the Rugged Maniac for you. For the second straight year this race left you covered in mud for almost the entire race. Rinsing off was certainly a challenge.
When race organizers incorporate the windy hills of the MotoX course it adds a slightly difficult element to it. Englishtown is pretty flat so these hills make for some adverse terrain.
I wouldn’t call this a highlight, but it should be noted. There were a lot of lines at the Sunday event. During last years race the lines or wait time were minimal. Other racers reported wait times in the afternoon waves of 30+ minutes. Totally unacceptable. Rugged Maniac later stated an apology for this and ensuring this wouldn’t happen again. Some of this occurred because people found the need to jump ahead their assigned wave time. Hopefully next year these issues will be fixed.
If you like a flat and fast course then this Rugged Maniac will suit you better. The only incline was at the beginning when we had to run up and down bleachers. This also caused a little bit of a bottleneck, but the long stretch afterwards helped thin the pack out. Besides a few areas running through the woods it’s a very open course.
Contrary to New Jersey, there were no lines or waiting at any of the obstacles. The waves seemed to have less people compared to New Jersey. Everyone on the team enjoyed not having to wait.
The festival area is awesome. There is a lot to do and people participate in the activities they set up (mechanical bull, dance contests, pull up contests and beer stein contest, just to name a few). It’s always great to see racers and spectators participating in the festival area.
Which Is Better?
New Jersey is one of Rugged Maniacs most popular races. It’s so popular they have a race on Saturday and Sunday. However I prefer the Pennsylvania Rugged Maniac over the New Jersey race. There are less people, resulting in no lines or wait times.
Rugged Maniac Updates
Starting in 2018 Rugged Maniac will be offering a new race called Rugged Maniac X. It’s a 10k course and participants can run unlimited laps around the course. I’ll definitely be signing up for this race next year.